Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Mayors Tour Ohio

The supposedly bi-partisan US Conference of Mayors will be toring Ohio with stops in Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo and Cleveland. For all intents and purposes, they are stumping for John Kerry because they are going to continue to distort the jobs situation and downplay our economy.

Here is a list of who is on the tour:
-- Akron (OH) Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, USCM President [unable to tell party affiliation by his bio]

-- Hempstead (NY) Mayor James A. Garner, USCM Past President [Republican]

-- Dearborn (MI) Mayor Michael A. Guido, USCM Advisory Board Chair [unable to tell party affiliation by his bio]

-- Columbus (OH) Mayor Michael Coleman [Democrat]

-- Dayton (OH) Mayor Rhine L. McLin [Democrat]

-- Toledo (OH) Mayor Jack Ford [Democrat]

-- Cleveland (OH) Mayor Jane Campbell [Democrat]

-- Tom Cochran, USCM Executive Director [unable to tell party affiliation by his bio]

A 4 to 1 ratio with 3 unknowns.

Whatever you might hear from these folks, you should take with a grain (or a pound) of salt...

Here is their schedule:
Thursday, August 12, 2004:

Columbus Press Conference - 10 a.m.

West Edge Business Center, 855 West Mound Street, Columbus, OH (corner of Mound and Harmon)

Dayton Press Conference - 2 p.m.

Select Tool, 240 Detrick Street, Dayton, OH

Friday, August 13, 2004:

Toledo Press Conference - 8:45 a.m.

Chrysler Jeep Plant, 4400 Chrysler Drive, Toledo, OH

Cleveland Press Conference - 1:30 p.m.

City Hall - Red Room, 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(Source) (Resource)

4:45 PM Update

Who's agenda does this sound like?
1. Jobs and Public/Private Partnerships: Keeping America Working

The federal government must be responsive to the new realities that current and future workers face with shrinking manufacturing jobs, the slow job recovery, and global competition.

-- Tax Incentives: Provide targeted tax incentives to attract investments in the nation's 600,000 brownfields, to help build low- and moderate-income single and multifamily housing, and to foster private investment in modern infrastructure development including transportation and water projects.

-- Modernization of Infrastructure Financing: Develop a new, modern infrastructure investment plan using pension funds, insurance guarantees, infrastructure bonds, and creative public/private partnerships to help finance major projects in U.S. metro areas such as water, wastewater, transportation and school projects.

-- Small Business Incentives: Shut down corporate tax loopholes that help move jobs overseas and apply revenues to small business incentives that will encourage innovation, create new, real jobs, and train workers.

-- Improved Public Schools: Improve public schools through increased funding for the creation of smaller public high schools, Head Start and other early childhood education, early reading readiness and adolescent literacy, and after school learning and other related activities. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act should be fully funded, and there needs to be continued support for education standards and accountability.

-- Workforce Training: Increase investment in workforce training, out-of-school and after school training and workforce preparation for youth, and summer youth employment.

2. Smart Investment: New Infrastructure for a New Economy

Our metro economies need modern infrastructure to secure the nation's future economic growth, yet the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the vast majority of U.S. infrastructure a dismal overall grade of D-plus.

-- Transportation Investment: Invest no less than $318 billion over six years for reauthorization of the nation's surface transportation law (TEA-21) to build a 21st Century Transportation system with modern transit and high-speed rails, Amtrak, bridges, large-scale transportation infrastructure projects, and metro highway systems with new technologies that link major metro areas, cut the time people spend in traffic, create more jobs, and move goods and services more productively.

-- Brownfields Redevelopment Action Grant (BRAG): Establish a new Brownfields Redevelopment Action Grant (BRAG) investment program that can be used by cities to leverage private investment in brownfields -- underutilized and/or contaminated properties -- and help preserve farmland and open spaces.

-- Homeownership and Rental Housing: Support a comprehensive agenda to promote homeownership and the construction of affordable rental housing. Continue to fully support the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other housing programs, fully fund every section 8 voucher currently in use across the country, and continue full funding of Section 8 vouchers currently allocated.

-- Energy Self-Sufficiency: Develop a new, innovative energy plan that frees us from dependence on oil and helps secure our economic future.

3. Public Safety and Homeland Security: Keeping America Safe

As a nation, our future requires a strong, comprehensive public safety system to continue the ongoing fight against crime and protect every American community from the new threat of domestic terrorism.

-- Fighting Crime: Support the ongoing fight against traditional crime with increased support for deployment, overtime, prevention, equipment and training programs. A new focus must also be placed on fighting rising gang crimes as well as the continuing problem of gun violence, drugs, and cyber- crime. Support the renewal of the assault weapons ban.

-- Homeland Security/First Responder Funding: Immediately enact the recommendations of the recent Department of Homeland Security Task Force on State and Local Homeland Security Funding including: exemption from reimbursement provisions; flexibility for overtime; funding for incremental operational costs such as the protection of critical infrastructure and major events; and obligation deadlines from one level of local government to another. And, as reauthorization of the federal first responder program moves forward, include direct funding for cities, as is the position of the nation's mayors for all major federal-local partnership programs.

-- Intelligence Sharing: Create a new communication and coordination system that links Federal officials with local officials and effectively uses the 600,000 local law enforcement officers.

-- Drug Treatment and Prisoner Re-Entry: Provide drug treatment to every American who needs it, and institute a comprehensive agenda on prisoner re-entry with more than 600,000 ex-offenders re-entering America's communities every year.

4. Restrict Unfunded Mandates and Cost Shifts: Improve the Intergovernmental Partnership

Despite the passage of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Congress has continued to impose new mandates in areas such as the No Child Left Behind Act, special education, homeland security, election reform and environmental protection without following through on supposed commitments to provide federal funding. These new unfunded and/or underfunded federal mandates are putting enormous pressure on already stressed city and state budgets. Action must be taken to protect state and local revenues, and to restrict mandates and other federal cost shifts and preemptions.

-- Fully Fund Mandates: Support full funding of the No Child Left Behind Act, special education, homeland security, election reform, environmental and other existing unfunded and underfunded federal mandates.

-- State and Local Sales Tax Revenues: Support federal legislation that protects state and local sales taxes by enacting streamlined sales tax legislation, which will correct a federal preemption and authorize state and local governments to collect taxes due on remote sales.

-- State and Local Telecommunication Tax Revenues: Support the enactment of federal legislation that will allow state and local governments to continue collecting taxes and fees on telecommunications services regardless of the medium, whether it's voice over a traditional telephone line or Internet Protocol based services.

-- Federal Preemptions that Erode State and Local Revenues: Oppose federal legislation, regulation and policy that would redefine Internet access and telecommunication services in a way that will erode state and local revenues, or restrict their authority to tax or charge rights-of way fees.
For a "bi-partisan" organization their playbook sure sounds a bit familiar...


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