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Politics


Kaptur and Kucinich debate at the Cleveland City Club
New 9th Congressional District candidates spar over job creation
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
The new 9th district candidates (L-R) Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Graham Veyseydebate at the Cleveland City Club
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

The Democratic primary candidates for northern Ohio’s new 9th Congressional District argued over job creation today at the Cleveland City Club. Toledo Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich debated whose style would be the best fit for the redrawn district running along Lake Erie’s coast.  They were joined by candidate Graham Veysey  who is making his first run at political office.                                                                              

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Congresswoman Kaptur is seeking a 16th term. But her district has shifted dramatically. While it still includes most of the territory she used to represent from Toledo to Lorain, it now follows Lake Erie’s coast all the way to Cleveland.  And much of that eastern section is in Congressman Kucinich’s old district. At the Cleveland City Club, Kucinich restated his work fighting for employees’ rights and saving jobs in the local steel and garment industries.  The strongly anti-war congressman also chided Kaptur’s support of defense and space contractors, saying she is seeking campaign contributions.

 

Kucinich:  “She voted to privatize functions at NASA Glenn and then took a big contribution from a California that would profit from the privatization. She subverted the earmark ban and requested a $10 million earmark and received tens of thousands of dollars from beneficiaries. She’s taken hundreds of thousand from war contractors for voting half a trillion dollars to continue Bush’s wars. Her votes for the Iraq war have cost my district in Cleveland and her own district in Toledo $2 billion each.”

 

Kucinich repeated his call for drastic defense spending cuts and transferring that money to social issues including health care and poverty prevention. Kaptur voted to invade Iraq, and is proud of the district’s hundreds of defense industry jobs. And she chided Kucinich for his call to shut down the Davis Bessie nuclear power plant near Toledo.

 

Kaptur:  “How can a candidate who purports to be a working person’s candidate suggest that the largest employer in Ottawa County, which has a 13.3 percent unemployment rate, shut down that county’s largest employer?  How can that candidate oppose the Keystone pipeline that is so vital to creating hundreds of industrial, refining and steel jobs across the north coast? How can he be against defense bills that support firms like Alcoa, Materian and magnesium and titanium  companies across this coast?”

 

Kaptur also criticized Kucinich for not getting much done in Washington, because she says he’s spent too much time fighting long-shot battles.  Kaptur is number 2 in seniority on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She says passing bills and bringing federal dollars back to the district is more important. Kaptur has the endorsement of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kucinich’s hometown newspaper. Kaptur and Kucinich were joined by political newcomer, businessman Graham Veysey. The 29 year old Cleveland-area candidate says he can provide fresh ideas that the 2 members of congress cannot.

 

Veysey:  “I think we need to build on our manufacturing base, but we need to shed the rust belt image and create a digital belt across the north coast. I’m of the digital age, I think we can fill the vacant buildings, warehouses and factories with data centers that employ people with great wages. I think we also need to look at the opportunity to become the vacation belt. We have Lake Erie which is a $10 billion a year economic engine.”

 

Veysey  says more investment is needed in early childhood education to reduce poverty. And he says he would work to reduce the federal deficit. Veysey chided Kucinich and Kaptur for not knowing the details of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s sweeping education reform plan. The candidate who wins the March 6th primary, will face the Republican primary winner, either Toledo’s  Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, or Huron auctioneer Steven Kraus.                                                               

Listener Comments:

As a former strong supporter and campaign worker for Congressman Dennis
Kucinich I must state why I am no longer supporting him and why I am
supporting Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.

I worked on the 1994 Kucinich State Senate campaign against Anthony Sinagra
and the 1996 Kucinich Congressional campaign against Martin Hoke. During
those campaigns I came to know Dennis quite well. I had just completed a
run for Cleveland City council in Slavic Village and wanted to continue in
politics. In fact, I still hold the record for most yard signs placed
during a State Senate campaign.

What concerned me then and concerns me now is why Kucinich failed as Mayor
of Cleveland and still fails to succeed as a Congressman. The only common
denominator is his lack of people skills. He does not now {nor did he then}
have the critical ability to communicate properly with constituents, fellow
lawmakers and the media in general. Some politicians are able to "re-make"
themselves. Sadly, Kucinich has chosen not to and look what this has
resulted in for the previous 10th Congressional District.

On the other hand, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur reminds me of the type of
congressperson we desperately need during these troubling economic times.
She truly cares about her constituents. From the moment you meet her you
can't help but be struck by her well-honed people skills. She has
utilized these skills very effectively and look at the difference it has
made in Toledo and the surrounding area. On Tuesday, March 6, please
support Marcy Kaptur for Congress and help give the new 9th Congressional
district a start on the right track.


Posted by: Joe Bialek on February 22, 2012 6:02AM
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