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Jobs, Education, Immigration reform talks at the latest CHIP Candidates Forum

Betty Sutton and Tom Ganley squared off for the first time


By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

Dan Ramos and David Arredondo

LORAIN, Oct. 13, 2010: The conversation was all about jobs and education at the latest CHIP Candidates Forum, with some politicians arguing over who has created more jobs.


Nearly two dozen politicians and judges running for a seat in the Nov. 2, 2010 general election defended their positions to a crowd of roughly 200 people at the forum, hosted by the Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues and Progress (CHIP), Oct. 13, 2010.


And debating each other for the first time, incumbent to the 13th District U.S. Congressional seat Betty Sutton and contender Tom Ganley touched upon immigration reform.


“Interesting thing about immigration is that’s how we all got here,” Ganley said “I’m very much in favor of bringing new folks legally. I’m against illegal immigration.”


Both candidates said border control and punishing companies that hire undocumented immigrants is vital.

“It’s not just about exploiting immigrants but exploiting our workers and drives down wages in an unfair way, and it must stop,” Sutton said.


Local leaders also voiced their positions on four local issues on the ballot, including a proposal to reverse the previous decision that would reduce the Lorain income tax credit, a new levy for Lorain City Schools and another for Lorain County Community College, and funding for the Lorain County Children Services.

Betty Sutton and Lorain High Student Tiffany McClelland


CHIP has organized Candidates Forum for roughly 10 years, said David Arredondo, CHIP member and co-moderator, and added he was satisfied they were able to bring Sutton and Ganley together for a debate.


As a Kent State University graduate at the age of 84, Anne Louise Grauel, an audience member from Grafton, said one of her biggest concerns is education. She said it was the first time she attended such a forum, and loved the opportunity to meet the candidates and the issues.


“I always do vote for the schools because that’s so important; that’s the future,” Grauel said, and graduating from college “It’s the best thing I’ve done except for my children.”

Joel Arredondo, CHIP President, urged all to vote this November 2 as he said “Tu voto es tu voz.”


Early voting began in Ohio Sept. 28; mail-in ballots must be requested by Oct. 30 and ballots mailed in by Nov. 1. For more information visit http://www.loraincountyelections.com

Candidates Forum will air on the LCCC and Lorain City Schools channels and online at LorainCounty.com starting Oct. 22, 2010.


Races include [Visit laprensa1.com for extended discussion of the various races]:


Lorain County Commissioner:

Joe Koziura (D): Current state representative of the 56th district, is running for this commissioner position as Betty Blair has retired. His career includes former mayor of Lorain, former chief deputy auditor for Lorain, and a financial advisor for over 20 years for his own private business.


Rebutting his opponent’s claim that government does not create jobs, Koziura said “Government does create jobs folks. Government creates jobs every day,” he said. “I know how to create jobs. I’ve done it in government.”

Antonio Barrios, co-moderator, Joel Arredondo,host, David Arredondo, co-moderator of the CHIP Candidates Forum.

He said he could not promise he would or would not raise taxes, but assured the audience he would make the right decisions.


Tom Williams (R): From Amherst, he’s an engineer and small business owner, and said “I’m the only candidate that can actually say that I’ve created jobs in Lorain County.”

Williams said the commissioner’s budget has had discrepancies and needs to better controlled, and the economy better promoted so that graduates from LCCC can stay in the area.


 “Government doesn’t create jobs, businesses do. And we have to promote them and attract them here,” he said.


Williams said Koziura has a history of raising taxes.


U.S. Congress 13th District:

Betty Sutton (D): the current U.S. representative of the 13th district, she said, “We need someone in Washington who understands our struggles. That will stand up and fight the fight that we need fought. That is for jobs. That is who I am and that is what I’m about.”


She said she will continue to fight against trade policies that hurt the country and cause the outsourcing of jobs, and work on strengthening manufacturing.


She said she took on the credit card companies and insured they stop charging unreasonable fees, and helped to stop health insurance companies from discriminating on preexisting conditions.  


For cutting the national deficit, she proposes fully ending the war in Iraq, and eliminating the tax cuts that only benefit the super rich.


In Congress, she said she supported eight tax cuts to benefit small businesses, and added her opponent party has opposed those tax cuts. She said $55 million will be coming to Ohio to help small businesses.


She said she also managed to close a tax loop hole that causes jobs to be shipped overseas and outsourced, as the audience responded with cheers and applause.


She defended the Cash for Clunkers program, saying it helped put 50,000 people back to work according to a Department of Transportation study.


Tom Ganley (R): a businessman in the automobile industry for 42 ½ years and head of the Crime Stoppers in Northern Ohio, he reiterated that he’s the best candidate for creating jobs in the state and creating budgets.


Ganley said during those 42 years, “I’ve created thousands of jobs.”


He said 70 percent of the people employed in the U.S. today are employed by small businesses, and said the government needs to stop taxing them. He proposes passing a 20 percent reduction in those businesses’ tax liability and using that 20 percent to create capital and jobs.


To reduce the national deficit, he proposed cutting 150 federal programs but would spare Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veteran’s benefits.


He also addressed his latest commercial criticisms, saying those 400 lawsuits occurred during 42 years.


He criticized President Barack Obama’s health care plan, saying it caused a $569.2 billion tax increase, and added the federal government has yet to pass a budget for this year.

He said on his opponent’s watch, the unemployment rate has doubled.


State Senate, 13th District
Gayle Manning(R): a former city councilmember in North Ridgeville, LCCC instructor, and a retired public school teacher after 37 years, she said education is very important to her but “the number one issue is jobs.”

Tom Ganley, David Arredondo, Lorain High Student Tiffany McClelland, Betty Sutton


She said in the last four years, the unemployment in the 13th district has risen from 5.6 percent to 10.1 percent, higher than the national average.


She proposes creating an environment for jobs by reducing the regulation and taxes on businesses.


She said the unfunded mandates need to be eliminated, and said state funding for school districts should go directly to the teachers and the classrooms and not the administration.

After her opponent, Sue Morano, criticized her for resorting to negative advertising to win a campaign, Manning said the negative ads “are actually very factual.”


Sue Morano (D): the current state senator for the 13th district, is seeking re-election for her second term, and quickly defended herself from the latest negative ads against her.


“I’m here tonight to set the record straight; I’m being criticized for raising taxes,” she said “So what’s the truth? I voted for a bipartisan budget bill that was supported by the Republican leadership in the Senate. As a result of that bill, we’ve protected education funding and private services. Individual taxpayers in Ohio are not paying one cent more in taxes this year than they did last year,” she said.


A nurse for 28 years, and mother of 3 children, she determined to fix the health care and school systems. She said her biggest focus in Columbus will be to create jobs that stay in the area.


She said she supported two tuition freezes for higher education in the last four years, and currently a 3.5 percent cap on future increases.


State Representative, 56th District

Henry (Skip) Lewandowski (R): an engineer and professor at Baldwin Wallace College, he said the reason he chose to run for public office for the first time is simple:


 “I’m sick of yelling at the TV at corrupt politicians. I’m sick of reading the paper and yelling at the paper about the economy going bad. And my wife is sick of hearing me yell. So she said get off the couch and do something,” he said.

He said his biggest hope is to keep young people here.


He said Ohio spends on average 50 percent more in administrative spending in its K-12 system than other states, and the Ohio legislature is sending unfunded mandates.

“We’ve got to stop wasteful spending and unfunded mandates.”


When asked if he would support the state’s high-speed rail system after Ohio will receive $400 million for it, he said “We may be able to afford to build it but can we afford to continue to operate it?”


He said he does not want the rail system to run the same fate as the county airport.


“I’m not willing to gamble the taxpayer’s money,” he said, as the audience cheered.


Daniel Ramos (D): a 4th generation Lorain resident, he spent the last several years in Columbus working in the Ohio legislature under current state legislator Joe Koziura. He reiterated he’s the only candidate that has legislative experience.


“We can’t afford untested leadership,” he said.


In rebutting his opponent, Ramos said the Lorain City Schools has drastically cut the administrative costs, and added those costs are mostly funded from grants not tax dollars.

Ramos worked on the last budget passed in Columbus and said “Education (funding) wasn’t just spared (but) it was increased.”


But he proposed helping to fully fund the districts in most need of funding.


On expanding the High Speed Rail, he said “Ohio needs to get on board.” He said “To put it simply, high-speed rail creates jobs.”


State Representative, 57th District

Rae Lynn Brady (R): the owner of an ice cream business in Elyria, she said she knows how to do a budget and how to do a payroll.


“We need to cut government spending and live by the budget,” she said “We need to bring jobs to Ohio so that we get our citizens working again.”


On the High Speed Rail, she said she would not support it.  “I think it’s unfair to go back to the taxpayer for something like the rail system” when Lorain County residents are having difficulty “keeping their (LCT) buses going,” she said.


Matt Lundy (D): the current state representative to the 57th district, he said he wants to cut taxes and keep them low for families and businesses, and keep college costs affordable.


Under Governor Ted Strickland, he worked on freezing tuition for two years and placed a 3.5 percent cap on future tuition increases, he said.


He said he also fought against credit card companies that prey on students in college campuses.


Lundy said the biggest challenge in Lorain is the charter school system because it greatly hurts the school system.


Charter schools are being funded at $600 million a year, he said.


 “Right now, we are leading every other state in the country for tuition affordability in the last three years.”


Plus he said he introduced a bill that would cut textbooks costs in half.


State Representative, 58th District

Terry Boose (R): the current state representative of the 58th district, he said one way to improve the local job rate is to support LCCC and Issue 17.


He has a background in both business and agriculture and was a former Huron County Commissioner for 8 years.


He said both college and vocational schools need to be more affordable.


He also proposed reducing taxes and removing unfunded mandates on businesses.


Greg Davidson (D): an industrial electrician, police officer, and military veteran, he also spent 5 years as a city councilman in Willard.


“People want a heart-felt, down-to-earth, common hardworking man,” he said “that’s who I am.”


To create jobs, he said he supports the Third Frontier program.


Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge

Debra Boros(R): a Domestic and Juvenile Court Judge for the past 12 years, she said she loves her job and is not finished as she asks to be re-elected. “I have always made the safety of this community and the children of this community my priority,” she said.


She said they have cut their budget over $1.2 million, and they bring in $3 million back to community.


Jack Kilroy (D): a Domestic Court and Juvenile Court Lawyer for 30 years, works with Lorain County auditor, and a former Avon City councilmember , he said “I’m somebody that measures success by what I can do, help people, and give back to the community.”

Working also on the Juvenile Drug Court, he said people are denied opportunity because too much is spent on the few.


He said $62,000 is being spent per child for rehabilitation services.


 “I’m going to make that budget work so that money can be used to benefit all the people that deserve the help.”


The 9th District Court of Appeals Judge

Robert Brown: a Common Pleas Court judge, attorney 30 years, and judge with 24 years of experience, he has dealt with criminal and civil cases including wrongful death and personal injury. He said he’s the only candidate that has sentenced dangerous offenders to prison.

“I understand the importance of the court’s decision in people’s lives,” he said,

 “As a father of two sons, I understand the court has the responsibility to keep dangerous offenders out of our community and keep our community safe for children.”


Donna Carr: a current senior judge on the 9th district court of appeals, she has been highly recommended by Akron Bar Association. Previously she was a trial judge and assistant county prosecutor, and has served in the Interpreter Services Advisory Committee.

Re-elected twice, she said she loves her job.


Carla Moore: a current 9th district court of appeals judge for six years, and municipal court judge for 15 years before that in the trial court, she too was highly recommended by the Akron Bar Association.


“Judges really make the decisions that affect what happens in people’s lives and yet many people have no idea who their judges are or what their credentials are,” she said “I would just encourage you to take the time to get to know who’s running for judicial office.”


Rita Rochford: a magistrate in the Summit County Juvenile Court , she presides over abuse and delinquency cases. She said currently no one on the court of appeals has any background in juvenile court.


She was a prosecutor for 8 years and in juvenile court for 8 years.


 “We’re trying to hopefully keep these children out of prison and also to reduce recidivism, and we have been very successful in Summit County.”


Beth Whitmore: current judge on the 9th district court of appeals, she was twice elected for that position, has 13 years as civil trial attorney, formerly sat on the Summit County Common Pleas bench, and is an Air force Veteran.


She was highly recommended by the Akron Bar Association. “My focus on the bench is for fair, impartial and timely decisions.”


State Board of Education

Pamela Haynam: is seeking a seat on the board, which has 19 members.

She said the board deals with issues of policy like budget and legislation and serves District 2 including Lorain, Huron, Erie, Seneca, Ottawa and Lucas Counties.


Board deals with issues of policy: budget and legislation.


She said she does not have legislative experience but has 12 years of experience as a school board of education member.


Lorain Income Tax Credit Initiative (Issue 23):

In December 2009, Lorain City Council voted to reduce the city’s income tax credit from 2 percent to 1 percent for residents who work and pay income tax in other cities, meaning residents owed the city money. This initiative if passed in November would overturn the council’s decision and restore the full tax credit.


Arguing AGAINST Issue 23:

Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko said Lorain has faced budget deficits for over a decade, and that measure passed in 2009 was to balance the budget and prevent “devastating cuts to city services. That plan is now in jeopardy.”  


He called the issue “bad for Lorain” and said the issue would slash the city’s budget by over $2.1 million every year, which in turn would hurt city services like street repair, snow removal, police, fire and parks.


He said voting no on the issue does not raise taxes, and does not cost anything to the retirees or unemployed.


Arguing FOR Issue 23:

Attorney Michael Scherach said over 2,600 signatures were gathered by the citizens during the summer to place this on the ballot.


While collecting signatures, he said the people of Lorain said they were “disgusted” with the city’s double taxation, and can no longer afford any more taxes and plan to move out of town.


 “This tax proves to be a destructive tax to the city of Lorain and that we are losing our productive citizens,” he said.


 “It doesn’t take any skill to raise taxes, but it does take skills to draw employment and employers to the city of Lorain,” he said.


“Lorain needs more jobs not more taxes,” he said.


Lorain County Community College (Issue 17):

LCCC President Roy Church said the current $2 million, 1.8-mill, 10-year replacement levy they are requesting is really “a job issue,” and “worth it for Lorain county.”


He said in an economy where both finding and keeping a job is difficult, the college becomes a leader in helping the unemployed.


The operating levy would cover 13 percent of the current operating costs for the college, generating over 10 million dollars over a ten-year period, he said.


“Without that support, with the loss of state support, Lorain County Community College would be deeply challenged to maintain the breadth and quality of the educational programs we provide to this community today,” Church said


Other Issues 8 and 16:

Superintendent for Lorain City Schools Cheryl Atkinson and Lorain Treasurer Dale Webber advocated the need for a new levy, Issue 8.


They are requesting a $6 million, 9.12-mill, 10-year emergency levy.


Lorain County Children Services’ Patti Jo Burnett said the agency is seeking a 1.5 mill, 5-year replacement levy, Issue 16.


Tom Ganley

Sue Morano


Gayle Manning

Henry (Skip) Lewandowski

We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we find inappropriate.
Copyright © 2010 by [LaPrensa Newspaper]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/26/14 20:11:56 -0800.





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