Portman Faces Credibility Crisis As Fast-Track Amendments Begin

COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman faces a credibility crisis as debate over the so-called “Fast-Track” bill begins today with an amendment to bolster retraining programs for workers displaced by trade.

The Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment to bolster Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that helps Ohio workers whose jobs are displaced by trade agreements… trade agreements like NAFTA, which Portman supports, and the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Portman voted to Fast-Track.

But not only has Portman helped to outsource Ohio jobs, he’s voted repeatedly to slash the retraining programs Ohio workers depend on – making his election-cycle conversion hard to believe.

Rob Portman has made a career out of siding with Washington special interests to send Ohio jobs overseas, but now that he’s worried about losing his own job, Portman is hiding behind the same retraining programs he’s voted to slash time and time again,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue. “All the amendments in the world can’t change the fact that Portman will stand with the Washington special interests that fund his campaigns and vote to Fast-Track jobs right out of Ohio with TPP, just like he did with NAFTA.

Rob Portman’s Real Record on TAA

  • In March 2011, Portman voted for a bill that would have cut job training funding in Ohio by nearly $60 million, cutting off job training for nearly 80,000 Ohio workers, including more than 6,000 whose jobs had been displaced. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]

  • In September 2011, Portman voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers hurt by trade. [Vote 143, 9/21/11]

  • In September 2011, Portman voted to hold support for Ohio workers hostage to the very trade agreements that cost them jobs in the first place by voting to delay Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) until pending trade agreements passed. [Vote 142, 9/21/11]

  • Portman voted twice in 2011, September and October, to end Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for certain companies altogether. [Vote 145, 9/21/11; Vote 168, 10/18/11]

  • In 2003, Portman voted against an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for workers displaced by foreign trade. [Vote 291, 6/19/03; Washington Post, 6/22/03]

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ICYMI: Rove Dark Money Group Launches Pro-Portman Ad Blitz As Ohio’s GOP Senator Struggles To Defend Record On Trade

COLUMBUS – Just as Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is struggling to defend his dismal record on trade, fellow Bush administration crony Karl Rove swooped in this week with a dark money super PAC ad that strains belief in depicting Portman as a defender of Medicare, despite vote after vote to end Medicare as we know it.

For those who are keeping track, Rove’s pro-Portman ad blitz comes nearly 18 months before the election — and in the same week Portman voted twice to move forward with debate of fast-track legislation that paves the way for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Here are the facts on Portman’s record on Medicare:

·         Portman voted to turn Medicare into a voucher program THREE TIMES

o   Portman has voted for the extreme Ryan budget the Wall Street Journal said would “essentially end Medicare” every single time it has come up for a vote – in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

·         Portman voted to “severely slash” Medicare and Social Security

o   In 2011, Portman voted for the extreme “Cut, Cap & Balance” plan opposed by AARP and The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

o    According to The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: “These proposals would require draconian spending cuts of such a magnitude as to force policymakers to severely slash Medicare, Medicaid, and many other programs.”

[National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 7/18/11]

o    AARP said the plan put Social Security and Medicare “at risk for arbitrary reductions.”

[AARP Letter, 7/21/11]

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Ohio House Republicans’ Medicaid Plan Creates Bureaucratic Nightmare, While Cancelling Affordable Health Care For Thousands

COLUMBUS – A nonpartisan research group sounded the alarm this week about the Ohio House Republicans’ budget plan, which calls for changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program that would create a vast new bureaucracy, place burdensome mandates on participants and enable cancellation of coverage for the mentally ill, domestic violence victims and the medically frail.

“George Orwell himself would be proud of the House GOP’s ‘Healthy Ohio’ plan,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick. “For a party that claims to hate government waste and bureaucracy, Republicans are proving themselves to be quite inventive in creating more paperwork and mandates for Ohio’s working families that need access to affordable health care. The inevitable result will be thousands of families kicked off their coverage and forced into overcrowded emergency rooms, while insurance rates go up for all of us.”

The Center for Community Solutions released their report on the Ohio House Republicans’ Medicaid plan this week and detailed how “Healthy Ohio” would require children to open health savings accounts, force many participants to drop coverage and seek care in “costly hospital emergency room settings” and increase government spending on “administratively burdensome” requirements. In addition, “Healthy Ohio” provides no exceptions for participants who suffer from natural disasters or domestic violence, the medically frail or mentally ill.

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Portman Votes To Fast Track Jobs Out Of Ohio

Republican Senator Looks to Mislead Voters on China, Worker Training Record

COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman voted once again today to move forward with debate of fast-track legislation that paves the way for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and sided with Washington special interests over pleas from Ohio communities to stop his outsourcing agenda.

As the Senate looks to consider amendments next week, Portman is attaching himself to anything he can to distract Ohio voters from his long record of outsourcing their jobs – including China currency and Trade Adjustment Assistance issues he’s been on the wrong side of for years.

“Rob Portman is running for political cover wherever he can find it, but all the amendments in the world can’t cover up Portman’s long history of siding with China and Washington special interests over Ohio jobs. No matter how many amendments Portman claims to support, at the end of the day he’s going to vote to fast-track the Pacific Trade Agreement and send Ohio jobs overseas, just like he did with NAFTA,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick.

Rob Portman: China’s Best Friend, Ohio Workers’ Worst Enemy

China

·         While Portman was U.S. Trade Representative from 2005-2006, the trade deficit with China soared up $228 billion, an increase of more than 20 percent. [PolitiFact, 9/9/10]

·         Yet Portman failed to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, even drawing criticism for his inaction from the libertarian Cato Institute.  [Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/22/12]

·         And as a result, Ohio workers lost jobs: A 2014 study showed that Ohio had lost more than 100,000 jobs due to the trade deficit with China that grew under Portman –  77,000 in manufacturing alone. [Cleveland Plain Dealer,12/11/14; Economic Policy Institute, 12/11/14]

Worker Retraining

·         In March 2011, Portman voted for a bill that would have cut job training funding in Ohio by nearly $60 million, cutting off job training for nearly 80,000 Ohio workers, including more than 6,000 whose jobs had been displaced. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]

·         In September 2011, Portman voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers hurt by trade. [Vote 143, 9/21/11]

·         In September 2011, Portman voted to hold support for Ohio workers hostage to the very trade agreements that cost them jobs in the first place by voting to delay Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) until pending trade agreements passed. [Vote 142, 9/21/11]

·         Portman voted twice in 2011, September and October, to end Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for certain companies altogether. [Vote 145, 9/21/11; Vote 168, 10/18/11]

·         In 2003, Portman voted against an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for workers displaced by foreign trade. [Vote 291, 6/19/03; Washington Post, 6/22/03]

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Portman’s Outsourcing Agenda Suffers Huge Blow

COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s outsourcing agenda suffered a huge blow today when the Senate rejected his so-called “fast-track” legislation that paves the way for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Defeating fast-track was a victory for Ohio jobs, but it’s no thanks to Rob Portman,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick. “Rob Portman has spent his career cheerleading for NAFTA, voting for tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas, and turning a blind eye to repeated abuses by China – and today’s vote proves once again that while Ted Strickland is fighting on the side of Ohio workers, Rob Portman is fighting on the side of the Washington special interests who want to ship their jobs overseas.”

Portman is on Wrong Side of Fight for Ohio Jobs

Portman is a “Dedicated Outsourcer”

  • The U.S. Business Industry Council called Portman a, “dedicated outsourcer.” [CQ Today, 3/17/05]
  • Portman voted for and has been a consistently staunch supporter of NAFTA, which according to a 2011 study, has cost Ohio the 4th highest percentage of its total state employment among all states and the District of Columbia. [Vote 575, 11/17/93; Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/3/11; U.S. Trade Representative Press Release, March 2006]. AND Portman quarterbacked CAFTA for President George W. Bush. [CNN, 7/28/05]
  • Portman voted twice to support tax breaks for corporations that ship Ohio jobs overseas. [Vote 181, 7/19/12; Vote 249,7/30/14]

Portman’s pro-China record has jeopardized thousands of Ohio jobs

  • While Portman was U.S. Trade Representative, the trade deficit with China soared up $228 billion, an increase of more than 20 percent. [PolitiFact, 9/9/10]
  • Yet Portman failed to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, even drawing criticism for his inaction from the libertarian Cato Institute.  [Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/22/12]
  • And as a result, Ohio workers lost jobs: A 2014 study showed that Ohio had lost more than 100,000 jobs due to the trade deficit with China that grew under Portman –  77,000 in manufacturing alone. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/11/14; Economic Policy Institute, 12/11/14]

Portman has voted consistently against supporting the Ohio workers whose jobs were outsourced to countries like Mexico and China

  • In March 2011, Portman voted for a bill that would have cut job training funding in Ohio by nearly $60 million, cutting off job training for nearly 80,000 Ohio workers, including more than 6,000 whose jobs had been displaced. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]
  • In September 2011, Portman voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers hurt by trade. [Vote 143, 9/21/11]
  • In 2003, Portman voted against an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for workers displaced by foreign trade. [Vote 291, 6/19/03; Washington Post, 6/22/03]

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Ohio Loses Longtime Democratic Leader Paul Tipps

COLUMBUS— Former Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Paul Tipps died this afternoon (Tuesday, April 21st, 2015) surrounded by his loving family.

Tipps’ family released the following statement:

“Children with loving fathers learn early on that they are wanted and they have value.  Our father’s love inspired us to become secure, productive adults, and his lessons on life taught us to embrace the Democratic Party principles of opportunity and justice for all.

“People have long praised his ability bring people together to get things done. He partnered with CJ McLin during the height of racial tensions in Dayton. He deftly worked with both parties in the state legislature on policies that moved Ohio forward.

“Some of his abilities to lead came naturally. Some came from on-the-job-training as the father of four daughters.  The daughters out-numbered him and occasionally ganged up on him. But he always won by urging us to defer to our better angels.

“We miss him already.”

– Debora Batta, Penny Tipps, Tammara Tipps, Polly Tipps-Kesig and Tony Tipps

In response to Tipps’ passing, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said, “When Paul stepped down as Democratic Party Chair, Democrats controlled statewide offices, the legislature, Supreme Court and both U.S. Senate seats—an incredible legacy of success.  And all of those officeholders made a difference for the people of Ohio.”

“On a personal note, both when he served as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and long after, Paul was a personal friend and mentor of many Democrats over the years, including myself.

“My thoughts and prayers, and those of the entire Ohio Democratic Party, are with Paul and his family at this difficult time,” said Pepper.

Upon the news of Tipps’ passing, former U.S. Senator John Glenn said, “Annie and I are very saddened to know of the passing of our good friend Paul Tipps.  Paul did great work as a civic activist through so many years.  The State of Ohio, our John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University and we personally had no better friend.  His loss is a major one for us all.”

Here We Go Again…Republicans Take Aim at Workers in State Budget

COLUMBUS — Last week, Ohio House Republicans amended the proposed state budget to include language that attacks workers’ rights and workers in Ohio.  The amended language effectively bars faculty at public universities from organizing to collectively bargain, forbids project labor agreements, and prohibits charter schools employees the same rights afforded to their public counterparts.

Some of the amendment language is nearly identical to a section of Senate Bill 5 from 2011 that was enacted by the Republican led House and Senate and supported by Governor John Kasich.  Senate Bill 5 became the infamous anti-union law that Ohio voters overturned decisively in a referendum that fall.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement:

“Here we go again. This attack on the rights of those who educate our young people is a slap in the face to the voters who rejected this very provision in 2011.  And now House Republicans seem to have found a new target by attempting to undermine the skilled trades across our state. At a time that Ohio’s families seek an increase in wages, House Republicans remain dedicated to running them down. 

“Ohioans knew how much it would hurt our communities when they overwhelmingly spoke up and overturned SB 5 just a few years ago. House Republicans need to respect the will of the people and remove this language from the state budget immediately.”

Ohio Democratic Party Thanks NAACP, ACLU, League of Women Voters For Hard Work in Protecting Voting Rights

COLUMBUS- Today, following years of a hard-fought lawsuit filed by the NAACP against Secretary of State Jon Husted, a settlement agreement was reached that guarantees evening and weekend early voting hours through the end of 2018.


In response to the agreement, Ohio Democratic Party Chair of Engagement Nina Turner released the following statement:

“The Ohio Democratic Party thanks the NAACP, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, Bethel AME Church, and everyone else who worked so hard for this very important victory in protecting voting rights. It is a shame that over and over again, it takes lawsuits and groups going to court to defend Ohio voters from these relentless attacks on our constitutional rights. We are glad progress was made today and those harmful cuts to voting access were overturned.”

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

Most Recent Polling Shows Rob Portman Down By 9 Points

COLUMBUS — Today, Quinnipiac University released a poll of registered voters in Ohio, showing that if the election were held today, Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman would lose his job…by a whopping 9 points!  Additionally, Portman’s favorability rating is remarkably low at 38 percent.  Head-to-head, Portman is losing badly with Independents (50-32), and loses both men and women voters.
 
In response to Portman’s very weak poll results today, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Meredith Tucker released the following statement:
 
“The national media is finally waking up to what we’ve known in Ohio for years: Rob Portman is in deep trouble in Ohio, and that’s why he is raising and spending gobs of money on cynical attacks. As a Washington insider for decades, Portman’s priorities are with his special interest friends, not his Ohio constituents–which is why he is so unknown back at home.” 
 
“Senator Portman will struggle to change these numbers, given that his track record completely opposes the kind of job-creating leadership Ohioans are looking for,” Tucker added.
Rob Portman’s real record—opposing the auto industry rescue, calling NAFTA “a proven success”, exploding the deficit during the George W. Bush administration—is spelled out at NoJobsRob.com.
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Ohio Leaders Appalled By Latest Republican Voter Suppression Effort

COLUMBUS- Experts and leaders are calling out the news that Ohio Senate Republicans have inserted an amendment into the Senate version of the Transportation budget that would require residents to obtain an Ohio driver’s license in order to practice their right to vote. Such a measure is legally problematic because it adds a costly new obstacle to voting for, among others, many Ohio college students who happen to be from other states but are already legally permitted to vote in Ohio.

“This is textbook voter suppression from a bygone era,” said former Federal Sixth Circuit Judge Nathaniel Jones, also former general counsel of the NAACP. “A poll tax, tied to a criminal sanction, is the type of cynical obstacle to voting we fought to remove from the books decades ago. It’s a sad day when Ohio Republicans are now aiming such grotesque tactics directly at Ohio’s young voters.”

“We just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and now our state legislature is attempting to remove a basic American right—the right to vote,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, former Senior Vice President of The Ohio State University. “I hope the legislature will withdraw this unwarranted proposal that smacks in the face of 50 years of progress and could silence hundreds of thousands of student voices.”

Congressman Tim Ryan weighed in on the troubling amendment, saying, “This is a blatant, political and outrageous attempt to suppress young people from voting in Ohio.  Instead of coming up with ideas or more tolerant policies to bring young voters to their side, the Republican legislature knee caps them. So much for them being the party of Lincoln. “

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper called on those Ohio officials who have a responsibility to ensure that Ohio comport with election law to speak out. “Ohio doesn’t need any more costly, losing lawsuits because Republican legislators don’t understand basic Constitutional law. As the elections and legal leaders of Ohio, Secretary of State Husted and Attorney General DeWine should immediately speak out against this blatant and illegal voter suppression.”

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.