Need some good reasons to vote for Tom Ganley for Congress? There are boatloads of them. Some of the most obvious reasons, for voters who are paying attention, would be the contrasts between Tom Ganley and the Democrat incumbent representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional district, Betty Sutton.
If you are unfamiliar with Tom Ganley, the Republican nominee, I would urge you to visit his campaign website for an introduction to him.
If you’re a 13th district voter, you should already know U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.
Did you know that, in the 111th Session of Congress, she has voted the Democrat Party line, as defined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 99% of the time? This ties her with 9 others for 15th place on the list of those voting the Democrat Party line. Only 14 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are ahead of her on that list, and one of those 14 is Nancy Pelosi. Another one of those 14 ahead of her is Pelosi’s Number 2, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, but his voting record only supersedes hers by one-tenth of one percent. ONE-TENTH OF ONE PERCENT SEPARATES HER FROM THE NUMBER 2 DEMOCRAT IN THE U.S. HOUSE! Keep in mind that there are 433 (two vacant seats, otherwise 435) House members, and that 255 of them are Democrats. 15th place is rarefied air, indeed.
If you’re curious about how loyal other Democrat members of Ohio’s delegation are to Nancy Pelosi, the Washington Post presents this webpage. 56 Democrats are ahead of Tim Ryan, with a voting record that’s 98.4% in line with Nancy Pelosi. Mary Jo Kilroy and Charlie Wilson clock in with 98.1%. Marcia Fudge is pegged at 97.7%.
By contrast, no Ohio Republicans show as much loyalty to the Republican Party line as these 5 Ohio Democrats do to the Democrat Party line. Overall, Democrats in the U.S. House are more monolithic in their loyalty to the Democrat Party line than Republicans are to theirs. Are Congressional Republicans the monolithic obstructionist “Party of No?” With only 180 Republican members of the U.S. House, to begin with, Republicans have very little power to block the majority party. When legislation that Pelosi wants is “obstructed” from passage, defectors from her own party made that “0bstruction” possible. The record shows, however, that defection is more rare among Democrats than among Republicans. I can only interpret that to mean that Republicans are more bipartisan.
Oh, you wanted to know the rest of the Pelosi-loyalty numbers for Ohio’s Congressional Democrats: Marcy Kaptur, 96.2%; Steve Driehaus, 94.7%; John Boccieri, 93.8%; Zack Space, 93.2%; Dennis Kucinich, 91.6%. OK, Kucinich is far more liberal than this Pelosi-loyalty percentage would indicate, but I still maintain that he’s not as liberal as Betty Sutton.
In my book, Nancy Pelosi is uber-liberal, firmly entrenched in the left-wing of the left-wing of the Democrat Party, as is her constituency back in her San Francisco & vicinity home district, California’s 8th Congressional district. Here’s a map of Pelosi’s home district, just so you can get an idea of who her constituents are. Therefore, in my book, the more one votes the Democrat Party line, which line is defined by uber-liberal Nancy Pelosi, the more liberal one is likely to be, with few exceptions. By that standard, Betty Sutton is Ohio’s most liberal Representative to the U.S. House, and our state has some fairly liberal Congress members.
I know some of you will say “Dennis Kucinich doesn’t vote as often with Nancy Pelosi because he’s even further to the left than Pelosi is.” I disagree. There may be a very small handful of issues where Kucinich is further left than Pelosi, but I can think of a number of occasions, particularly during Presidential Democrat Primary debates, when Kucinich has made statements that are much more mainstream, some of which even I, DJW, had to agree with. I truly believe that both Pelosi and Sutton are more liberal than Kucinich.
Now, I want you to look at this map of Ohio’s 13th Congressional district, covering the northern half of Lorain County, a wide stripe of southern Cuyahoga County, a wide stripe of northern Medina County, and the western half of Summit County. Now I ask you, which community in that district is as liberal as Betty Sutton? I don’t think Lorain or Elyria are. I should know. I’ve campaigned in those communities, myself. Oberlin is the most liberal community in Lorain County, and it’s in Marcy Kaptur’s district, not Sutton’s. Does the constituency of Betty Sutton’s home district resemble the constituency of Nancy Pelosi’s home district? I don’t think so. I think there’s a terrible mismatch between the pulse of the 13th district and the ideology of Betty Sutton, and I think it’s high time that the voters knew that Sutton is out of touch with them.
(By the way, how frequently is she hosting live, in-person town hall meetings?)
In 2006, when U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown left the 13th District seat open in order to vie for his Senate seat, there were crowded fields in both the Democrat and Republican primaries to succeed him. In the nomination contests, no candidates reached a majority (over 50%) of each respective party’s votes. Carpetbagger Betty Sutton was nominated with 31.29% of the Democrat vote. Two keys to her nomination victory were Sherrod Brown’s endorsement and Emily’s List’s backing. Emily’s List, by the way, is a PAC that endorses female candidates who embrace uber-liberal feminist political positions (as opposed to mainstream feminist political positions), with the most important tenet to embrace being support for abortion-on-demand. To Emily’s List, Sarah Palin is the most disgusting piece of crap on the planet.
Lorain Mayor (at the time) Craig Foltin was nominated with 37.46% of the Republican vote. I was an unabashed supporter of Foltin, and gave some help to his campaign as a volunteer.
Betty Sutton won the seat in the November 2006 elections when anti-Republican sentiment had reached its high-water mark in Ohio in the wake of some widely publicized scandals that tarnished some of Ohio’s Republican politicians. It was a difficult political environment for Foltin to campaign in that year.
There was a former U.S. President who had a campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Oh yeah, that was Bill Clinton. Way back then, I guess Sutton wasn’t paying attention. Should we forgive her for it?
Besides knowing the district and its needs very well, Foltin understood a number of things about economics, unlike Betty Sutton, who has to be told how to vote on economic issues because she can’t figure out such things by herself.
In 2008, I endorsed Dave Potter for Congress over Sutton, and much of my decision was based on their relative understandings of economics. Potter knew economic principles quite well, while Sutton has to rely on others for guidance on economic decisions, and those those guiding Sutton seem to be more rooted in mythology than reality.
At the time of Sutton’s campaign against Potter, this is what she touted as her economic record:
- Rep. Sutton supports the suspension of purchases of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) temporarily. Filling the SPR takes 70,000 barrels of oil off the market each day, even though the reserve is 97 percent full with enough to meet our national security needs. At a time of record prices, suspending these government purchases, as we have done in the past, could reduce gas prices by 5 to 24 cents a gallon — a critical first step for America’s families, businesses, and the economy.
- Rep. Sutton has joined with other Freshman House members to urge the President to temporarily suspend purchases of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This would allow more oil to remain on the market and could drive down the price of gas for consumers by as much as $.25 a gallon.
- Rep. Sutton is also a cosponsor of H.R. 5473 to temporarily suspend shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- Rep. Sutton is a cosponsor of H.R. 2372 – WEAN Off of Oil Act (DeLauro) – Imposes a 50% tax on crude oil profits over $50 per barrel by major oil companies and directs proceeds to the Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve.
- House passed bill to deal with price-gouging/fixing at the wholesale and retail level: Rep. Sutton cosponsored and the House passed H.R. 1252 – Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act (Rep. Stupak) – Protects consumers from price-gouging of gasoline and other fuels by setting criminal penalties and permitting states to bring lawsuits against wholesalers or retailers.
- House passed bill to address price fixing at the OPEC level: Rep. Sutton voted for and the House passed H.R. 2264 – No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) – Authorizes the Justice Department to take legal action against OPEC state-controlled entities that participate in conspiracies to limit the supply, or fix the price, of oil.
- Market Manipulation: Rep. Sutton is a cosponsor of the Prevent Unfair Manipulation of Prices Act, H.R. 594 (The PUMP Act). This bill would amend the Commodity Exchange Act to extend its jurisdiction to certain: (1) “included energy transactions” traded on an electronic trading facility; and (2) certain energy commodities involved in over-the-counter transactions. This would address market manipulation on the commodity level and empowers the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to impose civil and criminal penalties for price manipulation and other violations of such Act.
- Oil savings from the Energy Independence and Security Act: The bill increases fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon in 2020. The fuel economy and renewable fuel standards combined will save the U.S. 2.3 million barrels of oil a day in 2020, which is about what we import from the Persian Gulf today. This act is important as we reduce our dependence on oil. The fuel economy provisions alone will create 149,300 jobs, and save consumers $22 billion at the pump every year starting in 2020 ($700 – $1000), even after paying for the fuel-saving technology needed to meet the standards.
- The Energy Independence and Security Act also invests in clean renewable energy. (Since the bill did not repeal all of the subsidies paid to big oil, Rep. Sutton joined with other Freshman House Members and signed two letters urging Congressional leadership to continue to pursue an increase in a renewable electricity standard (RES) and to pass renewable energy and efficiency tax incentives paid for by ending subsidies to big oil companies. Sutton also voted for H.R H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act, which passed the House. This bill contains provisions to end unnecessary subsidies to big oil companies and instead provide tax incentives to invest in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Long-term Reinvestment in Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing. Rep. Sutton wrote a letter, co-signed by several other members of Congress, to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development urging funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program. This program was authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and provides low interest loans to automobile manufacturers and component suppliers. The loans would cover up to 30% of the cost of retooling a manufacturing facility in the United States to produce advanced technology vehicles or their key components, e.g., engines and transmissions.
My own take on the above bullet points is as follows:
Sutton’s measures vis-a-vis the Strategic Petroleum Reserve=a drop in the bucket, so that wipes out the first 3 bullet points. In hindsight, those measures did not bring about the savings they projected. Other marketplace factors, such as supply and demand, brought the gasoline prices down from record highs.
The fourth bullet point just means that when oil prices were already high, she wanted to add more taxes to make the prices higher.
5th bullet point, redundant. We already have state laws that protect us from retail price gouging.
6th bullet point, silly, because our Justice Department can’t really take on OPEC countries, and going after the companies only induces a shell game.
7th bullet point, half measure. The whole futures market is in need of overhaul. Tweaking is insufficient. Even as of August 2010, we still don’t have the kind of marketplace reforms that our economy needs.
8th bullet point, 2020 is a long way off, so, nice maneuver to look like you’re doing something when, in the short run, the status quo is maintained. Further, is it the government’s responsibility to dictate to the automobile manufacturers what the consumers want? Or are consumers capable of buying what they want and skipping over what they don’t want? Do car companies want to respond to what consumers want, in the interest of selling cars? Or would they rather thumb their nose at consumers, and have cars rust on the sales lots?
9th bullet point, Sutton signed two letters.
10th bullet point, Sutton wrote a letter.
As the 2008 campaign season was winding down to a close, the matter of government bailouts came before Congress. There were two votes held on a bill to bail out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion, because the first try didn’t succeed. Sutton voted no the first time, but she didn’t seem to know why it was a good thing to vote no. The bill was no better the second time around. But in between the first vote and the second vote, Sutton set up a conference call between Presidential candidate Barack Obama and freshman Democrats who voted no. Hitching her wagon to the Obama juggernaut, I believe, is what interested Sutton in changing her vote. No matter if you embrace Keynesian economics or, like me, reject the government’s economic manipulations prescribed by Keynesian economics, the gist of the bill did not change, therefore, votes should not have changed. But some people, like Sutton, switched their votes, which means they don’t have an inner compass that guides them on economic issues. Peer pressure, lobbying, twisting arms, fear tactics–those are the reasons people would change their vote.
When Sutton held a press conference to explain the vote switch, it was heavily scripted, and spoken like an automaton. The Cleveland Plain Dealer had a clip of it that you can see here. Those aren’t genuinely her words that are being spoken. It was an act of ventriloquism, and she was the dummy. But even if you took her words at face value and gave her the benefit of the doubt that those words did originate from her, the message still makes no sense.
Since then, she hasn’t met a bailout she didn’t like, including the bailout for state education budgets across the nation that was voted on two days ago.
Her support of cap-and-trade clearly shows she has no interest in defending your pocketbooks from being emptied. If enacted, the public will see sharply increased electric bills, especially in Ohio.
Tax cuts are expiring, and the tax codes will change the way you calculate deductions–for the worse.
We should definitely mention “Cash-for-Clunkers.” Sutton was all about “Cash-for-Clunkers.” For about a month or so, consumers were given a window of opportunity to trade in their old cars for new ones and reap the benefit of a government subsidy to do so. Are subsidies free money? When the government offers a rebate on a purchase, do they just wave a magic wand, and a fairy godmother makes it all happen? No. The government must either confiscate more of the public’s money, or print more of their own money. Did “Cash-for-Clunkers” prime the pump? What do you think? What’s the economy like, right now? Today? This very minute that you are reading this? If you don’t measure the value of “Cash-for-Clunkers” in dollars squandered by the government in a failed attempt to stimulate the economy, but measure the value in terms of reduced carbon emissions, what do you think? Did it work? Are polar bears partying on the ice floes because carbon emissions were actually reduced? I don’t think even one little ice cube in the Arctic Ocean was saved from melting because of “Cash-for-Clunkers.”
The government can subsidize, it can bail out, it can rebate, it can stimulate this aspect of the economy, and that aspect of the economy, and we needn’t worry about where the money comes from, for the majority caucus is firm on its commitment to be budget neutral–no increase in budget deficits, no increase in the national debt. Inefficiencies can be weeded out, and that will pay for all these proposals. That’s especially true in the case of Obamacare. But I’m here to tell you that it’s all a myth. Sutton has worked to propagate just such a myth. Obamacare will have REAL costs, and you’ll feel them acutely when you file your taxes next year.
With no economic moorings, Sutton has just gone with the flow, been driven by the wind, and tossed by the waves. Spend. Spend. Spend. Spend. $$$$$$$$$$$$$
She’s all excited because she gets to make a difference! She’s delivering on providing all the social supports she always wanted to! She’s subsidizing the common folk. She’s giving health care to those who couldn’t afford it. Oh, business is being adversely affected? Don’t worry, we’ll bail them out. She’s putting lots of money into renewable energy because the industry can’t be profitable and certainly can’t yield the output our economy needs, but what price can you put on being loved by the environmental special interest groups? Isn’t being loved more important than the dollars squandered on ventures that won’t yield returns? Enrollment might be dropping at the public schools in your area, but, don’t worry, teaching staffs won’t be cut! Congress to the rescue! She has such compassion for those who are out of work, so she’ll vote to extend unemployment benefits again and again and again. By the way, the federal government might be hiring, so, why not apply? She plans to keep voting for government expansion, so if you don’t get hired by the government today, try again another day.
Doesn’t Betty Sutton know that she’s feeling giddy because she’s on a shopping spree to end all shopping sprees with money that comes for free? It’s not free money, but she’s not ready to learn where all the money comes from right now. She’s not done dispensing her government charity for worthy causes. When every constituent group has been cared for, that’s when she’ll have a chance to be schooled on where the money comes from.
Let’s boil it down to this: Sutton clearly believes in a centrally planned economy.
Soviet bloc governments used to centrally plan economies. Look what happened to them. Their propaganda stated that it was for the public good. North Korea still has a centrally planned economy. North Korea’s propaganda states that it’s for the public good. How are they faring?
Sutton also says it’s for the public good.
Sutton is so liberal, she’s a Soviet.
How are we doing?