When a Congressman running for reelection comes to town, usually they're looking for your vote. But Democrat and U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown told Oberlin students on Monday that that wasn't his main priority.
"Fisher's race is real, real important for the state," said Brown, referring to the gubernatorial race between Bob Taft and Lee Fisher. "I think Fisher's gonna win." (see related story page 1)
Brown is running for reelection in the race for U.S. Representative.
Brown, who holds a strong lead in his own race against Republican Grace Drake, visited with Oberlin students Monday evening over pizza and pop. He, and perhaps the smell of pizza, drew over 100 students to hear him speak. Other than encouraging students to vote for Fisher, Brown discussed the current situation in Congress and answered questions about issues of the economy, health care and the environment.
The OC Democrats, who sponsored the visit, hoped to make students aware that elections are just around the corner. They were as excited as Brown about the gubernatorial election. "I've heard it's neck and neck. We're going to try to get a really good Oberlin student turnout," said OC Dems co-chair senior Siobhan Reilley.
One of Ohio's 19 representatives, Brown is seeking a fourth consecutive term in Tuesday's election. Only 45 years old, he has been in public office for all but two years since the age of 21. Since being elected to Congress in 1992 Brown has become a strong liberal voice on issues of trade and the environment. He received a 100 percent score from the League of Conservation voters for this year's session, based on Congressmen's voting records on environmental issues.
Last Monday night, Brown, in his easy manner and gravely voice, displayed his notoriously partisan viewpoints towards both the Republicans and the President. "While we talk about class warfare, they do it," he said of the Republican Party. On Clinton, he commented, "The president is very interested in pleasing the elite. Clinton's been decent on the environment, but by and large he doesn't want to upset corporations."
Brown spoke freely about the current situation in the national legislature. He explained that the recently passed budget was a uniquely bad job of legislation. "The budget was thrown together and nobody read the bill, basically," he said. "We spent an extra $1 to $2 billion on planes the military doesn't want because Gingrich wants them."
Brown returned to Oberlin Thursday night to discuss microcredit with the Oberlin chapter of RESULTS, an international organization devoted to ending hunger. He chatted with a small group of residents and students and applauded their efforts to lobby for effective foreign aid.
As a final note at Monday's meeting, Brown encouraged idealism in students. "If you stand for something and believe in it, you can win with something that's not quite mainstream," he said.
Brownian campaigning: Sherrod Brown speaks to Oberlin students Monday about state and national elections. (photo by Zach Fried)
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 7, October 30, 1998
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