Zimmann for U.S. House

10/2/2012
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Zimmann

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth

Ohio's re­drawn 5th U.S. House Dis­trict fa­vors the re-elec­tion of in­cum­bent Re­pub­li­can Bob Latta. But Demo­cratic chal­lenger ANGELA ZIMMANN of­fers ideas, en­ergy, and a com­mit­ment to over­com­ing the stale­mate in Con­gress that make her a bet­ter choice for the dis­trict. 

GOP ger­ry­man­der­ing added parts of west and south Toledo to the 5th Dis­trict, along with west­ern Lu­cas County sub­urbs that lean Re­pub­li­can. The re­vised dis­trict also in­cludes Wood County and all or part of a dozen other north­west Ohio coun­ties.

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Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Latta, 56, a law­yer from Bowl­ing Green, has held the 5th Dis­trict seat since 2007. He calls the econ­omy his top is­sue, but has done lit­tle to im­prove this re­gion's econ­omy. He cast a mis­guided vote against the fed­eral bail­out that saved Chrysler and Gen­eral Mo­tors.

More pos­i­tively, Mr. Latta is re­spon­sive to con­stit­u­ents in his ex­pan­sive dis­trict. He has spon­sored leg­is­la­tion de­signed to help ease pre­scrip­tion-drug short­ages in hos­pi­tals. His sen­si­ble plan to widen el­i­gi­bil­ity for re­tired mil­i­tary re­serv­ists seek­ing health-care cov­er­age also has be­come law.

A for­mer state law­maker and county com­mis­sioner, Mr. Latta says he seeks greater con­gres­sio­nal over­sight of fed­eral reg­u­la­tions that af­fect busi­ness. A mem­ber of the en­ergy and com­merce com­mit­tee, he sup­ports an "all of the above" en­ergy pol­icy fo­cused on en­ergy in­de­pen­dence and do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing clean coal, nat­u­ral gas, and oil.

On broader pol­icy is­sues, how­ever, Mr. Latta has not been prag­matic or con­struc­tive, in­stead cling­ing to the ide­ol­ogy of the far right. He un­der­stands the coun­try's grow­ing prob­lem with def­i­cit spend­ing, but ig­nores his own party's share of the blame for it while sup­port­ing an im­prac­ti­cal con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment that os­ten­si­bly would re­duce the def­i­cit.

Ms. Zim­mann, 39, of Spring­field Town­ship, is a bet­ter choice in the 5th Dis­trict. A Lu­theran min­ster and writ­ing in­struc­tor at Bowl­ing Green State Univer­sity, she of­fers prag­matic ideas and a will­ing­ness to work with peo­ple out­side her party to carry them out.

Ms. Zim­mann says she sup­ports the rights of gun own­ers and gen­er­ally fa­vors smaller gov­ern­ment and lower taxes. She crit­i­cizes Mr. Latta for his record on women's is­sues, in­clud­ing his op­po­si­tion to re­pro­duc­tive rights and to leg­is­la­tion that would guar­an­tee women equal pay for equal work and in­crease fund­ing for do­mes­tic-vi­o­lence pro­tec­tion.

She says she would work in Con­gress to end tax in­cen­tives for busi­nesses to ex­pand out­side the coun­try. She seeks in­creased fund­ing for vet­er­ans and job-train­ing pro­grams and for road con­struc­tion and other in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments.

Ms. Zim­mann says she wants to re­turn to Ohio a greater share of the money it sends to Wash­ing­ton in gas­o­line taxes. She views com­mu­nity col­leges as crit­i­cal to train­ing peo­ple for good-pay­ing jobs in man­u­fac­tur­ing and health care.

Mr. Latta touts his con­ser­va­tive cre­den­tials, but the na­tion needs nei­ther "con­ser­va­tive" nor "lib­eral" ideas and pol­i­cies, nor pol­i­ti­cians who are bound to them. It needs in­no­va­tive ideas that work, and elected of­fi­cials who carry them out in a bi­par­ti­san way.

Lib­er­tar­ian Eric Eberly of Bowl­ing Green is also on the bal­lot in the 5th Dis­trict. But ANGELA ZIMMANN is the best can­di­date to help move the dis­trict, and the coun­try, for­ward.