A couple of weeks ago, on these pages, I shared with readers that despite his encouragement for voter interaction, Sen. Sherrod Brown is less than prompt replying to constituents. Well, lo and behold, I finally received his response on the subject of term limits. No surprise that a career politician like Brown would shudder at the suggestion. Here is his reply: “Elected officials should be accountable to voters. I believe that there are some unintended consequences with term limits. Term limits can infringe on voters’ ability to determine who represents them. Moreover, term limits can increase the power of special interests.” Brown is entitled to his perspective; but, to this simple citizen, it seems that the longer they serve the more beholden they are to their campaign supporters and deep pocket lobbyists.
So, last week in this paper, Brown uses editorial space to posture on the subject of infrastructure disrepair. He goes on and on taking credit for legislation directed toward transportation improvement. Once again, Sen. Sherrod Brown is severely bending the truth. He has very, very little to do with infrastructure. Since the 1970’s money authorized by the federal budget for transportation is issued to states as a block grant. Each state gets an allocated portion and their departments of transportation dole it out. This is exactly where Brown and every other senator oughta get involved; but, instead they lazily hand out the money oblivious to how it is really spent. In Ohio, ODOT fritters that money away on all sorts of things that aren’t remotely related to transportation infrastructure repair. In fact, a lot of that funding is distributed to corporate insiders under the pretense of economic development. They actually have a practitioner to hand funds out to big companies rather than fixing our failing bridges and roads. If Brown wants to take credit, he at least should be in on how that budgeted money is being spent. Frankly, that block grant idea is long obsolete and the Department of Transportation should be addressing critical infrastructure repairs rather than giving states a hand-out and then hoping the actual usage will be as intended. I have no doubt that Sen. Brown believes that the infrastructure needs attention, it’s just that he has little or nothing to do with actually making it happen.
Over time Brown’s many questionable views have routinely been published by The Drummer. It seems reasonable to allocate space and beneficial for readers to be informed by elected representatives on topics of concern or interest. However, Senator Brown is beginning to reach a point of abuse of this privilege. My criticism has nothing to do with a difference of opinion and everything to do with a twisting of facts. Brown should be ashamed for submitting articles that overstate his representation to deliver a false impression to his constituents. I’ll look forward to Brown’s next submission to this space with high expectations that it will meet a higher standard of purpose.