Political briefs – Oct. 6

Staff report

Political briefs

Political briefs

PORTMAN SENATE CAMPAIGN RAISES OVER $2 MILLION IN THIRD QUARTER – The Portman for Senate campaign today announced it will report over $2 million raised in the third quarter of 2015. The campaign will report a total of over $11 million cash-on-hand.

Over 87% of the donors in the third quarter are from Ohio.

“The momentum and enthusiasm behind Rob Portman and the campaign continues to grow across Ohio,” said campaign manager Corry Bliss. “Rob is getting results for Ohio families, and Ohio voters know they simply can’t afford a return to Governor Strickland’s Ohio when the state lost over 350,000 jobs and Ohio ranked 48th in job creation.”

In May of this year, the Portman for Senate campaign launched an aggressive volunteer grassroots program that recently surpassed 450,000 voter contacts through its door-to-door and phone programs. This quarter, the campaign launched its African American Leadership Council, its Veterans Leadership Council, and the Students for Portman Coalition that has college chairs in over 20 campuses across Ohio. Portman has now been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee, over 500 key Ohio Republican leaders, including the entire Republican Congressional delegation, all statewide elected Republicans, nearly 90 percent of Republican members of the State House and Senate, and by over 12,000 grassroots leaders across the state. The campaign now has field offices in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Dayton.

OHIO AFL-CIO BOARD VOTES ON ENDORSEMENTS – On Oct. 2, the Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Board voted on a number of endorsements, including a unanimous vote to endorse former Governor Ted Strickland in his race for the U.S. Senate in 2016. The Board also voted to oppose state Issue 2 and voted to remain neutral on Issue 3.

“Ted Strickland has always been a strong voice for the working people of Ohio,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “He will continue in that same tradition in the U.S. Senate, fighting to protect Ohio families and achieve a more equitable and stable economy for us all,” he said.

“Issue 2 is an unnecessary proposal that hinders the democratic process and that is why our board voted to oppose it,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.

BROWN NAMED GREAT LAKES LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was named Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force. The award is presented annually by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) to a legislator who has helped advance shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Brown is the 10th legislator to receive this award since 1998.

“Our Great Lakes are a national treasure and vital to the shipment of American-made goods nationally and internationally,” said Brown. “It is an honor to receive this award from the men and women who produce and ship the products that drive our economy.”

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force promotes shipping on the great lakes. Its membership is comprised of labor and management representing U.S.-flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, cargo shippers, terminal operators, shipyards, and others.

SENATORS PUSH FOR HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM MONITORING – With a growing threat of harmful algal blooms, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Gary Peters (D-MI) urged the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles F. Bolden to continue support of the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) remote-sensing project. HABs have posed a threat to the Great Lakes, including recently in water crises in Toledo, Ohio and Monroe County, Michigan.

“Last summer, residents of Toledo, Ohio; Monroe County, Michigan; and other nearby communities were unable to drink the tap water in their homes as it had become unsafe due to a large HAB in Western Lake Erie,” said the senators in their letter. “The health and safety concerns posed by HABs not only put our communities at risk, but also affect local businesses. The EPA estimates harmful algal blooms cost $64 million per year due to additional drinking water treatment, loss of recreational water usage, and a decline in waterfront real estate values. NASA’s remote-sensing program, in collaboration with NOAA and the U.S. Naval Research Lab, serves an integral role in the efforts to provide early warning of HABs.”

The senators asked NASA work to ensure that the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget maintains current funding levels for the HAB remote-sensing project, and to detail its plan for working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Navy Research Lab, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and state and local government and non-governmental organization to monitor HABs on the Western Lake Erie Basin.

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