Alaska has Sarah Palin and I am very glad that Ohio has U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.
I could never understand how Palin grabbed the favorable attention of so many people- not only in her native Alaska- but state-wide during her run as a vice-presidential candidate. Did they not care that she posed with her little daughter with a bloody moose she had bagged? I guess not. And she probably believed that little girls should be taught that killing animals is commendable. Not in my book.
Did they not care that she continued the cruel aerial shooting of wolves program begun by her predecessor and which she even expanded a notch or too? I guess not. Aerial shooting of wolves had been nationally banned, but Alaska found a loophole which allowed them to do this with impunity. Truth be told, I imagine that despite the chasing of frightened wolves - running for their lives, their final death was probably more humane then the earlier use of poisons to kill them and their pups. I was surprised to read that Pres. Nixon had banned the use of poisons
when in office but Pres. Reagon - rescinded the ban. Nixon won this one in my opinion. How many wolf pups died an excruciating death by poisonous fumes as they waited for their parents to return to the den?
I do know that many Christians applauded Palin's Right to Life position. I did too, but I believe that Right to Life should be more inclusive than is hers, and for that matter-most Christians. I believe that if we don't have to kill animals, then we should appreciate the fact that life is as precious to them as it is to us. I was glad that one of the two recent Popes said that our dominion over the animals isn't absolute. Finally, some recognition of their "right to life." So when Palin sent her Wildlife personnel to pull out 14 little wolf pups from their den and shoot them in
the head, I was horrified. Obviously, many Alaskans and voters were not.
Ohio, on the other hand, has Rep. Betty Sutton, and so far I am very proud of her accomplishments. After reading a post re them in Cleveland.com (Cleveland Plain Dealer), it is evident that this junior congresswoman from the 13th district of Northeastern Ohio is doing her state proud. The writer wrote that in her two and a half years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton has had a string of legislative successes.
How many of us knew that Rep. Sutton has been responsible for more car sales over the past month than any auto dealership in America? Quite impressive you must admit, and how did she do that? Well, the "cash for clunker" program was steered through Congress by her. Formally called the Car Allowance Rebate System, nearly 250,000 vehicles were sold in the first four days. This program provides government rebates of up to $4,500 to buyers who trade in gas guzzlers for fuel-efficient models.
I had watched several local and national news re this program and I don't recall anyone giving credit to Rep. Betty Sutton for this program. So I was pleased that finally - at least the readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer became aware of this legislative work done by one of our own.
The initial $1 billion round of rebates were exhausted within a week, so Congress had to add an extra $2 billion to the program which is expected to last through Labor day. I and I'm sure so many of us are glad that this bill was both economically and environmentally sound.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recognized the efficacy of this program and said to Rep. Sutton: "Betty, thank you for hanging in there, for believing that this idea was worthwhile...Without your efforts, we would not be here today."
The Congresswoman- in her own speech at the event touted the bill's economic importance to her NE Ohio congressional district which she said would keep 2,000 Ford workers employed at the Assembly Plant in Avon, Ohio. Happily, it appears to be a win-win situation we needed.
She also said "Though it's called the CARS program, it's really about people...It's about your friends and your neighbors and those in your communities who depend on the wonderful industry in this country for a job." Sutton herself drives a union-made Pontiac Vibe that gets more than 20 miles per gallon.
Entering Congress in 2007 this 46-year old Junior Congresswoman has had a number of legislative successes in an institution where the more senior members typically make the big calls.
I also enjoyed the description of her impact on Congress as observed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said "Some people hit the ground running, but Betty Sutton hit the ground running at 1,000 miles per hour."
Here are some of her other legislative efforts:
1. Wrote a bill that became law which gave extra pay to members of the armed forces who were kept in the military past their enlistment dates.
2. Anti-dog-fighting provisions were authored by her in an agriculture bill that became law last year.