Monday, February 13, 2012

Kaptur vs. Kucinich.

Redistricting has pitted two of the House's most progressive democrats against each other in the democratic primary for our district: Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur. Kaptur is from Toledo. Kucinich is from Cleveland. The legislature has gerrymandered a district that includes every progressive household alon I-90 between the two cities. We have to decide whom to vote for.

Kucinich is well known on the national stage. Kaptur I know less about. But...

She has a lot more seniority (=power) in the House than Kucinich. In fact she ranks 25 in seniority and sits on the Appropriations committee. Kucinich is 125th, and has no good committee posts. The Kaptur campaign is playing this as a "workhorse vs. showhorse" contest.

Kaptur has progressive bone fides. She was named "most valuable house member" in 2008 by The Nation, and is a member of the House Progressive Caucus.

On the other hand, Kucinich has a slightly more progressive voting record than Kaptur, particularly on peace and civil liberties issues. Plus he does things like introduce articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney.

Kucinich is has also made noises about a Cleveland issue that doesn't seem to be on Kaptur's radar: the soon-to-collapse-catastrophically Inner Belt Bridge. The bridge is the same age and design as one that collapsed in Minnesota recently, and generally has lanes closed to decrease the amount of weight on it at any given time.

So, we've got our mail-in ballots, and need to figure this out.

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