Examining candidates' positions on fracking

Labor Day celebrates the economic and social contributions of all workers. During this year's observance, I thought about the fact that Rep. Nan Baker voted for Senate Bill 5. How could a representative say “it’s about jobs” but then take away the right for collective bargaining? How could a representative turn on police and fire forces, as well as teachers? Blaming the budget woes on its workers rather than creatively pushing for innovative reform within our state government? Voters found out what Senate Bill 5 was about and overturned this legislation blaming hard working union men and women for the state’s financial woes. 

Rep. Baker also supports fracking. Does fracking create jobs in our district? Is fracking safe to our environment, where there were tremors from the Youngstown area as a result of the drilling? Or events in Pennsylvania where water was being mixed with gas? In a Dec. 11, 2011, newspaper article, Baker said "drilling and related activities will create up to 200,000 new jobs for Ohioans by 2015, with the economic activity continuing for around 25 years.”  But in that same article, the writer asks about a study by a team of Ohio State University economists that said shale gas production would produce far less than the stats Rep. Baker was quoted on. Baker said she would “look at that new study.” Have we heard response from Baker?

As we have learned from Senate Bill 5, Baker is in lockstep with the Kasich administration. HB 153 was the budget presented by the governor, and surprise, Baker voted for it. Our representative then “worked” on an amendment that proclaims that she “was able to work with our five superintendents and representatives at the House to cap the loss of state-aid to 20 percent.” Wouldn’t Baker have seen that the schools in her district were going to be hurt before she voted for Kasich’s budget?

My political disgust in Columbus was a turn off until recently. A gentleman by the name of Andrew Meyer came to my door and asked for my support in the general election. I told him my concerns about the current situation in state politics and we had a lengthy conversation talking about his anti-Senate Bill 5 sentiment and how he was out gathering signatures to put it on the ballot last year. 

He talked about his support for a moratorium on fracking until it is properly regulated by the state. He sold me on his philosophy that being close to the lake and Cleveland is a powerful foothold for creating jobs for the district through biomedical research and technology and green jobs. He is a strong, independent minded thinker who will not be beholden to his own party’s demands and who will work to grow regional strengths for our economic success as a district. 

I enthusiastically recommend that all voters in Bay Village, Westlake, Fairview Park, North Olmsted and Rocky River take a look at Andrew Meyer’s campaign for district 16 state representative. Andrew Meyer would be the right choice for our district moving forward.

– Jeff Becka, North Olmsted

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 09.18.2012