The voter turnout was a mere 16 percent for the recent special election for Ohio's 5th District seat in Congress. Only 16 percent of the voters who represent almost 600,000 people took time out to cast a vote on how issues involving the war, the environment, human rights and healthcare, will be considered by the person representing the 5th district.
In the last two elections in the 5th, 2006 and the special, the Democrat received over 40 percent of the vote, thought to represent a change.
An examination of the numbers shows the overall votes for the Democrat actually increased only nominally. It was the total votes for the GOP candidate that had a big drop off and represents the major change. That means the swing vote, independent voters, are now not voting for either party in large numbers. These folks represent the "new silent majority of 21st century America," one that feels beat down, hanging on by a fingernail and who do not see anyone voicing their concerns.
These are the folks, who have taken all of the lumps in the trade agreement giveaways, global outsourcing of jobs, corporate job downsizing to increase profits, lost their healthcare, who have suffered most of the casualties in the war and who are now shouldering the financial burdens of society at large.
Burdens that have been shifted from the fat purses of the "Have-it-alls" to the empty wallets of the "Have little or nothings" by the state and federal government tax policy changes in the last 27 years. These are the folks who see and hear few voices seriously discussing the basic issues elemental to them, healthcare, home ownership, educating their children and providing a vision of hope for the future. The candidate or candidates, who bother to pay attention to these folks, will upset the status quo, which is now, a choice between the "Two Lessers."
Patrick R. Saunders
What's in my milk?
As a consumer concerned with my right to know what is in my food, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Governor Strickland should keep the current milk labeling standards we have in place, and not take away consumers' right to know whether or not their milk has been produced with artificial growth hormones, or rBGH.
The artificial growth hormone rBGH is a genetically engineered growth hormone, which is injected into a cow to increase milk production. The use of rBGH has been banned in Canada, all 27 countries of the European Union, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Because of human and animal health concerns, consumers nationally have demanded rBGH-free dairy products. Many retailers have listened to this demand, and Starbucks, Chipotle, Kroger, Ben & Jerry's and most recently Kraft have all decided to eliminate rBGH from some or all of their products.
Gov. Strickland needs to do the right thing and protect consumers' right to know what's in their milk and dairies right to tell them. Keep rBGH-Free labeling in Ohio, and let consumers decide for themselves.