Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yes for Blackwell from a Friend

I'm a pro-Bush pro-Iraq War anti-taxes type who is in favor of school vouchers statewide. The Republicans in Ohio (Taft, senators, etc) are embarrassing but at least a Rep. majority in the Senate now is somewhat
helpful to Bush. If the NEA supports Strickland, then I'm pro-Blackwell:
the NEA is a radical group far to the left of most teachers, & those
teachers have no choice but to pay dues by '04 the NEA was
a huge contributor to Kerry & the most liberal Dems.
I agree that Israel isn't affected by state govt. But higher taxes (Ohio
is now one of the most taxed states; 20 yrs ago it was one of the least)
will depress property values, causing real estate taxes up to support
the sinkhole of public schools. Only capitalism, i.e. school choice
competition, will stop the hemorrhage. So school vouchers, which won't
help me because my youngest child is in his 20's & my grandchildren live
in Alabama, are still the decidine issue for me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Casey vs. Santorum

Bob Casey vs. Rick Santorum

Bob Casey is a strong supporter of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Bob Casey believes the United States and Israel share a deep bond based on common values and mutual interests. As a United States Senator, he will work to continue and strengthen this bond.

Separation of Religion and State
“We must abide by the principle of separation of church and state in the United States. I’m troubled by the increasing movement to insert religion into our public schools and government. Faith is an important part in my family’s life and of the lives of many Americans. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, ‘We affirm the principle of the separation of church and state; we reject the separation of religion and the human situation’.” Santorum proudly appeared with Jerry Falwell at Justice Sunday.

The controversial Reverend Jerry Falwell called Santorum a “bright, young star” and proclaimed he would “vote for [Santorum] for president.” [MSNBC, 8-5-05]
Hate Crimes
Bob Casey supports the Hate Crimes bill that extends federal jurisdiction to hate crimes based on "the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability" of the victims. Bob Casey is particularly troubled by the continued occurrence of anti-Semitic hate crimes on college campuses, in Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Santorum once said “do not be afraid to be intolerant.” [Culture of Life World Youth Day Speech, 7-22-02]

Santorum opposed expanding hate crimes legislation. [vote # 114 on 6/15/04; vote #147 6/11/02]
Right to Privacy
Bob Casey believes there is a right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. Santorum does not believe in a right to privacy.

“There is no constitutionally based right to privacy, [Santorum] says, arguing that it is a phony legal concoction foisted on the country by liberal judges.” [Newsweek, 12-27-04]
Family Planning
Bob Casey supports public funding of family planning as a way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies nationally and overseas.

Bob Casey also supports the availability of emergency contraception. Santorum opposes family planning. “I’m not a believer in birth control…I don’t think it works. I think it’s harmful to women.” [CN8, 7-28-05]

Santorum believes that states should have the right to ban birth control. [Newsweek, 12-27-04]

Intelligent Design
Bob Casey believes if intelligent design is taught it should be taught at home or in religious class, not in science class. In 2002 Santorum wrote, “intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.”

When a federal judge ruled against the addition of intelligent design in a Pennsylvanian town’s science curriculum, Santorum flip-flopped and said he was against intelligent design being taught in the science classroom.
Minimum Wage
Bob Casey supports an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. Santorum has voted against a federal minimum wage increase twelve times.

Under pressure from Bob Casey, Santorum, in October, flip-flopped and voted for a minimum wage increase to $6.25 an hour.
[vote # 344 on 7-31-95, vote # 519 on 10-27-95, vote # 54 on 3-27-96, vote # 183 on 7-9-96, vote # 184 on 7-9-96, vote # 278 on 9-22-98, vote # 77 on 3-25-99, vote # 94 on 4-28-99, vote # 239 on 7-30-99, vote # 356 on 11-9-99, vote # 76 on 4-7-00, vote # 26 on 3-7-05]
Environmental Protection
Bob Casey opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Bob Casey has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and WILD PAC and will fight to protect the environment, preserve our national treasures, and safeguard the health of our families. Santorum voted for, and was one of the leaders in passing, an amendment in the Senate to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. [vote #52 on 3-16-05, vote # 74 on 4-29-04].

Santorum is one of the leaders in pushing President Bush’s anti-environmental agenda and has earned a 5% lifetime rating from the LCV.

Bob Casey in Israel

This article was sent to me by Ari Mittleman the Deputy Finance Director of the Bob Casey for Senator campaign. I will try to post the pictures that came with it soon (when I figure it out).

In November, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey and his wife Terese traveled to Israel on a trip sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. While there, Mr. Casey visited such sites as the Kotel (pictured at left), Jerusalem's Old City, Yad Vashem, the Mevasseret Absorption Center, and Israel's security fence; and he met with top Israeli officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Knesset member Natan Sharansky (pictured below).
On his return, Mr. Casey commented, "It was a moving experience to pray at the Kotel, and to learn so much about the triumphant story of the Jewish people as well as the challenges they face today as a democracy and a thriving diverse economy. And it was eye-opening to witness the country's critical security needs, and to discuss those needs with key Israeli leaders. Israelis have a right to live in peace and security, and America has an obligation to build on our close strategic partnership with Israel."
Mr. Casey was particularly moved by a quote from the book of Zachariah that was affixed to a plaque in the Jewish section of the Old City; the quote reads, "There shall be old men and old women dwelling in the streets of Jerusalem... and the streets of the city will be full of boys and girls." Mr. Casey commented, "This passage has been brought to life since Israel regained control of the Old City in 1967. It is our responsibility to help Israel ensure that the streets of Jerusalem will remain safe for young and old for generations to come."

Why Ted Strickland will be Good for Jews

I just received this from the Strickland campaign office. In their opinion, this is why a Jew should vote for Ted Strickland for Governor of Ohio.

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Congressman Ted Strickland and his positions regarding Israel and the Jewish community, particularly Orthodox Jews, in Ohio. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us, and I hope this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial dialogue.

Ted Strickland has been a strong supporter of Israel, as evidenced by his Congressional record:

  • Congressman Strickland supported the Syria Accountability Act, which required the President to crack down on Syria as long as it occupied Lebanon and fostered terrorist activities, and the Iran Freedom Support Act, which aided democratic efforts and issued sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions.
  • Congressman Strickland co-signed a letter in early 2003 to President George W. Bush encouraging him to demand real results from Palestinian leaders in cracking down on terrorism and violence. Later that year, Ted joined colleagues on a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressing concern that open support of Yasser Arafat by foreign governments undermined efforts to chart a new direction for the Palestinian people. Congressman Strickland wrote again in 2003 to President Bush, noting the political, financial and emotional costs of Israel’s withdrawal of its military and civilian presence from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
  • Congressman Strickland voted for H.Res.921, which expressed condolences to all families of innocent victims of the recent violence in Israel and Lebanon and affirmed the House of Representatives' commitment to Israel as it is taking actions to meet its security needs.

As Governor, Ted Strickland would build upon existing successes and institutions to forge stronger Ohio-Israel relations, focusing on A) building up trade and investment through public-private partnerships, B) facilitating cooperative research and development activities in private industry and academic centers, and C) shoring up Ohio’s homeland security through collaboration with Israeli authorities and experts.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Letter Sent to the Cleveland Jewish News

To the Editor:

You've recently published letters criticizing ads by a group called the Republican Jewish Coalition. I know nothing more of them than the ad content disclosed. But I don't recall seeing a commandment telling us to vote Democrat always, to bash Republicans always, and to believe (especially in this era of blogs) everything liberal media portray as fact.

The USA is a superpower, and can afford some mistakes, though some can be very costly, as was (is?) the late recognition of the Islamo-fascist threat to the West.
Thus a critical judgment I apply to every political candidate: Israel's fortunes. It is not hypocritical, disloyal, parochial , etc. to place Israel's safety, security, and fate at the top of my agenda as a Jewish voter. The U.S. may stumble and will recover; Israel has essentially no economic nor strategic depth, and unflinching US support is crucial.

I personally support school choice, and a voucher system may well spur improvement in all schools, public and private. Apparently reproductive choice is a liberal commandment but school choice is not. Gay "marriage" and creationism are not critical issues to me:that is my "choice".

My parents were civil servants, union members, and Democrats--until the late 1960's, when street crime ("all politics is local") and then inflation challenged their voting allegiance.

Each of us should choose candidates whom we may support in enough respects that we feel we are making the best civic choice. Sometimes the need for a majority in the House or Senate may supersede some of the defects in a given politician. So the party label may be more important than the candidate in some cases, and this is certainly distasteful. But reflexively bashing one party while ignoring the blackness of one's own kettle is intellectually lazy and sloppy. Let's see and hear reasoned argument rather than ad hominem attack.

Samuel Salamon
Cleveland OH 44115

A Friend's take on the Jewish Perspective

I asked a friend of mine to articulate some of the things he thinks is important for a candidate to garner the Jewish vote. This was his response.

Much of the US strength stems from the economy, and lower taxes have
consistently helped long-term growth and driven short-term boosts.
Republicans are most likely to lower taxes, on the local and national
level, though their spending restraint has disappeared with their long
tenure in Congress.
School choice ("vouchers") is very important, and should be a rallying
cry for all citizens who want an improved educational result in the
U.S. Capitalism and competition deserve a chance. The current public
school system is a money sink with no sign nor need of response to the
crisis in under-educating generations of Americans.
I personally don't care much about creationism, gay "marriage", or
reproductive choice as defining issues for a given candidate or party,
but we've seen the fellow travelers associated with these hot buttons.
So a candidate who's beholden to, say, abortion groups will often be
aligned with the Ted Kennedy line of the Democratic pary, and I find
that to be a useful discriminant in ruling out a given candidate.
I see nothing disloyal in putting Israel at the top of my Jewish voter
agenda--obviously this is relevant only at the state and national
level. Israel cannot afford indecision, and we saw that just now in
Lebanon. The Bush administration was far more determined than Olmert's
in seeking a crushing blow against Iran's proxy, Hezbollah.
We vote our consciences, our hearts, our wallets, and we must
prioritize, and choose among usually mediocre power-hungry people with
unappealing talents for self-aggrandizement. But we must participate
(and bring a barf bag to the voting booth if needed).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sherrod Brown for Jews

I received this today from the Sherrod Brown for Senate campaign.

Supports Israel: co-sponsored legislation to
ensure that American funds do not go to any
entity run by Hamas.
Supports Israel: co-sponsored legislation to
ensure that American funds do not go to any
entity run by Hamas.
2IRAN OY! DeWine opposed Frank Lautenberg’s
legislation to stop U.S. companies from
putting profit ahead of our nation’s security
by doing business with Iran.
Brown seeks increased American focus on Iran
– a greater danger than Iraq – and more American
leadership on this grave threat. 3 THE RADICAL
RIGHT OY! DeWine received a 100% rating in 2004 from
the far-right Christian Coalition, which favors
teaching creationism in public schools vs.
Brown received the following ratings from the
Christian Coalition: 23% in 2004, 0% in 2002,
0% in 2000, 13% in 1998, and 21% in 1996.
OY! DeWine strongly opposes embryonic stem
cell research for any purpose and has reaf-
firmed his support for a complete ban on
extending the life-saving research.
Brown was an original co-sponsor of the Stem
Cell Research Enhancement Act.
FREEDOM OY! Since 1997, DeWine has voted with the ultraconservative
National Right to Life Committee
every time.
Brown received a 100% rating in 2005
from NARAL Pro-Choice America and a 0%
rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
6SENIORS OY! The non-partisan Alliance for Retired Americans
gives DeWine a 10% lifetime record
of voting with America’s seniors on pivotal
issues like Medicare and Social Security.
The non-partisan Alliance for Retired Americans
gives Brown a 100% lifetime record of voting
with America’s seniors on pivotal issues like
Medicare and Social Security.
to the u.s. Senate race in Ohio
For more information, please see or email us at The National Jewish Democratic
Council (NJDC) is a grassroots organization that advocates for a strong US-Israel relationship, separation of
church & state, and reproductive choice. This voter guide is for educational purposes only.

Senator Allen and his Jewish Roots and Views

Here is some commentary about Senator Allen and his recent fiasco regarding Jews and racism.
and "Not Larry Sabata" has a comprehensive rundown here
You can predictably guess the daily kos reaction here.
However, this from One Jerusalem might be the strongest clue in regards to Mr. Allen's views. He was the one who stood up to the State Department to rescind the visa rights to the President of Iran. Read the story here.
We need more senators with backbone to be elected.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Why Orthodox Jews should vote for Ken Blackwell

I have just received this from the Blackwell for Governor office.

Your request for information regarding how Ken Blackwell will help Jews in Ohio was forwarded to me, the campaign’s Jewish outreach coordinator in Cleveland.

The short answer to your question is that Ken is likely to support vouchers for private school tuition, economic growth that would allow the Jewish community to grow and children to stay in or return to Ohio, and policies that generally reflect his experience and understanding of state government.

In addition, Ken has a better record of supporting Israel than most Jewish politicians and as governor of Ohio in 2008 would be well placed to support pro-Israel presidential candidates. He’s been active on behalf of Israel internationally, first on Teddy Kollek’s International Jerusalem Committee in the 80’s, then as a diplomat at the UN teamed with John Bolton to get the Zionism=Racism resolution of the General Assembly repealed. Since then he’s been a board member of JINSA, lately working to foster a tripartite alliance among the US, Israel and India.

A prominent member of the AIPAC national board told me that his opponent, whose name still remains unknown by many Ohioans 50 days out from the election, has about as good a record on Israel as Ken, so he considers this issue a wash between the candidates. True to his form as the 402nd most effective member of the House, however, Ken’s opponent has sponsored not one item of legislation highlighted by AIPAC. I think this belief may serve chiefly to excuse even the staunchest pro-Israel liberals from feeling obliged to support Israel’s real friend in a race without direct foreign policy implications. The indirect implications are dire, however, as the governor in Ohio may influence the outcome of 2008, and it is important to have a true friend of Israel in such a key position. A measure of the importance placed on Ohio by the Republican presidential aspirants is their early endorsement of Ken in the primary, notably McCain and Giuliani, whose positions on social/values issues do not match Ken’s.

Ken Blackwell's Jewish Bio

J. Kenneth Blackwell

Candidate for Governor of Ohio in 2006

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has demonstrated a deep commitment to the Jewish community and the State of Israel throughout his professional career:

  • Current member of the advisory board of Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)
  • Numerous recognitions and awards citing his strong support for the State of Israel as Ohio’s state treasurer from 1994 to 1998, including the State of Israel Bonds Builders of Freedom Award, the Jerusalem 3000 Award, and the In Friendship recognition medallion.
  • In 1996, participated in the March for the Living in Poland.
  • In 1995, awarded the Gate of Zion award by La Société of Jerusalem for outstanding service in the cause of Israel’s absorbing and housing immigrants.
  • In 1994, Blackwell and his wife, Rosa, received the Peace of the City Award from the Cincinnati Jewish Community Relations Council in recognition of their many years of service to the community.
  • As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Blackwell helped repeal the Zionism is Racism General Assembly resolution, alongside John Bolton.
  • In the 1980’s, during his tenure as vice president at his alma mater, Xavier University, Ken served on Teddy Kollek’s Jerusalem Committee, an international group of advisors to the mayor of Jerusalem.
  • In 1980, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek proclaimed then Cincinnati Mayor Blackwell a Jerusalem Pilgrim.