Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Corporate Profits Ahead of the Health and Well-Being of their Contituents"

Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) and other Republicans have become targets of the latest political ad. Newsday has the story:

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America on Tuesday launched a $500,000 television and radio ad campaign in five congressional districts blaming GOP lawmakers for not seeking lower prices for the Medicare prescription drug program.

The ad campaign targets Republican House members from Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio and North Carolina. The ads accuse the lawmakers of blocking provisions that would have required Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for the best prescription cost.

In a series of radio ads, the association also criticizes the lawmakers for accepting contributions from the oil and gas industry, suggesting that their inaction contributed to high gas prices.

"Be it at the gas pump, the pharmacy or in our courts, these politicians in Washington are putting corporate profits ahead of the health and well-being of their constituents," association spokeswoman Chris Mather said...

...Trial lawyers are considered one of the Democrats main base of financial support and especially oppose Republican efforts to place caps on lawsuit awards and to place limits on class action lawsuits.

Republicans singled out by the ads are Reps. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, Chris Chocola of Indiana, Charles Taylor of North Carolina and Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania, all of whom have been targeted by Democrats for defeat. Mather said the five have "voted repeatedly to restrict access to justice.."

>>>Capital Eye has more on Pryce and her oil connections:
...The liberal political group launched national television advertisements in April as part of its “Oil-Free Congress” campaign, targeting four Republicans for taking contributions from the industry and for opposing bills that Democrats argue would have kept “Big Oil” in check. The ads, which ran in the lawmakers’ respective states, said the four were “caught red-handed” accepting money from energy companies. They compare Reps. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Chris Chocola (Ind.), Nancy Johnson (Conn.) and Thelma Drake (Va.) to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Bill Zimmerman, president of Zimmerman & Markman, the agency that produced the ads, said they are meant to show that the Republicans have engendered a culture of corruption in this country....

>>>Sherrod Brown set the record straight, according to the The Enquirer. Here are some excerpts from the Enquirer article on what Brown and his campaign had to say about the attack ads by Republicans:

"The difference between me and Mike DeWine is that he supports tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans while I have voted 33 times for tax breaks for middle-income people," said Brown, outside the Avril & Bleh Meat Market on East Court Street downtown. He was holding a news conference with shop owner Lenny Bleh on energy costs....

...Brown's campaign staff rushed to release a nine-page response detailing Brown's support for college-tuition tax credits, ending the "marriage penalty," and the 2003 "Relief for Working Families" tax act.

The response also cites DeWine's support for the Bush tax cuts, which, the Brown campaign said, gave nearly 60 percent of the tax cuts to the top 10 percent of taxpayers, while the bottom 60 percent got only 12.6 percent....

...In his campaign event in front of Bleh's meat shop, Brown argued that Republican energy policies have hurt small businesses and raised prices for consumers.

Bleh, a third-generation meatcutter who bought the meat shop eight years ago from the Avril family, which had operated it for more than 100 years, said that over the past year, his vendors have been adding a fuel surcharge to his orders, which increases the price he has to charge his customers.