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Valley Dems eager, ready to rebut GOP at convention

Published: Tue, September 4, 2012 @ 12:05 a.m.

Strickland to speak tonight



By David Skolnick



With the 2012 Republican National Convention in the books, the Democrats — including several from the Mahoning Valley — take center stage on the political landscape with its three-day convention, beginning today.

A dozen Valley Democrats are serving as delegates at the Charlotte, N.C., convention that culminates with President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night.

Among those first-time delegates is David Betras of Boardman, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman.

“We’ve been busy even though the official start is” today, he said. “There’s a lot of networking going on. [Today] starts the full program.”

Also going for the first time is Sean T. McKinney, Youngstown’s buildings and grounds commissioner.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” he said. “I am very excited to represent the area and the city. I’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the decision-makers.”

Ex-Gov. Ted Strickland, a former Valley resident, is scheduled to speak tonight at the convention.

Strickland, attending his fourth party convention and third as a delegate, said the event is “a time to get together with other people who feel passionately about Democratic values and is a time to connect with people across the country. ... It’s a time to celebrate the principles of the Democratic Party: a commitment to justice and fairness.”

Strickland plans to talk about the president’s federal auto bailout and its impact on the economy, and contrast Obama with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee.

“Mitt Romney has chosen to make his bed with the extreme tea-party element” of the Republican Party, which is out of touch with Ohioans, Strickland said.

State Rep. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, is at his fifth Democratic convention but his first as a delegate.

“Our tasks include generating enthusiasm for our base and getting people out to vote,” he said. “Energy is the most important part of any campaign. We need to get people off their butts and get out to vote. ... The convention motivates me to motivate others.”

Jaladah Aslam of Austintown, attending her second convention, said she was surprised at how busy it is to be a delegate. She was a delegate in 2008 and is one this year. Aslam is a staff representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8 union as well as the Mahoning County Democratic Party’s vice chairwoman of labor and president of the Youngstown-Warren Black Caucus.

“Your day is filled up with meetings,” she said. “But it’s important to make sure everyone understands the message, which is be unified and get out the vote.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, is at his third convention as a delegate.

“It’s an opportunity for everyone to hear what the president has been able to do over the last four years,” he said. “Given what the president was handed, he has made great strides for us. We have a long way to go, but it’s important to determine who will lead us. The economy is so fragile. It’s a serious issue and we can’t go backward. To me, the convention is business.”

Timothy Callion of Champion, a delegate for the third time, said the work is difficult but rewarding.

“People say, ‘What’s there to get excited about? We already know the nominee,’” said Callion, business agent for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396. “But you get so energized at the event and come home and share that excitement. It’s like a big pep rally for the party. Your job is to go back home and work to get the president re-elected.”


1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I saw Ted Strickland on MSNBC yesterday morning. What a poor performance and he wants to return as governor of Ohio.

No way do I vote for him since he is unable to debate the issues with the opposition.

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2Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

NOW is the time when ALL Delphi Salaried retirees can help!! It is now YOUR job
to spread the Delphi petition, http://delphipetition.com/ , far and nationwide.
We are asking YOU to not only sign this petition, but also to spread it. Please
use ALL available means you have to distribute it, and ask for signatures. These

Emails to your family, adult children, friends, neighbors, relatives, and
members of your community.

Ask your children to spread the petition link on Facebook and Twitter. They can
reach hundreds, if not thousands, of potential voters! Have them ask their
followers on Facebook & Twitter to follow our sites also, which are:

With YOUR help, WE WILL WIN this fight BEFORE the November election.

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3redeye1(5513 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Flick The only thing That good old Teddy is good for, is NOTHING. Yeah! You want someone back who will raise your taxes .Who will put the state back in debt with his great policies.

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4georgejeanie(1398 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I can see what a great job the dumbocrats have done, just looking a t Youngstown and Warren. Wow, you people are crazy, keep voting that straight dumbocratic ticket and the Mahoning Valley will continue to look as it does now.

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5GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Dumbocrat. Man, it must have taken you years to come up with that original gem. Keep up the comedy pal!

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6bsafeandproud(46 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The platform of the 2012 Democrats:
*higher taxes for America's job creators
*grow govt. jobs for the middle class
*strengthen unions to stifle business growth
*full rights to abortion up to 9 months
*promote gay marriage that will lead to group marriage and marriage to anything that moves

The GOP 2012 platform:
*Tax breaks for all businesses across the board
*Cut unecessary govt. programs across the board and balance the national budget and reduce the debt, therefore strengthening the dollar
*Build up the middle income (not "class") by freeing up new $$ into the economy.
*Protect traditional marriage
*Protect the unborn in the wombs

The contrast couldn't be more clear if it didn't smack you in the face!

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