Senator Sherrod Brown Supports Dayton Newspaper Guild

March 18, 2008
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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown gave a rousing endorsement of the efforts of workers at the Dayton Daily News in their struggle to gain ratification of a Union contract with the Cox empire after a 21 year struggle for recognition.

Speaking to a noontime gathering of local Union representatives, including Wes Wells from the AFL-CIO, DDN employees, local elected officials Mark Owens and Nan Whaley and community activists from the Miami Valley Full Employment Council, Brown cited the union movement as a major force in creating a better life for millions of workers.
Utilizing his patented canary in a coal mine analogy, Brown talked about how miners would take one of the birds into the mine shaft and, if it got sick or died, they knew it was time to get out. “Journalists”, he said, “play that role in a democracy” alerting the citizenry to dangerous action by the governing class.

Noting that his spouse, Connie Schultz, is a member of the Newspaper Guild at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brown spoke to that importance of journalists in protecting democracy and freedom by bringing transparency to government actions. “We need journalists to provide that check and balance between government and citizen,” he said.

Brown is a co-sponsor of the The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, which would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union by:


  • Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
  • Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
  • Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation

The Bill has passed the House of Representatives, but sponsors were unable to beat back Republican led filibustering in the Senate.

2nd and 3rd Ohio District Democratic candidates Virginia Wolfsun and Jane Mitakides made short speeches endorsing the Guild’s efforts and promising to be part of a” larger, more Democratic majority” after respectively beating “Mean Jean” Schmidt and “No Taxes for the Rich” Mike Turner in the fall elections.

Dayton Newspaper Guild president Lou Greco spoke on behalf of the the local guild, detailing the history of the fight with the Cox empire for Union recognition. “The owners should know“, he said, “we are not going to go away. 75% of eligible workers in the bargaining unit have indicated support for the Guild, and we will prevail in the end!”

Following the speeches, the group, about 75 people strong , took to the street with hand held signs in front of the DDN headquarters on South Main for a spirited moving picket line. Calling on the Cox company to negotiate now, sign the contract, demanding health care benefits for part time workers, the picketers marched back and forth for about 20 minutes, enduring a light drizzle of rain for their efforts.

Brown is scheduled to be the keynote speaker tonight at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Frolic for Funds at the Dayton Convention Center.

Ha-Joon Chang’s ‘Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism’

March 2, 2008
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Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism
by Ha-Joon Chang
Reviewed by Thom Hartmann

The fundamental myth of the Milton/Thomas Friedman neoliberal cons is that in a “flat world” everybody is not only able to compete with everybody else freely, but should be required to. It sounds nice. America trades with – and competes with trade with and for – the European Union. France against Germany. England against Australia.

But wait a minute. In such a “free” trade competition, who will win when the match-up is Canada versus the Solomon Islands? Germany versus Bulgaria? Zimbabwe versus Italy?

There are two glaringly obvious flaws in the so-called “free trade” theories expounded by neoliberal philosophers like Friedrich Von Hayek and Milton Friedman, and promoted relentlessly in the popular press by (very wealthy) hucksters like Thomas Friedman. (more…)

POLL:Voinovich at Minus 6, Brown at Plus 12 in Ohio

March 1, 2008
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Voinovich at Minus 6, Brown at Plus 12 in Ohio

SurveyUSA Breaking News – 1 day ago
In many states, the two United States Senators are viewed similarly, with both enjoying similar approval ratings. Ohio is not currently one of those states.Senior Senator George Voinovich, in positive approval rating territory in four of the past twelve months, is today in negative territory once more, with a 42% approval and 48% disapproval rating. Ohio’s junior senator, Sherrod Brown, today has a 49% approval and 37% disapproval rating, and his Plus 12 Net Job approval is his highest since taking office last January.

Research conducted for WKYC-TV Cleveland, WCPO-TV Cincinnati, WCMH-TV Columbus, and WHIO-TV Dayton. Full results here.

New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio…and Sherrod Brown is [Apparently] NOT involved

February 21, 2008
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Trust, but verify.

Apparently my “trust” in  ABC-News is/was misplaced. The information contained in their story   that said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is involved with a new Ohio 527 political lobby that is pro Hillary Clinton is not accurate.

 Connie Schulz, the Senators wife, said in an email:

Sherrod has nothing to do with this. Mattis Goldman was one of the consultants during Sherrod’s 2006 race, but anyone saying Sherrod is involved in these ads is wrong. By law, he can have nothing to do with the 527.

Great, I’ve called the guy out for a transgression he didn’t commit. Mea Culpa for that. While I’m glad to learn that Mr Brown didn’t cross his own line on endorsing, the rest of the post stands, cynicism and all.


New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio…and Sherrod Brown is

February 21, 2008
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I have to admit at the outset that I have been very cynical about this Presidential election cycle. On a personal level and on this blog I have looked for and spoken about/posted the downside of both Hilary and Barak. Devils advocate of you will. I was an ardent Kucinich backer because he came across to me as a man who wasn’t flinching while being battered in the eye of the storm. The video clips of Rep Kucinich reading his articles of impeachment into the Congressional Record ought to be required viewing for anyone who thinks they have a progressive bone in their body. He is, & that is including his known flaws, a real serious progressive.

Pundits on the right and left derided him, first as the boy Mayor of Cleveland and then, in this years campaign, because he said there was some legitimacy in the unexplained sighting of UFO’s . The democratic party in Ohio is freaked about him enough to be backing candidates who are running against him in his home district. But Dennis could never get the traction he needed, he was cut from the debates, read the writing on the wall and went back to his district to defend his seat, a crucial bulwark in the pantheon of corruption and special interests that is the US House of [Dis-] Representatives.

And then there was John Edwards, who I had supported for president in ’04. A good mass message, a populist free trade restrainer with working class roots. In the Main Stream Media even the friggin NY Times barely covered him until it nearly at the end of his campaign rope. He’s gone.

Which brings me to the “survivor’s”, Senator’s Obama and Clinton. Selling a message I haven’t been buying from either one of them. (more…)

S.O.N.G. Update on Piketon Nuke Plant Cleanup & more

February 14, 2008
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Update from SONG [Southern Ohio Neighbors Group]

Snowy Salutations!


We hope this finds you all warm and well! It has been awhile since our last message, so we’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news pertinent to what is happening surrounding issues involving the Piketon, Ohio Department of Energy site. There have been several recent publications of interest which are included at the end of this message. (Unfortunately, our website is not currently updated, but hopefully it soon will be and we can direct you to links to these sorts of things instead of sending such lengthy messages.) (more…)

Senator Sherrod Brown on How to Win in Ohio/from The Nation

February 13, 2008
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Interview  By Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Nation

      COMMENTS (46)

In 2006, Sherrod Brown ran on an anti-war populist economic message and won in towns across Ohio long written-off by Democrats. On March 4, the Democratic primary will be held in the state, with Obama possibly looking to continue a streak of victories, while Clinton faces as close to a must-win situation as we are likely to see in the fight for the nomination.

While Senator Brown has said he won’t endorse either candidate before the Ohio primary, he’s in close contact with both candidates, and in an interview with me he spoke candidly about trade, globalization, and lessons on how to win in his state. To paraphrase, it’s about economic populism, stupid. And as Obama battles to make inroads with the white and Latino working-class, and Clinton distances herself from the trade policies of her husband’s administration, Ohio is there for the taking.

Here then is the transcript of my conversation with Senator Brown:

Q: How are you approaching any endorsement decision?

I will not endorse before the Ohio primary. I’m weighing what my state does, that’s certainly part of it. Also, my conversations with both Barack and Hillary, and with Governor Sebelius calling for Barack, and with Bill Clinton calling for Hillary, and Dick Durbin – all the people who have called for them, in addition to talking directly with the candidates… [we] talk about trade, talk about a populist, progressive message in Ohio, talk about privatization and anti-privatization, and all the things they need to do around tax and trade policy.

Both of them are obviously significantly better than Bush Republicans, McCain. They’re close. I’ve talked to Barack a lot about his Patriot Corporation Act, which is not trade per se, but it’s certainly part of the economic package around globalization. The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts. Jan Schakowsky first came to me… I co-sponsored and worked on it with her in 2005 or 2006. And Barack has been a sponsor of it in the Senate. Hillary is not on it as of now, but those are the kinds of things I want to see them talk about and do and I am hopeful – and pretty much expect – that they will talk about those issues in Ohio.



December 18, 2007
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Congressional Directories
Recent Senate Votes
CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 – Vote Agreed to (86-8, 6 Not Voting)

The Senate passed a pared-down version of the energy bill that the House passed last week.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

FHA Modernization Act of 2007 – Vote Passed (93-1, 6 Not Voting)

The Senate passed legislation to ease the burden of mushrooming interest rates on homeowners by allowing them to transfer their finances into federally insured loans.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

National Defense Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Agreed to (90-3, 7 Not Voting)

On Friday, the Senate gave final approval to this bill authorizing defense spending for fiscal year 2008.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 – Vote Passed (79-14, 7 Not Voting)

The Senate approved this $288 billion, five-year bill that sets agricultural policy and authorizes funding for agricultural related programs such as commodity support, conservation, and nutrition.

Sen. George Voinovich voted NO……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Recent House Votes
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act – Vote Passed (303-116, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill that would help the insurance industry cover costs in the event of a terrorist attack, after making slight revisions to the Senate version that passed last month.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

National Defense Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Passed (370-49, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill to authorize defense appropriations.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

AMT Relief Act – Vote Passed (226-193, 13 Not Voting)

The House passed this measure to patch the alternative minimum tax that would be financed by a pay-as-you-go plan.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Intelligence Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Passed (222-199, 10 Not Voting)

This bill authorizing intelligence spending would also ban waterboarding, mock executions, and other severe methods of interrogation.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Making further continuing appropriations for FY2008 – Vote Passed (385-27, 21 Not Voting)

On Thursday the House passed this continuing resolution to fund government programs through Friday, December 21.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio




December 18, 2007
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A year ago, due to the hard work of people like you, Ohioans turned Ohio blue by electing Ted Strickland to lead our state, Jennifer Brunner to restore fair elections, Marc Dann as our top law enforcement officer, Rich Cordray to manage our state’s finances, and selecting me to serve in the U.S. Senate.

During the campaign, I promised I would put the middle class first as Ohio’s U.S. Senator. I have honored that commitment.

To date, I have held 71 roundtables from Toledo to Marietta, from Ashtabula to Cincinnati. I have held legislative conference calls with Ohioans on issues ranging from agriculture to education to job creation. (more…)

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. Senate Bill 1959

December 6, 2007
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As I asserted in an earlier post, a prime pastime in Washington DC these days seems to be to find ways to circumscribe, emasculate and otherwise render our Constitution’s Bill of Rights inoperative. Now comes Senate bill 1959, introduced by US Senator Susan Collins of Maine.[ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1959 ].

If you believe, as I do, that the two Patriot Acts and the Military Commission Act of 2006 were serious attacks on our basic Constitutional rights, then SB 1959 ought to scare the living bejeezus out of you. This bill is the Senate version of a bill, sponsored by California Democratic Representative Jane Harman, that was passed in the House by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote on October 24th and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Harman’s bill contends that the United States will soon have to deal with home grown terrorists and that something must be done to anticipate and neutralize the problem. The act deals with the issue through the creation of a congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as “homegrown terrorists.”” [Huffington Post] [btw: Congressman Dennis Kucinich voted AGAINST the Bill]

The Huffington Post article appeared on 11/26, the link to which is:

Following is a sample letter to your Senator that can be used as is, or, as a template for your own.

Dear Senator

It has come to my attention, that The U.S. House of Representatives has recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This is now up for review in the Senate Judiciary committee, listed as S.1959. (more…)

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