Why It’s Time to Break Up the ‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks

FORTUNE — America is downsizing. Whether it’s the food we eat, the cars we drive, or the houses we live in, Americans are concluding that smaller is better. Even U.S. corporations are starting to see the benefit of more Lilliputian institutions; the impending — and widely hailed — breakups of McGraw-Hill (MHP) and Kraft (KFT) are two examples.

So what about banks? It would surely be in the government’s interest to downsize megabanks. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) continues to push his bill to split apart the largest institutions.

Cleveland Company GrafTech Looks to Hire More Veterans

CLEVELAND – A Cleveland-area company wants to put servicemen and women back from war, back to work.

The manufacturer, GrafTech, is looking to hire veterans for dozens of open positions.

Sen. Sherrod Brown was at GrafTech Wednesday highlighting the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a new law that provides tax credits to companies that hire unemployed veterans.


Local Leaders Tout Benefits of Auto Bailout

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras and Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka, along with auto union leaders and business owners, are celebrating the positive economic spin-off effects of the auto industry bailout a few years ago.

“We have a resurgence of the auto. The American auto, manufactured right here in the Mahoning Valley by people in Austintown, Liberty, Newton Falls, Youngstown, Warren. This directly affects us,” Betras said.

Betras stressed that not only did the Lordstown plant employees benefit from the bailout, but small businesses, such as restaurants and local dealerships, saw a comeback as well. Warren Chevy dealer Diane Sauer said her business rebounded greatly after President Obama’s auto loan.

“It helped the feelings of everyone overall that they could buy a GM car and know that we were going to be in business to be able to do their warranty claims and continue to sell and service them down the road,” Sauer said.

The Chevy Cruze is now Sauer Chevrolet’s top seller. Lordstown union leaders believe had not it been for the bailout, things would be a lot different.

“Without the auto loans, we’re not working today. We’re definitely not on three shifts building this awesome car, the chevy cruze,” said UAW Local 1714 President Dave Green.

Other plants throughout the state also added extra shifts after the auto bailout, like the Toledo Chrysler Jeep Plant, while the Lordstown plant continues to add to its staff.

Area Dems blast Romney

Area Democrats railed on GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney Thursday at a local auto dealer.

Romney, who is currently polling about even with President Barack Obama in recent Ohio polls, has previously said he would let the auto industry go bankrupt, a statement Dave Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Chair, said would have been devastating to the Mahoning Valley.

“In the Mahoning Valley, that was the wrong decision,” Betras said at Sauer Chevrolet in Warren. “He would have let the Lordstown plant get knocked to the ground.”

Betras, United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Jim Graham and Local 1714 President Dave Green, stressed the importance of the auto industry to suppliers and other businesses in Ohio.

Kaptur holding news conference to highlight Toledo’s auto industry

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Detroit is making headlines with its auto show and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur will be highlighting Toledo’s auto industry.

Congresswoman Kaptur will be holding a news conference at 10 a.m. Thursday morning at Tom’s Tires located at 1630 W. Alexis Road.

She will join Jim Robinson of Tom’s Tires and UAW Local 14 President Ray Wood to discuss how the Toledo area has profited from the 2009 bailout.

The bailout allowed the jeep plant to produce new jobs and add a new third shift and she says they are helping small businesses like Tom’s Tire.

Kaptur says those jobs were created by the help of the Federal Government’s loan to the auto industry by the Obama administration.

Copyright 2012 WTOL. All rights reserved.

Congresswoman in Glass City Thursday

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur was in the Glass City this morning, saying the President’s auto bailout directly helped the Jeep Plant.

At a mid-morning conference, the Congresswoman discussed the economic benefits for small business owners and what it impact it has for Toledo families.

“The auto industry overall has added 170,000 jobs in our economy,” said Kaptur. “These are good jobs with good wages and good benefits that help a family move into the middle class.”

Representatives for Marcy Kaptur said that since the Obama administration extended a loan to the American auto industry, the Toledo economy benefited from an additional shift at the Jeep Plant.

Q Poll: Brown Leads Mandel by 15 Points in Ohio

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, leads Republican Josh Mandel in a new poll released early Thursday that shows Mandel, the young state treasurer and prolific fundraiser, remains little-known among the state’s voters.

Brown leads Mandel, 47 percent to 32 percent, in the poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University.  One percent of registered voters volunteered that they would vote for another candidate, two percent wouldn’t vote, and 18 percent are undecided.

A Visit to Parma

Sherrod Brown rocks Parma.

So I decided to see how the “other half” (of Cuyahoga County) lives.  I made a trip to Parma tonight for a Parma Democrats candidates night at a VFW Hall.  The room was packed, there was pizza and desserts, and candidates were out in droves, including a senator and two congresspersons.


The Endlessly Echoing Vacuum of the Empty Suit

Just when I think I can’t be any more dumbstruck by the lack of content in Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel’s U.S. Senate campaign (and by the way, has he ever even officially announced, or is he just going to sort of ooze into the campaign on a mudslide of money?), he tops himself.

In this December 24th story in the Plain Dealer, Mandel attacks Senator Sherrod Brown over his support of environmental regulations Big Coal (one of Josh’s owners) doesn’t like, saying that emissions regulations to protect air quality are “irrational, unnecessary and job-killing.”


New Act Rewarding Employers Who Hire Vets Highlighted as Sen. Sherrod Brown Visits Lakewood Firm

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — After touring a recession success story at GrafTech International in Lakewood Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown spoke about what he hoped would become another example of victory in the face of daunting odds — hiring veterans.

Noting that about one in five veterans age 20-24 are unemployed, Brown said, “The government spent plenty of money to send them off to war, we ought to be putting money into job training and incentives.”

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.