2009-08-22 / Editorials & Letters

Where's Zack?

Maybe Congressman Zack Space was abducted by those FFA students from Mt. Vernon that have been featured on his website's home page for more than a month. That appears to be his last official photograph.

More likely he is spending time with his California buddies - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman. Waxman took a Congressional junket aboard and he might have brought Space along to carry his bags. Space been doing that figuratively in Energy and Commerce on both cap & tax and health care reform, so he might as well do it literally. Or maybe Space has been chauffeuring Pelosi around her tony San Francisco district.

We may not know where he's been, but we certainly know where he isn't. Space is NOT using his month off to meet with his Ohio constituents. His "Events" listing for August on his official website has been blank all month.

After being a big fan of town hall meetings, Space, like nearly all his Democrat colleagues in Washington, suddenly has become allergic to them. Space has come down with a major case of Californianitis, siding with two extremely liberal California members at the expense of his district here in Ohio. Cap & tax will destroy Ohio's economy, but California is one of the few states that will get some benefits. Government run health care has been Waxman and Pelosi's goal for years. Now that it is time to explain his votes to his OHIO constituents, he comes up missing.

Space says he has done two telephone town hall meetings this month. These forums are tightly controlled with the questions pre-screened. So it's impossible for constituents to pin him down on what's really in these bills and what he specifically supports. Even then Space is leaving nothing to chance. The Beacon received an email from his office Monday that had been sent at 4:50 p.m., announcing a telephone town hall meeting starting in less than two hours. Of course, such short notice makes it impossible to alert our readers and unfortunately that's his objective. An email Tuesday to his media person inquiring about his public appearances during the August recess is still unanswered. He doesn't want to hear from you unless you agree with him.

The devil is in the details and it's never been more true than in these two bills. Space knows that the public option for health care will eventually eliminate private insurance and that's a goal he apparently shares with Pelosi and Waxman. It's impossible to compete with a government plan when government is making all the rules. Space also knows that there are provisions in the health care reform bills that will speed that process along. That's why he doesn't want to meet face to face with his constituents. He would either have to answer some the tough questions that are screened out in the telephone conferences or look ridiculous trying to avoid them.

Those of us who don't want government taking over energy and our health care have pushed Space into hiding, but so far we haven't changed his votes. This so-called Blue Dog hasn't shown any bite. We've got to keep pushing and reminding him that in November 2010 he will be facing OHIO voters, not California voters. He's our representative in Congress. Beverly Hills and San Francisco already have their representatives.

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