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.