Thursday, January 13, 2005

Moving Forward Together

This is an experiment. Public service should be about listening and leading - and I am interested in exploring new ways to reach out to people in order to help.

The past year saw furious new use of "blogs" to cover public debates coast-to-coast. I'm hoping Toledo will benefit from equally spirited debate now and in the future. This medium, I hope, will provide candid, reasonable commentary on issues facing Toledo and NW Ohio. It will also allow me to get back into a habit that served me well from childhood through college (and which I've neglected in the push and pull of political action the past several years) - reflective and opinionated writing.

What scares me a bit is that words and thoughts could come back to haunt me in some future campaign or debate. Joseph Kennedy instilled in his sons the habit of never writing important decisions down - lest they be used against them later. I believe we live in an age of information where politicians who refuse to engage publicly are less attractive than those do. We'll see. Here goes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some what if? questions. What if we could have a casino downtown? What is the status of having that on the ballot? Downtown Toledo needs a serious influx of cash. I don't know how any businesses survive down there due to the lack of foot traffic. I can see Toledo
having a casino in 5-10 years hopefully sooner. If you look at Detroit and other Newer Casinos, I believe we can make it work. I know you'll hear all the naysayers saying it'll will bring crime,drugs, prostitution. But that is all baloney. I frequent the Detroit casinos and those things are never an issue. Even though some of the casinos are in the worst part of Detroit. Those Casinos offer high paying union jobs, and a very nice influx of cash for the city. I'm sure you as a councilman could research crime statistics around the area and the financial arrangement they have with Detroit and apply it to a Toledo model. But all that is moot if It doesn't pass on the ballot.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Kathy Rutkowski said...

I am excited to see someone taking the lead to open dialogue in our area. Thank you! My question is; after campaigning hard last year, how does one stay connected. We won a great victory in Lucas County, but lost the national fight. We have much to do to move forward in the face of the blatant errors in national government. How can we, as individuals do it and where do we start?

3:08 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Kathy - one of the ways to prepare is to understand our opposition...

"RNC Chair Unveils 'Durable Majority' Plan

By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer

WASHINGTON - White House ally Ken Mehlman took over leadership of the Republican Party on Wednesday and outlined plans to find new voters among the ranks of churchgoers and social conservatives.

"We can deepen the GOP by identifying and turning out Americans who vote for president but who often miss off-year elections and agree with our work on behalf of a culture of life, our promoting marriage, and a belief in our Second Amendment heritage," Mehlman said, referring to the party's opposition to abortion, gay marriage and gun control.

Bush's re-election campaign, headed by Mehlman, worked with the Republican National Committee (news - web sites) in 2004 to target conservatives, independents and moderate Democrats who had rarely voted in past elections. Bush became the first president since 1936 to be re-elected while his party expanded majorities in the House and Senate. Republican governors head 28 states, including the four largest.

Accepting the chairmanship on the eve of Bush's inauguration, he said the party must take four steps to "cement these victories into a durable Republican majority:"

_ Enact the president's agenda, including fighting terrorism, revamping Social Security (news - web sites), changing the tax code and appointing "strict constructionists to the courts."

_ Institutionalize the GOP's 2004 grass-roots operation, which most experts believe was far better than the Democrats'.

_ Recruit quality candidates for the 2005 and 2006 elections. He also urged RNC members to start focusing on the 2008 presidential campaign and, further down the road, the 2011 redistricting process.

_ Use the GOP agenda to court new voters: Blacks through school voucher initiatives, young voters through Social Security changes and Hispanics through efforts to limit legal liability.

As for conservatives, he said, "When we debate who should sit on the judiciary, we have an opportunity to deepen the GOP by registering to vote men and women who attend church every week but aren't yet registered voters."

Activists in both parties are watching to see whether Bush will continue to push a conservative agenda or move to the political center. Mehlman seemed to suggest that Bush didn't need to make a choice, that he would appeal to a wide spectrum of voters.

Some social conservatives were upset this month when Bush suggested he wouldn't push Congress to pass a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage."

3:25 PM  
Blogger Omar Chaudhary said...

Frank, thank you for the interesting article on the RNC's upcoming tactics. Of course, there are many factors which contribute to the outcome of an election, but one widely-noted factor in the 2004 election was the virtual monopoly that Republicans had on religious/moral issues. For some reason, the Republican party has been able to convince voters that it is the party of the faithful. In reading a recent article on the Barack Obama, I was pleased to see one of his insightful remarks. He said that many voters forget (and in fact, many Democrats forget) that a great deal of Democrats' core initiatives were founded in the context of religious or moral values. Take, for instance, the civil rights movement under the leadership of REVEREND Martin Luther King. We need to remind voters that the Democratic agenda doesn't eschew religion at all; quite to the contrary, Democratic ideals are often based on religious beliefs. The key difference between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of religion is that, while Republicans feel that the government can impose religion on its citizens, Democrats believe religion is a personal matter to be followed whichever way a person sees fit.

12:44 PM  

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