Monday, February 26, 2007

ABJ Plays Soft Toss with Betty Sutton

The Beacon Journal continues its long, slow slide into a daily version of the West Side Leader with the fluffiest interview with new Representative Betty Sutton you would never want to read. Reporter Jim Carney got column inches sufficient for eleven questions, one of which probed Rep. Sutton’s taste in coffee (fair trade from Starbucks served black, if you’re wondering.)

The only reason the interview flirts with substance is the Representative using a beanbag question about “biggest accomplishments” to make points:

    I am happy to say that we have accomplished a great deal in the first month of this new Congress. On the very first day, we adopted reforms to clean up the culture that has allowed corruption to flourish in Congress and prevented the adoption of public policy to benefit the public good rather than special interests.

    After accomplishing that, we passed an increase in the minimum wage to ensure that hardworking people will receive a fairer wage. We also enacted legislation that put our seniors first and made health care more affordable, passed legislation to make college more affordable and accessible, and ended the subsidies to oil companies so we can invest in the future ofrenewable-energy technology, that will create more jobs. (All issues must be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.)

If you want to know about the Representative’s policy goals or future plans, you’ll have to read into those tea leaves. That’s what you get.

I’ve got plenty of questions I’d like to ask Rep. Sutton. Last week four shivering MoveOn activists protested war funding outside her office as part of a nationwide effort. How does she feel about defunding? She's landed a plum committee assignment. How does she plan to parlay that into advantage for her district? She's spokesperson for the Dem. rookie class. How is that going? In four years Ohio will lose two Representatives. What is she doing to make sure she's not one of them?

Lots of questions. Too bad the list hasn’t been winnowed down any.