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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The collapse on Wall Street and of our banking system; the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11, injured 17, and released millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months; and, the deaths of 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia...all are a cautionary reminder that Big Business cannot be trusted on its own.

You know, I predicted the financial collapse long before it happened. All of the indicators were there: deregulation of the banks, leading to mergers that created financial monsters "too big to allow to fail" (did we learn nothing from the Great Depression and the Recession of 1980?); The Federal Reserve manipulating interest rates to give a false sense of security, while abetting mindless spending; our elected officials raiding the Treasury; people paying a million dollars for tract houses in California; Government borrowing from foreign countries to pay for two wars, instead of raising taxes as we had in the past; a Vice President scornfully saying deficits don't matter. Oh, the indicators were all there. And like drunken sailors our leaders just kept swimming into the abyss.

Then there's the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Did you know that a device that costs just one half million dollars may have prevented the oil spill in the Gulf? Yes, that's right. The Orlando Independent Examiner reported that "the device is called an acoustic switch or actuator. It is a remote-controlled device deployed off oil rigs that sends acoustic impulses through the water, triggering an underwater valve or explosives to shut down the well even if the rig is catastrophically damaged or abandoned. Norway and Brazil require these devices in all offshore drilling operations. While they are not required with rigs offshore the U.K., BP elects to deploy them there. BP chose not to equip oil rigs off the coast of the U.S. with acoustic triggers because U.S. regulations enacted in 2003 do not require companies to do so."

"The Upper Big Branch coal mine", according to ABC News, "had amassed scores of citations from mining safety officials, including 57 infractions just last month for violations that included repeatedly failing to develop and follow a ventilation plan. Another Massey subsidiary agreed to pay $4.2 million in criminal and civil fines last year and admitted to willfully violating mandatory safety standards that led to the deaths of two miners."

No, Big Business cannot be trusted on its own. 5,214 workers died on the job in 2008 alone, and that doesn't count the number who died from occupational diseases. It is why we need regulations.

I have to tell you, I do not like politicians who put on a performance for television, sneering at a stack of books of regulations, just to win votes. It demeans the lives and suffering of those who have died or been permanently disabled because their employers care more for the bottom line than for them.

The Governor says a review has already been done and over 2,000 regulations have been eliminated. If elected, I would be willing to initiate a further review to do away with unnecessary ones. However I will not sacrifice the health and safety of Ohioans. I will not do so on the backs of those less fortunate. Nor will I remove any regulations that would further erode the environment, which sustains us.

Lastly, regulations are only as good as enforcement. If we are not enforcing laws and regulations, it becomes a stealthy means of doing away with them. We need to step up enforcement.