Think one person can change the world? Fine - then VOTE!
Voters were given help deciding between the candidates at Monday's candidates' night at Oberlin's First Church. The church was full, but student faces were scarce at the forum, which featured candidates for the U.S. Representative seat, State Senate and other local positions.
Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Grace Drake are running for U.S. Representative in the 13th District.
When asked about health care, Brown said he supported a minimum wage increase and a patient's bill of rights, but didn't support the privatization of Social Security or Medicare.
A representative for Drake mentioned her experience since 1984 as Chairman of the Health Commission, where she standardized 48-hour post-natal care investigations into workers at retirement homes, and her work to preserve Medicare and Social Security. College sophomore Jessica Kennedy asked about disparate sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Brown said the problem actually lies at the border between Mexico and Texas, and Drake's representative said there shouldn't be any difference in punishment for two kinds of the same drug.
Republican Jeffrey Armbruster, Democrat Ronald Nabakowski and Natural Law Party member and Oberlin resident John Fitch are State Senate candidates. The Natural Law Party, founded in 1992, supports scientifically proven methods of reform. Candidates were asked about problems with Ohio schools related to a recent suit filed by 550 Ohio schools seeking better funding from the state. Ohio's public schools rank last in the nation in operability of their physical plants.
Mr. Armbruster's wife spoke on his behalf about his business with Shell gas stations and his desire to streamline government in order to leave more money for education.
Nabakowski was even more specific, stating that 90 percent of income tax and all the lottery revenue should be used to repair old school buildings, buy computers, and reduce inequalities among rich and poor school districts. Fitch called for equity in funding for all districts, but also mentioned vouchers and magnet schools.
When asked about reproductive rights for women, Armbruster and Fitch said they were pro-choice, while Nabakowski said, "Unfortunately, I'm pro-life." Fitch also mentioned the importance of prevention, rather than crisis-management, but didn't come out and say what kind of educational programs he would endorse.
Both candidates for Lorain County Commissioner, Republican John Baird and Democrat Betty Blair, were there to talk about economic development in Lorain County. Baird cited the importance of zoning, attracting new businesses and co-operation between businesses, government and agriculture.
Blair supports smart growth policies and mentioned task force groups that involve the public in the process of balancing environmental preservation and urban growth.
Other elections are for judicial positions. Running for court of common pleas judge are Mark Betleski and Robert Corts. The court of common pleas deals with criminal felony cases and civil suits over $15,000. Betleski's experience is in civil matters, while Corts has working experience with prosecuting adult felonies.
Court of common pleas domestic relations deals specifically with matters of children and domestic violence, among other things. Judge candidate Debra Boros cited her experience in the legal field and the community, working with Big Brother/Big Sister, United Way and Addiction Recovery Board. Henry Webber, who has held this judgeship for 18 years, founded the above mentioned groups as well as group homes, restitution programs instead of incarceration for juvenile offenders and Voices for Children of abusive parents.
Also in attendance were Sandy Rubino, Joyce Kimbler, Donna Carr, and Clair Dickinson, who are running for judge in the court of appeals. Kosma Glaves, who is running unopposed for Common Pleas court, Martha Wise, who is running for a Board of Education seat , Mark Stewart, who is running for Lorain County Auditor, and George Metelsky, who is running for State Representative were all present.
Voters guides, which give more detailed information about all the candidates, are available from the Oberlin Public Library.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 7, October 30, 1998
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