I voted for Republican David Joyce in 2012, when he first ran to represent Ohio’s 14th district in U.S. Congress. I met him in person and attended some candidate forums where I heard him speak. Joyce tried his best to convince folks that he would go to Washington D.C. with the same common sense approach that his predecessor, GOP Congressman Steven LaTourette, was known for having – so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
The problem with Washington – particularly the House of Representatives – is that more politicians are interested in obstructing progress and gumming up the machinery of government than actually doing their jobs. Ohio’s 14th district is full of voters, Republicans and Democrats, who favor cooperation over gridlock, and I thought Joyce would be mindful of that when we sent him to Congress.
Boy, was I wrong.
One of the first votes Congressman Joyce took was a vote against disaster relief funds to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, which was rightly met with bipartisan outrage. He also voted to shut down the government last year, a decision that affected hundreds of thousands of workers and countless military families. Joyce has also cast a number of meaningless votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a law that most Americans believe should be implemented and improved, not repealed.
Zero votes on a jobs bill. Zero votes to increase the minimum wage for working people in his district. Zero votes to give relief to debt-burdened students. Zero.
He may talk like a moderate candidate, but the truth is that Congressman Joyce has done very little over the past two years to suggest that he cares about appealing to any voter who isn’t a right-wing ideologue.
Joyce’s challenger, Michael Wager, hopes to address issues that Congressman Joyce and his GOP colleagues have avoided since they took control of the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 election:
- Investments in our infrastructure, which will not just repair our deteriorating roads and bridges but will stimulate the economy, create more jobs and boost consumer spending
- Tax credits to help small businesses hire more workers and increased funding for banks to lend to those businesses
- Minimum wage increase to help those who work full-time but still struggle to get by
- Legislation to ensure that men don’t make more money than women for doing the same exact job
- Reforming the way campaigns are funded so undisclosed special interests can’t just buy our elections
These aren’t partisan ideas or ultra-liberal proposals; they’re common sense. Poll after poll shows that a vast majority of Americans support them.
The hardworking, independent-minded voters of Ohio’s 14th district deserve a representative who doesn’t just blindly follow the most extreme elements in his/her own political party. For two years, that’s what Congressman David Joyce has given us, even if he’s doing his best to tell you otherwise.
Michael Wager is my choice to represent Ohio’s 14th district in U.S. Congress. He should be yours, too.
(Note: Ohio’s 14th district contains all of Ashtabula, Lake and Geauga Counties, in addition to eastern Cuyahoga County, northern Trumbull County, northern Portage County, and northeastern Summit County. Click here if you’re unsure of your congressional district.)