Over the past three years, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has cultivated an image of a moderate Republican, a balanced, sensible guy who stands apart from ideological gridlock and stands by everyday Ohioans. However, this characterization ignores Portman’s ultraconservative voting record on a number of critical issues.
Almost three weeks ago, Portman voted to block a limited, bipartisan bill to improve background checks in the wake of tragic shootings.
These minimalist measures are supported by 82 percent of Ohioans, according to a recent Fox News poll. Even before the final roll call, Portman voted unsuccessfully to prevent debate on the issue. While shameful in its own right, this was the only the latest example of “moderate Rob Portman” following his ultraconservative ideology instead of representing his constituents.
Over the past two months, Portman has voted against two of President Obama’s most qualified Cabinet nominees — CIA Director John Brennan and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Although these two officials were eventually confirmed with bipartisan majorities, Portman stuck with his most conservative colleagues in refusing to even hold a vote on Hagel.
In January, Portman voted against a bipartisan compromise to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government that was passed by the Republican House and signed by President Obama. At the same time, he voted against a bipartisan measure to provide relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. While trying to secure funding for the suffering people of New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie noted that this gridlock was “why the American people hate Congress.”
These kind of votes are nothing new for Portman. Last June, he helped defeat the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women receive equal pay for equal work.
Although Portman may have won over some Ohioans with his recent support of gay marriage, it is important to look at the totality of his record in Congress. He has masqueraded as a moderate for far too long. Time and again, he has stood with the extreme right-wing ideologues.
As Ohioans, we must hold Portman accountable, because his votes on everything from gun control to budgetary issues to foreign policy are having substantial negative effects on our state and its communities.
The sanctity of life is a major tenet of the Catholic faith. In 2012, a representative of the Catholic Church sat down before Congress to express this defense of the faith. The church feels that its principles should not be trampled upon by the government, especially for political gain.
Now the Catholics have another chance to defend their faith. They have a chance to voice their anger at the imposition of something that flies in the face of their religion.
The Boston Marathon bomber faces the death penalty for his terrorist attack. The Catholic Church is adamant about the sanctity of life, no matter how small.
The church has historically condemned the death penalty. Will the Catholics who supported fighting against the government “imposing” birth control stand up for their principles and refuse to support any politician who is for the death penalty? Or will they choose which scriptures they want to uphold, rationalizing their support for those who go against most of their other tenets just because they are against abortion?
Future of the Browns
I read the April 29 article “Recorded talks by Pilot Flying J are basis of raid.” There is no direct link to either Jimmy Haslam or his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, but there are taped conversations of top sales brass. It appears as if Pilot Flying J did defraud trucking companies.
I hope that Jimmy Haslem runs the Browns in an above-board, straight way. Cleveland does not need a sports scandal, but rather a championship. I hope that I will see one in my lifetime.