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Although I haven't gotten an answer from the Brunner campaign yet on the Patriot Act, I did have a conversation where I made sure that they were aware of my presence on Daily Kos.   While I was doing some searching to complete my opposition research concerning Afghanistan, I came across some interesting and ultimately telling items concerning Lt. Governor Lee Fisher and the front page of Daily Kos also shows why former Congressman and Bush Trade Representative Rob Portman cannot be seriously considered a good candidate for Senate.  I will save the those bits for last.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner if elected would be Ohio's first female Senator and she has expressed her view that women are very underrepresented in the Senate and seeing just how Ben Nelson(DINO-NE) held out as the 60th vote on health care because he wanted the Senate to have its own Coathanger Amendment, Brunner has a very valid point.  We are also seeing thanks to the muckraking work of MinistryofTruth and StrandedWind that the movement to fire Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts is gaining momentum as Connie Saltonstall(MI-01) and Lois Herr(PA-16 candidate) are garnering netroots support in their candidacies.  Herr is already in Peanut Butter PAC's candidate pool and Saltonstall will be added very shortly.   So yes, we want women to have a larger voice in Congress and to make sure that their medical decisions are upheld by the law and that no one can block access to them exercising their own choices with their bodies.   Brunner from her campaign site is very clear on her position on women's reproducitve rights:

I support a woman's right to choose and to make her own health care decisions. I support each individual's right to make informed, independent decisions about sex, health, and family planning.

She also issued a press release when the Stupak Amendment passed the House.  This quote says it all about how strongly Brunner feels that Stupak is wrong and the policy is misogynistic, and I appauld how she just frames it.

"By voting yesterday to block women from essential reproductive health care services, the anti-choice obstructionists in Congress have abandoned Ohio women and would legislate a woman's constitutional right to choose ineffective at best," Brunner said. "The final health care bill must not only guarantee each Ohioan's right to the health care they need when they need it, it also must also provide access to reproductive health services for all, regardless of income level and regardless of whether or not they receive government subsidized care," Brunner added. "Universal health care is based on the principle that health care should be equally accessible to all citizens. Universal health care does not allow income to determine who gets care and services, and who does not. The Stupak-Pitts amendment violates this basic tenet."

Fisher is also pro-choice according to his statement on his campaign site.

In November 2009, Lee called the anti-choice amendment to the health care reform bill before the U.S. House "discriminatory language far beyond existing law in restricting a woman’s right to choose," and urged the U.S. Senate to reject similar language in its health care reform legislation.

His statement and others show that he is in agreement with Brunner on this issue, but since he also has received money from Harry Reid's PAC and Blanche Lincoln's PAC, how much he would stick to this principle if elected is questionable.

Portman is definately anti-choice.  On his Issues page which I won't link to this time, but you can see it for yourself.   He brags about his 100% rating from a Right To Life group and I have no doubt that if elected, Portman would work to roll back women's rights to the '50s...the  1850s.

Seeing how some Kossacks are very passionate about Afghanistan, I looked at that too, and there is a decided difference between all three on that issue.

Brunner is for a withdrawal from Afghanistanand reversed an earlier policy position from 2009.  In her HuffPo article, Brunner articulates that the Bush policy of private contractors in Afghanistan makes the Afghan corruption problem worse rather than better and she says that the key of Afghanistan's future is its own people.  At the end of the article,, which is a great read, she states:

Eight years and nearly a trillion dollars of our tax money-gone. More than 5,200 American lives-also gone. It's time to say, "Enough." It's time to employ more than military and mercantile strategies in Afghanistan and set a timetable to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

Brunner also has stated that she wants the money that has gone towards our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to be put towards building infrastructure here in America.  She can clearly see where our national priorities ought to be.

Fisher in a press release said that he opposed "the surge" but thought fighting Al Queda was still important and there is no mention of his thoughts on withdrawal making that conspicuous by its absence.  One Ohio Blog thought he was just pandering and I see no evidence that contradicts this.

Portman issued a statement that he supported the surge in Afghanistan and said he had one disagreement.

However, I disagree with an exit strategy that includes arbitrary withdrawal dates that will embolden our enemies.

In short, Mr. Portman like John McCain supports infinite war and running large deficits to protect corrupt governments that will support us taking natural resources from that country.  How typically Republican: deficit peacocks that were silent during the Bush years where Bush ran it up like Paris Hilton's credit card.

In searching for policy positions to put in this article, I have learned two new things about Fisher.  One is big problem, the other is something that regretfully few will care about.  The first is that Fisher is woefully out of touch with the African-American community in Ohio,  and has shown in his home county, Cuyahoga County, that he takes their support for granted.  He shouldn't.   A telling moment for his out of touch-ness is that he supported a ballot measure that many African-American community leaders opposed: Issue 6.   From what I can gather, Issue 6 was a referendum in Cuyahoga County that changed its county government from 3 elected county commissioners plus a few other appointed positions to where there is only one elected county official and several other appointed positions that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason would have control over. Where I come from that's called a power grab.  Issue 6 passed and it will be interesting to see how black voters respond in May to how they will likely not have much of a voice in the governance of Cuyahoga County once the new governing structure is put into place.   Brunner on the other hand, has significant support among the African-American community.  She did after all eliminate the long lines that plagued Ohio during the 2004 elections when 2008 had its election cycles.  Brunner also attended the re-opening of the Lancer, a restaurant that is a symbol for Cleveland's African-American community.  Fisher, despite it being in his home turf didn't show.  Brunner has also been endorsed by groups like the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus.  Based on this, I wouldn't be surprised if African-Americans turned out in large numbers for Brunner in May and if she is the nominee, they would turn out in large numbers in November.  I have my doubts if Fisher would get that kind of turnout if he was the nominee.

Fisher in his search for job ideas from Ohioans stated that he doesn't consider marijuana reform a viable solution to the jobs issue, according to an Ohio blog. I know this isn't a big issue with Kossacks and I know we have more pressing matters right now, but Fisher should know that he isn't the type of guy that NORML members(I was a member for a whle) would support.

And finally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Portman is apparently a Birther.  Yes, even conservative Senate nominees can be wingnuts.  If Portman cannot honestly articulate that Barack Obama is an American citizen, then he is obviously unfit for any office.  Common sense dictates that when Hawaii authenticated his birth in Honolulu, that is definite proof that our President is not a Kenyan citizen.

I look forward to examining more candidates very soon and your comments are always welcome.  Cross-posted to Progressive Electorate and Peanut Butter PAC

Originally posted to pistolSO on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:08 PM PST.

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Just wanted to add, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MinistryOfTruth, dsc11, pistolSO

      if you want to go after Portman on Afghanistan, it'd be worth checking out his time at OMB.  I'm not sure about how bad it was during his tenure, but OMB got mocked a lot.  I remember Ambassador Neumann saying at one point that he wanted to drop a JDAM on them.

      "Thanks for this Edition of Warporn Daily" -greenskeeper

      by Setrak on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 08:02:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You think marijanua isn't a big issue here? (3+ / 0-)

      Oh, you are so very very wrong! I thought Lee's snippy dismissal of it was inappropriate although I have no doubt his "give me your job creation suggestions" page was being bombared by hits from the pro-pot crowd.

      Just a couple of other things. Yes, Lee is pro-choice, as I never failed to point out during the nearly six months after his issues page went up that he had no position there on reproductive freedom. None. Nada. Zip. I think he finally put it up around Christmas. His problem usually isn't his positions, which are mostly fine, but his unwillingness to be clear and unequivocal and to stand up for them. Jennifer doesn't have that problem.

      Also on Stupak, Jennifer released a detailed statement that Monday and would have done it even earlier except she was seething. Lee released his on Wednesday. It was extremely brief and he deliberately back-dated it to make it look like he was more on top of it than he was. I think he didn't anticipate how furious women would be. I think Lee is not all that in touch with how people feel.

      You said one blog thought he was pandering on the surge. That's always a good fall-back guess when it comes to Lee. (I'll click on your link in a minute to see which of my fellow Ohio bloggers said that or if it was even me and I forgot).

      I don't know why you even bother to bring up Portman. He's a hardcore conservative and would be way worse than Voinovich.

      Also, I should add that you kind of garbled the Issue 6 thing, although I think you are correct that lee has virtually no support in Cleveland's black community (not a lot of $2,400 checks there). Although your details are wrong, the gist is right: Issue 6 blew up our county government under the trumped-up pretext of "corruption" and replaced it with a secretively written charter (actually a virtual duplicate of one the Republicans have been pushing for over a decade) that aims to turn control of the most Democratic county in Ohio over to right-wing corporate power. The guy who initiated it, along with the vile and corrupt Bill Mason, is the state's biggest Republican fundraiser who doesn't live in the county and hosted George Bush at his home several times during his presidency, and held a fundraiser with Sean Hannity last year. The real goal is to destroy the Democratic party here and to help guarantee that Ohio will stay safely Republican for decades to come. It was evil and ugly and Fisher's endorsement of it at the last minute (the Friday before the election) looked like super-pandering. Interestingly, some of the corporate backers of Issue 6, whose donation reports (which we have at my newspaper) are a litany of large sums poured into Republican coffers, also show anomalous donations to Lee Fisher around that time. Could there be a connection? Did he sell out for donations? I don't know.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 09:48:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks anastacia for your reply. (0+ / 0-)

        I am examining Portman's policy stances to show that he is a very conservative candidate(and Brunner or Fisher should jump on him for allegedly being a Birther).

        Thank you for correcting me and giving more detail on Issue 6.  I think it's something that Kossacks should know about for sure.

        Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

        by pistolSO on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 10:00:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Issue 6 is complicated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pistolSO, J Brunner Fan

          And we are now starting to see how horrible it is, and how much more corrupt than our old government. It's a debacle.

          I don't know whether the birther issue will resonate with Ohio voters or not, but I know that they will not be excited to hear that Portman thinks that free trade and the outsourcing of jobs has been great for Ohio's economy. I still think that's Portman's biggest weakness. Sherrod won on the issue in 2006, and things have only gotten worse here economically. Remember my sig of last year — "Rob Portman: He sent your job to China"? I'm thinking of having it put on bumper stickers to distribute throughout the state.

          Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

          by anastasia p on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 10:04:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Brunner would be great with Sherrod Brown. (7+ / 0-)

    Would move the Overton Window to the left and hopefully would soon mean no more Boehner in Congress.

    Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

    by pistolSO on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:17:34 PM PST

  •  Gender should be irrelevant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, RandomNonviolence, pistolSO

    Although I posted a diary yesterday about my meeting with Lee Fisher, I am not endorsing him. Nor am I panning him; I don't enough about either candidate to make an informed judgment.

    So I am not going to argue with you about who would be the better candidate. It's this part that I have trouble with:

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner if elected would be Ohio's first female Senator and she has expressed her view that women are very underrepresented in the Senate and seeing just how Ben Nelson(DINO-NE) held out as the 60th vote on health care because he wanted the Senate to have its own Coathanger Amendment, Brunner has a very valid point.

    I suggest that the fact that electing Brunner would add another woman senator should not, in itself, be a factor. Though are still disparities between men and women in the workforce, the question, the only question as far as I am concerned, in evaluating candidates for the Senate should be who will do the best job for all Americans, who will come closest (for no one will ever precisely match my concerns) to dealing with the issues I care about in a way I can live with.

    Those issues include parity between the genders, of course. But that is a goal that can be pursued by people of good will of any gender.

    I think we have reached the stage in the political development of the country when we should be able to judge the candidate's qualities on their merits.

    By the way, my state is represented in the Senate by two women, a fact which I find intriguing but no longer something to take particular pride in. I will support Senator Boxer in her re-election bid because I think she is the best person running for the job. I will probably support Sen. Feinstein if she runs, not because I agree with her so much, but because she will beat any Democrat who challenges her, and I'd still rather have her than Fiorina or whatever other Republican kook can survive a California GOP primary.

    Yes, it's a good thing we have women in the Senate. All things being equal, we should have more of them. But it would be an insult to support a lesser woman over a better man (which is not to say that Brunner is lesser than Fisher; as I said, I don't know them well enough to judge that yet).

    It is not within the powers of the government to help its citizens get into heaven, nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:45:09 PM PST

    •  I didn't say that Brunner is better because.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MinistryOfTruth, dsc11

      her gender, I said that given how Nelson (and Stupak before him) hijacked the health care debate over women deciding what they do with their own bodies.  That should be a clear sign the women don't have enough of a voice in Congress when lawmakers seriously considered stripping them of access to carry out their own medical decisions.

      Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

      by pistolSO on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:54:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's embaraassing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        when countries like Botswana have much bigger percentages of women in office than the U.S. The fact is that if you are not at the table, you don't get heard. We've got some serious structural issues with this here in Ohio right now, and the state party has made our path in November considerably rougher with their tin-eared behavior, treating women like they should just go along like good little girls and not make a fuss about their puny little reproductive rights. The climate is still toxic here, and Jennifer on the ticket can go a long way toward healing this.

        Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

        by anastasia p on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 09:56:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it SHOULD be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RandomNonviolence, pistolSO

      but it is a long way from being, and so if all things are equal, I go with the wman. In this case, all things are not equal. Jennifer is by far the best candidate.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 09:53:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know yet who is the better candidate. I agree that Brunner does sound attractive, but I am not persuaded that Fisher is as bad as some Brunner partisans here make him out to be; I find some of the arguments polemical and too eager to dismiss the positions he says on his website he is holding, and that always make me a bit suspicious. (Also, I do not automatically espouse the "progressive" position - in quotes because it isn't always well-defined.)

        However, to be honest, the Ohio senate race is not my first concern; here in California we have enough political fights to more than occupy my time. (I intend to support Boxer over whomever, and Brown over Whitman, but that should be obvious. I may also be losing my mayor (Gavin Newsom) and the fight to replace him is going to be, shall we say, interesting.) So, in the end, I will probably be guided by the consensus that emerges here on the Ohio race, my main concern being, frankly, to support the candidate who can best put the seat in the Democratic column.

        It is not within the powers of the government to help its citizens get into heaven, nor to save them from hell.

        by DanK Is Back on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 10:12:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, PistolSO! Great diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsc11, pistolSO, J Brunner Fan

    But an even BETTER poll!

    I love these in-depth policy comparisons. It can never, ever get to wonky for me

    FULL DISCLOSURE - I'm a paid employee of PeanutButterPAC, a progressive, Kossack founded PAC.

    by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:49:28 PM PST

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MinistryOfTruth, dsc11

      I decided to have some fun at Portman's expense.   I did have one typo though:  It should have said "punch a hippie."

      Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

      by pistolSO on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 07:58:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Portman is a fucking idiot, he just set his own (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anastasia p, dsc11, pistolSO

        trap.

        by leaving himself open to being called a birther he is pandering to the racist, paranoid CT driven GOP base and waiving goodbye to the African American vote, which is essential in Ohio, especially high voter concentration area like Clevland, Akron and Cincy.
        Great find, great research, and you gave me an idea for a youtube/TV ad. How many GOP Sen Candidates are birther/racists?

        Because why else would someone think this President isn't American? I have two answers, his skin color, and his name doesn't sound like John Smith. Both = racism

        FULL DISCLOSURE - I'm a paid employee of PeanutButterPAC, a progressive, Kossack founded PAC.

        by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 08:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, I don't think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          manwithnoname, pistolSO

          he's waving goodbye to the African-American vote because they weren't giving him the time of day to begin with. Back in 2006, I had friends who were convinced that Ken Blackwell, being African-American, would suck up a large percentage of the black vote. All day, outside the polling place where I was an observer, Blackwell campaign workers were passing out flyers that said "Help us make history — elect Ohio's first black governor." And the largely African-American voters in those precincts cast their votes more than 10-1 for Ted Strickland. I know — I watched the long reports come out of the touchscreen machines (the only election where we ever used the things). In one precinct, Bob Fitrakis (the Green candidate) actually got more votes than Blackwell. Those voters were not fooled.

          Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

          by anastasia p on Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 10:00:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO

    thanks for the info.

    LeBron James is worth way more than any Wall Street Banker.

    by J Brunner Fan on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 06:55:49 AM PST

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