The 12th Ohio Congressional district, an "all-American district" in the view of Michael Alwood of WVKO's "Blue State Diner" offers a uniquly relevant contrast of candidates in this year's election that goes directly to the point of who controls our wayward government.
David Robinson is a first-time candidate who has pledged devotion to the Constitution and is leading an all-volunter group of supporters in an attempt to dislodge the four-term incumbent, Pat Tiberi, a Bush-loyalist. The following is excerpted from this interview on July 26, 2008.
Michael Alwood: If you look at the twelfth district, it is about as American as it gets. It parallels-almost exactly the national average demographics across the board. We are talking about the all-American district. I think of an all-American district as the people who are being hardest hit in these tough economic times. The institutions who back Republican incumbant Pat Tiberi-insurance companies, financial institutions, some pharmaceutical companies, and these are not people who have the best interest of average Americans in mind-they have the best interest of their stockholders in mind.
David Robinson: One of my central tasks in this campaign is to focus on Mr. Tiberi's voting record and awaken the citizenship to exactly what he is doing in DC. Voters should be asking themselves whether he's representing their interests and values.
The policy we articulated during the primary was the Apollo II Energy Initiative. Stated simply, it recognizes that many of the long-term problems facing our country: loss of jobs, national security issues and environmental concerns-all trace back to energy. It is my belief that by boldly changing the direction of our country-away from fossil fuels and towards next-generation renewables, we can revitalize our economy-especially here in Ohio.
We are bound to benefit immensely from this program. We have abundant water, farmland, centers of learning and an underutilized industrial capacity. We can create American jobs here and quit importing oil-at the tune of one and a half billion dollars a day.
We'd stop fighting wars overseas to defend supplies of oil, and we can begin to mitigate the threats of climate change. It all traces back to energy, so the Apollo II energy initiative is at the center of what I would champion in Congress.
We are at a turning point historically. There's a number of forces that are converging: peak oil, population growth, globalization, the economics of increased fossil fuel costs and climate change. All these things are converging so that it's not simply people on the left who are advocating this move, but most recently for instance, T. Boone Pickens, who's waging a national cam-paign to advocate for wind energy. [Pickens is an oil man-turned-conserva-tionist. Learn more at Pickensplan.com]
We as a nation need to decide if we are going to lead or we are going to follow. Twenty years ago, we led the world in solar technology, but we've given that up to the Germans and the Japanese. I will fight to resist this, but I hope we do not allow these future businesses to be developed by others- where we're buying instead of selling.
I'm a small businessman, incidentally. The way I look at some of the big economic questions facing our country is in terms of investment in the future: If you're running a business and you're simply milking it for money and not investing in machinery and human capital, it's only a matter of time before your competitors are going to overtake you, and you're going to go out of business. Our nation has not been investing sufficiently in the future. And it's my belief that we need to take a hard look at our infrastructure, our sciences, our universities, our health care and as I said earlier, energy, and point the way to the future. So I would advocate next-generation industries, innovation and job creation.
I have become aware that our political system is in many ways broken. If you want to look how and why Pat Tiberi votes certain ways, I say, 'Look at the money' to its sources, and there's a pretty direct relationship between where he's receiving his funding and how he votes. The money is not what matters in the end-it is the voters, and I am not beaten down by the financial disparity between us at all.
Patrick J. Tiberi--2008 election cycle
Insurance $127,931; Insurance & Invest. $73,290; Lawyers/Law Firms $63,456; Real Estate $59,750; Health Professionals $59,500; Commercial Banks $46,200; Pharmaceuticals $42,250; Electric Utilities $38,700; Lobbyists $32,675; Accountants $29,600; $Retail Sales $28,400; Food & Beverage $28,300; Air Transport $21,500; Home Builders $20,998; Beer, Wine Liquor $20,500; Health Services/HMOs $20,500; Misc Manufacturing $18,750; General Contractors $18,300; Finance/Credit $18,000; Chemical Manufacturing $17,800;- Advertisement -
But I think it is important for voters to understand when they see the negative attack ads-which no doubt will come-where they're being funded.
Thank God for the internet. "The Truth of the Matter" will be a page on our website [Robinson2008.com] where we are going to address any coming attacks and then our response. The internet affords the population quick access to multiple sources of information, and by the way, net-neutrality and the privacy rights of internet users is a policy that I will champion in Congress.
Caller: If there would be a way to put the coal-fired plants back in full operation and minimize the damage until we can get these other energies on-line, would you do that?