Sen. Rob Portman of Cincinnati tries to convince voters he’s a moderate who cares about the planet because he lives along a scenic river, supports bike paths and is a patron of next month’s Ohio River Paddlefest.
But according to rankings by the League of Conservation Voters, he got a 0 percent on pro-environment legislation last year and has a 22 percent overall.
And now he’s supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the dirtiest trade deal of all The US Senate is poised to decide whether to fast-track the TPP, a massive trade deal that is universally opposed by every major environmental and labor group. If the Senate votes for fast-track authority, the deal would be subject to an up or down vote. No amendments. No checks and balances.
This process is an affront to our democracy.
But here is the main reason for concern: The public really doesn’t know what’s in it because it was negotiated in secret. So TPP supporters insist this is a great deal but refuse to show us the details. US. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has raised many questions about the deal. A trade expert explains why she was right at Politico.
With the next fast track vote set for Thursday, May 21, dozens of progressives paddled this week past Sen. Portman’s home that sits along the Little Miami River. The purpose was to help call attention to serious environmental consequences of this trade deal and try and get Sen. Portman to join US Sen. Sherrod Brown and do what’s best for Ohio’s people and for the planet.
US Army Spec. Zachary Hust and Raquel Neaves lead the floating protest with a banner that said AMERICAN ARMADA strung between two canoes. Marine Sgt. Ryan Lenser paddled in acamouflage kyack. John Rizzo from Common Cause Ohio came (and brought his friends); thecanoe with Thomas Lee from the Communication Workers of America was adorned with an Ohio flag; the Democratic Voices team, lead by Alex Kass, paddled kayaks festooned with American flags and red, white and blue pinwheels; and other participants came from Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, AFSCME, No Frack Ohio and ProgressOhio.