Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sherrod Brown & Connie Schultz in Wadsworth

Sherrod Brown and Connie Schultz arrived at the Masonic Hall in Wadsworth to a standing ovation and great cheers. I was amazed at how many Democrats showed up to an event in Medina County. Sherrod commented on how many times he'd been to events at this particular hall and had never seen so many people gathered there before.

The feeling in the room was reflected in the expression on Sherrod's face -- positive, happy and yet trying very hard not to act like the race was already won. Sherrod spoke about the time 13 months ago when he and Connie were making the decision for the senate run. He said that he was told the way to win in Ohio was to take a "Republican lite" position to appeal to the Independants and the moderate Republicans (if there are any left!) -- but that was not the plan he chose to follow. He wanted to stay true to his principles and to campaign on a platform that allowed voters to make a choice.

Sherrod then went through quite a list of contrasts between his positions and DeWine's:

Brown wants to fix No Child Left Behind -- DeWine doesn't.
Brown voted against the Iraq war -- DeWine voted for it. (This item got a huge crowd response!)
Brown is for middle class tax relief -- DeWine is for cutting taxes on the top 3%.
Brown is for affordable health care -- DeWine is on the side of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
Brown is for creating renewable energy sources -- DeWine is funded by the Oil and Gas industry.
Brown wants to create new jobs in Ohio -- DeWine is backed by companies that outsource jobs.

These positions are no longer the domain of extreme left wing radicalism. They are positions that are on the minds of many citizens after years of Republican corruption and greedy self-interest. People are ready to listen to a progressive candidate and to support his actions on their behalf.

After the speech, Sherrod and Connie were each surrounded by eager well-wishers. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to Connie. I told her that this was the first political campaign I had ever worked on and that I had been a very cynical non-voter since the day George McGovern lost to Richard Nixon. She asked me why I had decided to support her husband. I said that Sherrod doesn't come across as a politician -- but rather a public servant. That seemed to please her very much. She said she agreed and could never have married a politician! She also said that the Republicans are following them around everywhere they go and trying desperately trying to find something to use against them. It must be a very trying time for her. She is going to write a book about her experiences out on the campaign trail to be called "And His Lovely Wife" -- which is how she keeps hearing herself introduced as she goes from one event to the next. I can't wait to buy it and stand in line for an autograph!

Prior to the event, I listened to a short but pungent and highly articulate speech by Tom Shaw (photo at right), currently running for congress in Medina against the old right wing hack Ralph Regula. Ralphie boy is not a public servant, but a politician of the worst kind. Tom spoke about the current "axis of corruption" in Congress and the need to vote for representatives willing to clean up the messes left behind. If you live in his district, please consider sending him some money. I do believe that too many people in Medina go to the polls and cast their votes for Regula as if they were automatons -- since they know no other name than his. But you need to encourage a fellow like Shaw. "For as Ohio goes in 2006, so goes the nation in 2008," said Sherrod Brown, quoting someone he seldom quotes -- George Will!

One other tidbit -- Capri Cafaro was in attendance, representing the Mark Dann for Attorney General campaign. Evidently her defeat in the 13th district primary was not enough to keep her out of politics for good. I think she needs to prove to the voters that she is more than a child of wealth and privilege. Working for another candidate's campaign is a good idea -- maybe she'll learn what it is to be a true progressive candidate.

The Wadsworth Masonic Temple filled with Democrats ready to hit the canvassing trail!

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