In Congress, spending is a necessary function of the job, but lately – and sadly – responsibility has been tossed aside. Representatives choose which projects to support and when to support them based on a variety of economic factors. But, as always, there are those who spend – and those who waste. We turn to one of those wasteful, long-term incumbents today as we profile the race in Ohio’s 9th district.
The wasteful spender that represents Ohio’s 9th is Marcy Kaptur, a 14-term incumbent who has become so comfortable in Congress that she feels she can use taxpayer money however she wants, even if it means skirting rules put in place to ensure honesty and transparency. For nearly three decades, Kaptur has continued to saddle Ohioans with backbreaking debt to pay for her pet projects. Recently, she was named “Porker of the Month” by the Citizens Against Government Waste. But it’s not just pork barrel spending; she’s encouraging businesses to circumvent rules on earmarks. Numerous groups have reported that Kaptur helps for-profit companies get around earmark bans in Congress (including some major campaign donors – I hope you aren’t too surprised). The New York Times investigated one of the most egregious offenses: where Kaptur, under pressure to at least give the appearance of sound financial sense, advised a major donor to form a non-profit group so that she could continue funneling over $10 million in earmarks to her key supporters.
Not surprisingly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has conveniently ignored Marcy Kaptur’s frolicking in the “swamp” (the same one that Pelosi said she wanted to drain, remember?). The Ohio Democrat has repaid the Speaker by serving as a consistent party-line vote: Kaptur votes with Pelosi 96% of the time.
Fortunately, a great candidate has emerged to run against Kaptur. Rich Iott is an Ohio native who worked his way up from carryout clerk to President and CEO of FoodTown supermarkets. His experience at all levels of the workforce has provided him with expertise to navigate the difficult task of job creation and economic recovery. He is in his 28th year of military service and currently serves as a Colonel in the Ohio Military Reserve. Between military service and philanthropic service – his organization, the Iott Foundation, supports parochial education – Rich is well suited to take the reins from Kaptur.