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The Suburbanite
  • Area Dems dish on hot campaign issues

  • Two Democratic congressmen sought to rally the party faithful Saturday at a party dinner in Jackson Township, presenting their thoughts on what issues their races to represent parts of Stark County are about.

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  • Two Democratic congressmen who are seeking to be elected this fall to represent parts of Stark County addressed Democrats at a party dinner Saturday and indicated they would use last year’s defeat of Issue 2 and the preservation of federal entitlement programs as issues in their campaigns.
    Both U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan,
    D-Niles, addressed hundreds of Democrats at the Stark County Democratic Party’s 2012 Patron Dinner at La Pizzaria restaurant on Dressler Road NW.
    Sutton is running against U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci,
    R-Wadsworth, to represent the new 16th Congressional District, which includes Jackson and Lawrence townships, North Canton and parts of Perry and Lake townships.
    Ryan is seeking to represent Alliance, Lexington Township and parts of Washington Township in Alliance, which are in the new 13th District. He’s opposed by Republican Marisha Agana.
    Sutton indicated that the issues related to Issue 2, which would have curtailed public unions’ ability to collectively bargain, are similar to the ones in her race.  
    “This race and this redistricting is a continuation, my friends, of Issue 2,” she said, discussing her statements last year against the measure. “This is the cause of my life. It’s about fundamental fairness. It’s about making sure that the American dream exists for everyone in this country, not just those who are privileged and are at the very top.”
    Sutton said that Renacci has opposed organized labor.
    “My opponent ... has repeatedly voted against collective bargaining from the House floor. Against prevailing wage for our trade. (Republicans) even voted to try to eliminate the National Labor Relations Board,” she said.
    Ryan spent several minutes defending federal government programs he said have helped build the middle class and that some Republicans in decades past supported. He referred to Republican proposals to change Medicare to a voucher program.
    Ryan said Medicare has lifted two-thirds of seniors out of poverty.
    “We don’t want to live in a society where someone works for 40 or 50 years and then we cast them off into the woods.”
    Ryan also previewed some of the points he’ll use to aid President Obama’s re-election campaign in Ohio. He said Obama saved the American auto industry and its suppliers with the government takeover of GM and Chrysler in 2009. He said Obama slapped tariffs on steel tubing and tires from China.
    Obama “made sure he signed the bill into law that every single American will have access to affordable health care,” Ryan said. “They want to talk about birth certificates and this and that and Solyndra and all these other things. We have to talk about what this man has done.”