'Significant' development project in works in Mentor
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com
Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
COLUMBUS — Two unions representing tens of thousands of Ohio workers said Monday they would no longer support the state's only Democratic congressman to oppose President Barack Obama’s health care bill.
U.S. Rep. Zack Space betrayed union members who campaigned for him in 2006 and 2008, said the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers union.
"A no vote on health care is an anti-worker vote," said Allison Petonic, spokeswoman for Columbus-based UFCW Local 1059, which has 18,000 members working in food retailing and processing in Ohio. That includes 1,500 people living in Space’s district, she said.
Space was among 34 Democrats who voted against the landmark legislation Sunday. It passed 219-212 with no Republican support.
Space said over the weekend that he had serious reservations about the measure and that he feared it might financially burden the working class by "opening the door to taxing employee benefits as income."
The Democrat, who represents a conservative, Appalachian district, said a version of the bill he supported last year taxed wealthy Americans, not the middle class, to help pay some health care costs for the working poor.
The unions were unconvinced.
"Working class, middle income people who live in the congressman's district really need help to obtain their health care. While this bill isn't perfect, it's step in the right direction," said Anthony Caldwell, spokesman for SEIU District 1199, which represents about 25,000 hospital, nursing home, state and other workers in Ohio.
Space was elected in 2006 with 62 percent of the vote after six-term Republican Bob Ney pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
In 2008, 60 percent of the district got behind Space, despite all but one county choosing Republican John McCain over Obama.