Sherrod Brown – A Politician Vets Can’t Trust

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by Karen Norling

Note to Sherrod Brown campaign: there is one politician in this race who can’t be trusted, but his name is not Josh Mandel.  His name is Sherrod Brown.

Senator Brown claims, on his website, that he fully supports veterans: “Nothing is more important than honoring Ohio’s veterans . . . Serving on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is an honor and a duty I do not take lightly.”

To his credit, he does support veterans–when it comes to making sure they receive the benefits they’re due.  But, according to United Veterans for Ohio’s Harry T. Prestanski, whom I recently spoke with, vets want more than to simply receive government benefits.  They want, in Mr. Prestanski’s words: “a growing economy which creates jobs for everyone so that they, too, can enjoy prosperity in the market place.”

Though Mr. Prestanski never uttered a critical or unkind word about the Senator, during our conversation, he did share with me some areas of concern he has regarding the Senator’s voting record.  Here are those areas of concern, as delineated in the email Mr. Prestanski sent me, shortly after we talked:

ENERGY

“. . . [our] US energy policy has major implications on our National Security/National Defense.  Veterans’ overwhelmingly favor passing the Keystone XL Pipeline, use of coal . . . and Utica Shale reserves, etc. . . . these programs would create more jobs, lower energy costs . . . [and] greatly reduce the sending of US dollars to countries that openly oppose democracy and support terrorism.”

JOB CREATION

“Veterans still have a higher unemployment rate compared to the general population.  They do not just want veteran advantage . . . veteran advantage is meaningless if there is not a job available to have an advantage for.” (emphasis mine)

MANDATORY DEFENSE CUTS

“Veterans overwhelmingly are against these cuts which would be devastating to our national defense.  These cuts would drastically reduce our military manpower . . . [and] place our navy strength at before WWII levels.  Also, across-the-board cuts under sequestration will . . . [result in] the loss of an estimated 1,010,000 private-sector jobs, including 130,000 manufacturing jobs, by 2014.  Many of these jobs in the defense industry are held by veterans.”

First, I’ll tackle ENERGY.  The Senator talks a good game about “leading the way to our nation’s economic prosperity and [energy] independence.”  The problem is, he’s not talking about the abundant, cost-effective energy that would come from the XL Pipeline, or from refining Ohio’s substantial coal and shale reserves.  No.  He’s talking about the highly-unreliable, outrageously-expensive-to-harness energy that comes from the sun.

Indeed, every time he has the opportunity to vote for legislation that would enable construction of the pipeline to move forward, or expand our ability to utilize the previously-mentioned reserves, he votes against that legislation and in favor of  “renewable energy” legislation–solar energy in particular.

Indeed, despite the horrible fate of such taxpayer-subsidized powerhouses as Solyndra, Abound, Satcon, Milennium, 5N Plus, Amonix, Spectrawatt, Solar Trust of America, Evergreen, Blythe, Energy Conversion Devices, Stirling Energy Systems, Konarka, etc., he not only helped  launch the Solar by Soldiers program, in 2011, he authored and sponsored the Green Energy Production Acts of 2008 and 2009–all the while maintaining that “. . . Businesses and manufacturers in Ohio are leading the way when it comes to the innovative use of solar energy.”

Note to Senator:  if solar-energy-related companies can’t survive–even with massive taxpayer subsidies—who’s going to bother trying to create jobs that have anything to do with solar power?

Put another way: if you truly want to create jobs for veterans, lower the cost of their utility bills, and “lead” our country toward “energy independence,” ditch the flailing, dead-end “renewables” industry and step up your highly-commendable efforts to advance the construction of 100%-pristine-emissions-producing nuclear-power plants.

Moving on to JOB CREATION. Though the Senator likewise talks a good game about “ensuring that our small businesses have the resources they need to grow,” he turns around and votes as if he wants to destroy any possibility of small businesses merely surviving–let alone thriving.

Case in point#1: he voted against the 2001 tax cuts that would have eliminated the federal “estate” tax—more commonly known as the “death” tax.  Curtis Dubay, of the Heritage Foundation, reveals exactly what estate tax is and what it can ultimately do to hardworking families:

“The death tax is often portrayed as a tax that only rich heirs pay. In reality, the death tax hits family-owned businesses [such as farms] the hardest. These businesses are valuable on paper because they have many assets that they need to make and sell their products. But the businesses’ book values are not representative of the families’ liquid assets. When a family member passes on, these families often have to sell all or part of the business to raise the cash to pay the death tax. This slows the growth of these businesses and in some cases forces them to lay off existing workers.”

Case in point #2: he cast the deciding vote in favor of Obamacare which heaps several new taxes–and ever-more regulation–on small businesses.

Case in point #3: he voted against bringing an end to the “Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act” debate.  (If passed, the Act would provide a 10 percent income tax credit for businesses that hire new employees or increase wages in 2012.)

While the Senator would have you believe he downright champions the manufacturers who create the vast majority of jobs here in the U.S., he consistently votes in favor of passing legislation that ultimately makes it impossible for those manufacturers to stay in business.

For example, besides voting to allow the EPA to regulate the very CO2 we exhale, he also voted to allow the implementation of the “Utility ‘Maximum Achievable Controls Technology’” rule—the EPA’s most hostile, “economically devastating” regulation to date.

Here’s what the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association’s, Kevin Schmidt, had to say about implementing the utility MACT rule (quoted from his article, entitled, “Impact of Regulations is Costly,” posted in the Columbus Dispatch on 10/20/2011):

“. . . At the same time, manufacturers understand that fair and reasonable environmental regulations that address our critical needs must be balanced with responsible stewardship of our natural resources and concern for human health . . . Unfortunately, the U.S. Environmental Agency is in the process of implementing a number of costly emission-control regulations that threaten to upset that delicate balance — putting jobs at risk and driving up the cost of business at a time when our nation is struggling to recover from one of the worst economic downturns in history.”

Similarly, here’s what Chip Yost, of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has to say about the same:

“Affordable energy and jobs are top priorities for manufacturers, and the EPA’s proposed Utility MACT rule threatens to deal a lethal blow to both. The EPA’s Utility MACT proposal is yet another example of excessive overreach that will dampen economic growth and result in job losses.”

(Click here to see just one of the ads the NAM is running against the Senator.)

Finally, MANDATORY DEFENSE CUTS/ While the Senator states the following on his website: “Supporting our troops and their families is an imperative we all share . . . This means we must do what it takes to ensure our troops receive the support and resources they need to defend our freedom and security,” he voted for the nearly-$500-billion in cuts—in addition to the $487 in previously-agreed-upon cuts–slated to take effect in 2013.  (See: Budget Control Act).

To give you an idea just how “out in left field” the Senator is, in terms of his willingness to defund the men and women who fight, every day, to keep us safe, consider what Obama’s own Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has said about the cuts:

“I sure as hell hope that sequestration [automatic, across-the-board cuts in military spending] doesn’t happen . . . It would be a disaster in terms of the Defense Department. As far as our budget is concerned, as far as our ability to respond to the threats that are out there, it has a big impact.”

Consider, likewise, what former-democrat Senator, Joe Lieberman said in his “No More Cuts” op-ed, posted on the Wall Street Journal website, less than two weeks ago:

. . . [W]hen Congress reconvenes after the election, I will do everything I can to stop the additional $500 billion in defense cuts. Because so much has already been taken from the U.S. military, I will oppose any deal that cuts one dollar more from our national defense. America’s security cannot afford it.”

Senator John McCain, has also voiced his opposition to the cuts:

“We are facing draconian cuts to our nation’s defense as of the first of January 2013 . . . I’m not sure how many Americans are aware of the dramatic impact that this would have, not only our equipment and training but also on the ability to retain men and women in the military who wish to continue to serve.”

Still not convinced that Senator Brown is opposed to: 1) helping us achieve energy independence, 2) enabling small business owners/manufacturers to create meaningful, worthwhile, high-paying jobs, and 3) providing our troops all they need to fight our enemies around the world?  Just click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here, and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here, for further proof.

Thanks to the veterans who’ve risked their lives to protect our God-given liberties, for the past 237 years, we’ll soon have a chance to oust the 38-year, “says-one-thing-yet-does-another” career-politician who seeks to undermine virtually any and all pro-American-growth legislation that comes his way: Senator Sherrod Brown.

Indeed, a vote against Senator Brown is a vote in favor of our beloved military—and therefore, a vote in favor of every one of us.

Josh Mandel is running for office against Senator Sherrod Brown.