OH-16: Alliance for Retired Americans Endorses John Boccieri

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The Alliance for Retired Americans says John Boccieri is the best choice to succeed retiring Rep. Ralph Regula in the race for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District.

The organization, which has nearly 271,000 members in Ohio and represents over 3.5 million seniors across America, wrote in their endorsement that Boccieri’s “election to the House of Representatives will enhance the quality of life for older Americans.”

The Alliance cited:

“Boccieri’s leadership on issues such as fighting Social Security privatization and strengthening the Social Security and Medicare systems… In addition, our members can support your candidacy because of your belief in the need to provide more affordable health care for older Americans, to create a Medicare drug program that benefits seniors, not insurance and drug companies, as well as the need for stronger retirement and pension security, and quality long term and nursing home care.”

Boccieri thanked the group for its endorsement and reiterated his commitment to standing up for seniors.

“If you’ve worked hard, played by the rules, and given back to your community your entire life, you deserve your pension benefits, affordable health care, and financial security in retirement. That’s the dream that has made America strong, and that’s the promise that I will fight for in Congress.”

Boccieri has a strong record of supporting seniors in the state legislature and has committed to use his voice in Congress to address the plight of local retirees like those from Republic Technologies who have been denied much of their promised pension benefits.

In stark contrast, when Republic Technologies retirees invited State Sen. Kirk Schuring to an October 11 meeting about their pension struggles, Schuring never showed up. And this Tuesday, the editors of the Akron Beacon Journal noted that Schuring has expressed “willingness to consider privatizing a portion of Social Security” if elected to Congress.

In 2001, Schuring cast the only Ohio House vote against creating the Golden Buckeye discount prescription drug program [“Legislation Would Give Seniors Drug Discount,” Dayton Daily News, 6/6/01], and more recently voted to raise the retirement age and strip half a billion dollars from state pension funds. [127 SB 148]

OH-16: Schuring on Wrong Side of Economic Crisis

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Blocked predatory lending crackdown, wants more giveaways to Wall Street

A devastating week for the U.S. financial sector has underscored the danger of congressional candidate Kirk Schuring’s economic policies for working families in the 16th Congressional District and across America.

Democratic candidate John Boccieri said today:

“Kirk Schuring’s economic philosophy is as bankrupt as Lehman Brothers. He is not offering the change that middle class families need to bounce back from this economic crisis.”

Schuring is staking his campaign on the same failed policies that caused the crisis by constantly siding with Wall Street over Main Street. His policy stances will actually worsen the impact of economic instability for middle class families.

FACT: Schuring blocked crackdowns on predatory lenders in the state legislature. In 2001, he helped push through a sham reform bill supported by predatory lenders in order to prevent Ohio’s local communities from regulating out-of-control predatory mortgage loans. HB 386; “Home Security,” The Columbus Dispatch, 9/21/05

FACT: Schuring’s top economic priority is giving more tax breaks to the Wall Street firms that created this financial mess. Corporate tax giveaways are the very first item in Schuring’s “jobs plan” – but he has not proposed a single tax cut directed at the middle class. www.schuringforcongress.com/issues, accessed 9/24/08

FACT: Schuring’s response to the crisis focuses only on helping Wall Street. In an interview on WHBC this morning, Schuring did not once call for direct assistance to the innocent homeowners at the heart of this crisis.

FACT: While Schuring claims to oppose out-of-control spending in Washington, he insists on an open-ended commitment to spending $5,000 per second in Iraq, which has already led to the largest budget deficit in American history, forced the government to borrow billions from nations like China, and left us with limited resources to stabilize our struggling economy. 16th District Notebook,” The Canton Repository, 9/21/08

FACT: Schuring has said “I think everything should be on the table” when it comes to Social Security. Kirk Schuring on Social Security/Medicare,” accessed 9/24/08 Schuring’s Republican allies in Washington have been trying for years to turn Social Security over to Wall Street, and Schuring’s stunningly anti-senior record in the state legislature makes clear that he can’t be trusted to look out for older Americans in Congress. Boccieri Calls for Protecting Social Security on 73rd Anniversary

Let the facts speak for themselves; Kirk Schuring’s policy positions are not what the working families of Ohio’s 16th Congressional District need in the United States Congress.

OH-16: John Boccieri Needs 15 More Votes

Boccieri Breaking News:

John is Just 15 Votes from the Final Round – Vote Now!


From the Akron Beacon Journal:

VP candidate draws 2,500 in Canton

“…Gov. Ted Strickland and state Sen. John Boccieri, the Democratic candidate for the Canton-based 16th Congressional District, introduced Biden to the Canton crowd, with the three of them locking hands in a victory pose. Strickland called Boccieri one of his ”closest personal friends.”

Boccieri, D-Alliance, told the audience: ”It is time we elect change. That is why we need Barack Obama and Joe Biden. ”

Boccieri said Biden is from a middle-class family and is a ”tough, smart and realistic leader.”

Read the full article…

There’s more…

John only needs 15 more votes by midnight on Saturday to advance to the final round in 21st Century Democrats online contest!

If you haven’t voted, please vote now. If you have, please urge all your friends to vote, too.

Again, the winners of this contest will receive an additional staff member for their campaigns. That extra organizer could lead to dozens of extra volunteers, thousands more phone calls and door-knocks, and a winning margin of votes on Election Day.

The deadline for Round 1 voting is midnight on Saturday. Please vote ASAP!

Thanks for Your Support,

Team Boccieri

OH-16: John Boccieri Vows to Tackle Pension Problems

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Boccieri Vows to Tackle Pension Problems

After meeting on Thursday with local retirees from Republic Technologies International (RTI) who have been battling for years to secure the pensions they were promised, State Sen. John Boccieri affirmed his commitment to fight for a resolution to their struggle as a member of the U.S. Congress.

Boccieri also promised to attend a major public meeting about these pension problems on Saturday, October 11. Other elected officials, candidates, and members of the press have also been invited.

State Senator John Boccieri said:

“It’s criminal that you would work your whole life, pay into a pension plan, and then get almost nothing because bad trade policies or irresponsible executives bankrupt your company. This issue requires a strong and loud voice in Congress to ensure that laws protecting pensions are enforced and are strengthened to protect workers.”

For years, thousands of local workers and retirees from RTI have been struggling with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the government agency that takes over a company’s pension plan if it declares bankruptcy to ensure that employees still receive pension benefits.

Despite this intent, many workers see their pensions dramatically reduced when the PBGC takes over from a bankrupt company, due to funding problems and complex laws governing how the agency makes payments.

In the case of RTI, the situation was made worse by extended legal battles over the amounts owed by the PBGC to affected workers, which have now resulted in the agency demanding that retirees pay back pension “overpayments” as large as $60- or $70,000.

Individuals at Thursday’s meetings also expressed frustrations with the PBGC’s lack of responsiveness and consistency in addressing their concerns. “You ask the same question three times and get three different answers,” one retiree said. Others said that PBGC had miscalculated benefits, confused the benefits owed by RTI and previous companies operating the same facilities, and awarded, reduced or revoked benefits arbitrarily.(emphasis added)

Boccieri’s initial proposals to address these concerns include:

  • Working directly with the PBGC, as well as with Senator Sherrod Brown, the Steelworkers Union, and others who have taken the lead on these issues, to push for swift, fair solutions;
  • Creating a “Pension Protection Caucus” in Congress that would bring together legislators from all of the districts and states affected by these pension problems to seek resolutions;
  • Increasing enforcement of pension protection laws to ensure that both corporations and the PBGC are honoring their obligations to workers;
  • Passing legislative improvements to current law, such as measures to give workers’ pensions fairer treatment in bankruptcy proceedings and prevent retirees from having to repay PBGC when it takes years to recalculate pension payments;
  • Improving the responsiveness and transparency of the PBGC in its dealings with pension recipients;
  • Ensuring that improvements in enforcement and legislation are retroactive in order to address the plight of RTI employees.
  • Once again, Senator Major John Boccieri is first on the issues that most affect the voters of Ohio’s 16th Congressional District!

    OH-16: John Boccieri to Introduce Joe Biden in Canton, OH Thursday

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    John Boccieri to Introduce Joe Biden in Canton Thursday

    At approximately 10:00 a.m. this Thursday, Sept. 18, candidate for U.S. Congress John Boccieri (OH-16) will introduce Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden at a rally in downtown Canton.

    Boccieri will address the audience prior to Biden’s appearance, focusing on the need for change in the 16th Congressional District.

    WHO: State Sen. John Boccieri (D-Alliance), 16th District Congressional Candidate, Sen. Joe Biden (DE), Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee

    WHAT: Change We Need Rally

    WHERE: Football Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton, OH

    WHEN: Approximately 10:00 a.m. (doors open at 8:00 a.m.)

    John Boccieri is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the 16th Congressional District. The district’s current congressman, Ralph Regula, is retiring this year.

    Boccieri has represented eastern Stark County for eight years in the Ohio legislature as a State Representative and State Senator. Boccieri has also served 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, including four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and currently holds the rank of Major. Boccieri was born and raised in northeast Ohio and lives in Alliance with his wife, Stacey, and four children.

    The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

    For more information, call the Canton Campaign for Change office (330) 452-4746

    OH-16: Canton Firefighters Endorse Boccieri

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    Canton Firefighters Endorse Boccieri

    The Canton Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 249, has endorsed John Boccieri in the race for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District.

    Dan Reed, President of Local 249, said:

    “John has always been very responsive to us. We appreciate his respect for firefighters, his military service, and his commitment to collective bargaining rights. I know he’ll listen to our needs and stand up for us in Washington.”

    The Canton Professional Firefighters Association has a membership of 163 Canton firefighters.

    Boccieri said he was honored to receive the group’s endorsement.

    “Canton’s firefighters put their lives on the line for us every day, and I couldn’t be prouder of their service and dedication. I’ll fight in Congress to make sure they have all the support and resources they need to do their job and keep our community safe.”

    OH-16: John Boccieri Commemorates September 11

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    Commemorating September 11

    State Sen. John Boccieri released the following statement today on the seventh anniversary of the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001:

    “After seven years, the shock of September 11 is still with us, but America’s resolve is stronger than ever. We will never forget our brothers and sisters who lost their lives that day, or the selflessness of the first responders and everyday heroes who came to their aid – many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice themselves.

    In the past seven years, Americans have come to honor those killed in the attacks by giving of ourselves for the strength of our nation. Today we express our gratitude to all who have answered the call to serve. Through service, we cherish the memory and preserve the spirit of those who were taken from us.”

    To commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of America’s first responders today, Boccieri will present Canton firefighters with a United States flag flown into Iraq during a Combat Mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    OH-16: John Boccieri: A Fighter. For Us. – Video

    I was surfing blogs this morning and stumbled upon this great ad for Senator John Boccieri(D).

    We have lost major employers and suffered through “Kirk Schuring’s Gas Tax” increase while he gave himself a $9000 pay raise.

    Senator Major John Boccieri(D) has served us in Iraq, Afghanastan, and 40 countries around the world. He has committed to stand up against Big Oil and help to bring down sky-rocketing gas prices. He stands with the middle class and organized labor. John Boccieri is the clear choice for Ohio’s Fighting 16th District!

    From the DCCC:

    John Boccieri: A Fighter. For Us. (OH-16)

    A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, John Boccieri is the right candidate to represent Ohio’s 16th Congressional District in Washington.

    OH-16: Date Set for Fourth Boccieri-Schuring Debate

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    Date Set for Fourth Boccieri-Schuring Debate

    Schuring, Canton Chamber of Commerce Reject Additional Forums

    Both 16th District congressional candidates have agreed to a fourth debate before the November election. This discussion will take place live on the WHBC radio show “Points to Ponder” on October 15.

    Unfortunately, Sen. Kirk Schuring has refused a debate proposed by the AARP that was to take place at Stark State College of Technology. Sen. John Boccieri had agreed to this debate, but the AARP has canceled the event after Schuring rejected their offer.

    Senator Major John Boccieri(D-Alliance) responded to the news as follows:

    “It’s unfortunate that Senator Schuring refused to participate in an open discussion about the issues facing our seniors in this election. Social Security, pension protections, and the cost of health care and prescription drugs are vital concerns that the next Congress will have to address, and it’s disheartening that Senator Schuring is unwilling to do so.”

    Don Singer, a representative of the Boccieri campaign, also responded to the Canton Chamber of Commerce’s cancellation of a debate that both candidates were willing to participate in:

    “After much progress, I’m disappointed that the Chamber of Commerce suddenly closed the door on negotiations despite Senator Boccieri’s willingness to debate the candidate they had just endorsed.”

    What gives? The Canton Chamber of Commerce endorses Schuring, plans a debate, but as soon as John Boccieri accepts they pull the plug? I might be wrong, but this just doesn’t pass “the smell test”. As for the AARP debate, I think we covered that here.