U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and state Treasurer Josh Mandel have been caught engaging in the pay-to-play machinations of the wealthy and politically connected.
As Benjamin Suarez goes to trial for charges of illegally channeling contributions to Renacci and Mandel, voters should know that Renacci and Mandel received, respectively, $90,000 and $100,000 from Suarez and his employees.
At the same time, Renacci wrote a letter to Gov. John Kasich seeking a favor for Suarez. Suarez wanted Ohio’s governor to intervene for him in a California district attorney investigation of Suarez’s company.
Kasich’s chief counsel then forwarded Suarez’s complaint to the California attorney general and asked for an investigation of the district attorney. Mandel wrote a letter to California’s state treasurer at Suarez’s request.
As Akron’s former chief prosecutor, I know the discomfort of being questioned for investigations and prosecutions of people with wealth and power. The rich cannot be allowed to buy immunity if we are to continue as a government of laws, and not men.
Renacci is one of the 10 wealthiest members of the U.S. House, with over $30 million. Undoubtedly, many of his friends are wealthy, too. However, Renacci should not use the prestige of the office the people entrusted to him to interfere with the investigations of friends who donate to his campaign.
Voters will have the opportunity to vote against big money in politics by voting to replace Renacci and Mandel this November.
Douglas J. Powley
Prompt care at the VA
The scandalous revelations about the treatment of veterans at many Veterans Affairs clinics and hospitals must be countered with the care I have received at the Youngstown VA Outpatient Clinic and Cleveland’s Wade Park facility.
A routine exam at the local VA clinic revealed a possibly serious condition. I was X-rayed that day, and a CAT scan in Cleveland followed in five days. Further treatment has been prompt over the past six months.
For 40-plus years, I have always been treated promptly and, I believe, competently, by doctors, nurses and office personnel.
It is important to show both sides of VA care.
Unflattering and unnecessary
Your June 8 story “A poorer, dumber Summit” was an insult to all the intelligent people living in Summit County who lack college degrees or high-paying jobs.
Brain drain? Dumber and poorer? These are, indeed, “unflattering” and unnecessary terms.
Dumb and wealthy are relative terms and shouldn’t have been used in this story about how certain people are bored or unhappy with the amenities of the town or area in which they’re living.
I know several people who have college degrees and are “dumb” and several people with none who are highly intelligent.
Read this story again and omit the words “dumber,” “brain drain” and “wealthy.” You’ll find that the story still conveys the information the author intended.
The fact of the matter is that Akron and Summit County are not interesting for some people, and it will always be that way. A person’s economic or educational status has nothing to do with it.
The author owes everyone an apology.
Deserves to be vetoed
Thankfully, Gov. John Kasich has not yet signed Senate Bill 310. I hope he is using his time to thoughtfully reconsider this misguided attempt to roll back our state energy efficiency and renewable energy standards.
The potential for energy efficiency and clean energy investment to spur job growth should be embraced by our elected officials. The recently released U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carbon rules provide even more incentive to get the state standards back on track.
We have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from the impacts of climate change; we have an obligation to move our economy forward in a way that does not put our children’s health at risk.
We can do both by continuing on the path of innovation. I hope everyone will call Gov. Kasich and tell him that he still has time to do what is right for Ohio. He should veto S.B. 310.
Foresight of the founders
The writer of the May 30 letter “What are atheists so upset about?” unintentionally answers his own question. Throughout, he uses “Christian” and “religious” interchangeably, almost as if other faiths don’t exist.
That is the reason the writers of the Constitution made no mention of religion, other than forbidding religious tests for public office. Even the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, does not mention Christianity.
Could it be that those writers knew of the tendency of some people to inflict their beliefs on others, by force if necessary? But that was long ago, and we don’t do that anymore, do we?
Now check the news. In Louisiana, a teacher was recently taken to court because she bullied a 9-year-old child who was a Buddhist. In Congress, a group of Christians booed a Hindu priest who was doing a benediction last year. So much for tolerance and inclusion.