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A Legislator to be Proud of

Story ID:5312
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various Ohio usa
Person:Betty Sutton
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Sarah Palin and Betty Sutton -- Betty who?

Alaska has Sarah Palin and I am very glad that Ohio has U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.

I could never understand how Palin grabbed the favorable attention of so many
people- not only in her native Alaska- but state-wide during her run as a vice-
presidential candidate. Did they not care that she posed with her little daughter
with a bloody moose she had bagged? I guess not. And she probably believed that
little girls should be taught that killing animals is commendable. Not in my book.

Did they not care that she continued the cruel aerial shooting of wolves program
begun by her predecessor and which she even expanded a notch or too? I guess
not. Aerial shooting of wolves had been nationally banned, but Alaska found a
loophole which allowed them to do this with impunity. Truth be told, I imagine
that despite the chasing of frightened wolves- running for their lives, their final
death was probably more humane then the earlier use of poisons to kill them and
their pups. I was surprised to read that Pres. Nixon had banned the use of poisons
when in office but Pres. Reagon -rescinded the ban. Nixon won this one in my
opinion. How many wolf pups died an excruciating death by poisonous fumes as
they waited for their parents to return to the den?

I do know that many Christians applauded Palin's Right to Life position. I did too,
but I believe that Right to Life should be more inclusive than is hers, and for that
matter-most Christians. I believe that if we do have to kill animals, then we
should appreciate the fact that life is as precious to them as it is to us. I was glad
that one of the two recent Popes said that our dominion over the animals isn't
absolute. Finally, some recognition of their "right to life." So when Palin sent her
Wildlife personnel to pull out 14 little wolf pups from their den and shoot them in
the head, I was horrified. Obviously, many Alaskans and voters were not.

Ohio, on the other hand, has Rep. Betty Sutton, and so far I am very proud of her
accomplishments. After reading a post re them in Cleveland.com (Cleveland
Plain Dealer), it is evident that this junior congresswoman from the 13th district
of Northeastern Ohio is doing her state proud. The writer wrote that in her two
and a half years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton has had a string of legislative

How many of us knew that Rep. Sutton has been responsible for more car sales
over the past month than any auto dealership in America? Quite impressive you
must admit, and how did she do that? Well, the "cash for clunker" program was
steered through Congress by her. Formally called the Car Allowance Rebate
System, nearly 250,000 vehicles were sold in the first four days. This program
provides government rebates of up to $4,500 to buyers who trade in gas guzzlers
for fuel-efficient models.

I had watched several local and national news re this program and I don't recall
anyone giving credit to Rep. Betty Sutton for this program. So I was pleased that
finally -at least the readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer became aware of this
legislative work done by one of our own.

The initial $1 billion round of rebates were exhausted within a week, so Congress
had to add an extra $2 billion to the program which is expected to last through
Labor day. I and I'm sure so many of us are glad that this bill was both
economically and environmentally sound.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recognized the efficacy of this program and
said to Rep. Sutton: "Betty, thank you for hanging in there, for believing that this
idea was worthwhile...Without your efforts, we would not be here today."

The Congresswoman- in her own speech at the event touted the bill's economic
importance to her NE Ohio congressional district which she said would keep 2,000
Ford workers employed at the Assembly Plant in Avon, Ohio. Happily, it appears
to be a win-win situation we needed.

She also said "Though it's called the CARS program, it's really about people...It's
about your friends and your neighbors and those in your communities who depend
on the wonderful industry in this country for a job." Sutton herself drives a union-
made Pontiac Vibe that gets more than 20 miles per gallon.

Entering Congress in 2007 this 46-year old Junior Congresswoman has had a
number of legislative successes in an institution where the more senior members
typically make the big calls.

I also enjoyed the description of her impact on Congress as observed by Rep. Chris
Van Hollen of Maryland who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee. He said "Some people hit the ground running, but Betty Sutton hit the
ground running at 1,000 miles per hour."

Here are some of her other legislative efforts:

1. Wrote a bill that became law which gave extra pay to members of the armed forces
who were kept in the military past their enlistment dates.

2. Anti-dog-fighting provisions were authored by her in an agriculture bill that
became law last year.

3. She authored legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration power to
recall unsafe foods. This became part of a food safety bill that pased the House
and is awaiting Senate action.

4. She authored a bill which would establish grants to put cardiac resuscitation
devices in Elementary and Secondary schools and this also passed in the House.

Well, Alaska has Sarah Palin. Ohio has Betty Sutton and I think all Ohioans
should be proud of her accomplishments in a little over 2 years. I understand
though that she is a tough boss and there have been staff turnovers. Well, hey,
I didn't say she was perfect!