Good news came from both Barack Obama and John McCain on election night.
President elect Obama in his acceptance speech told America, “Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder...”
Sign me up.
I’m willing to sacrifice. In fact, in the spirit of patriotism, I’m willing to donate my expected tax cut to a concrete plan to solve health care, energy independence and the war.
John McCain is willing to do his part too. In his concession speech he urged all of us to offer “our next president our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”
In the afterglow of such communion there is hope party leaders will pander less to the liberal left and the conservative right to serve the majority of Americans aligned with moderate Democrats and Republicans.
There was other good news on election night:
We said no to casino gambling. We knew better than to trust the word of the casino operator who pledged to pay taxes despite the loophole that could result in zero tax benefit for us. Can we export this Midwestern sensibility to Washington where Congress gave $700 billion with no strings attached to the same people who gave us the financial crisis?
Here’s the casino proposal I’d support. Build three--one each in Toledo, Cincinnati and east of Cleveland. These locations are the best bet to stop Ohio money from going to casinos in Detroit, Windsor, Indiana and Pennsylvania. By building closer to our borders we’ll also reap more out-of-state dollars.
We also said no to legal loan sharking by passing the pay-day lending bill despite the threat Ohioans would lose 6,000 jobs. We’ll still have pay day loans because there’s a need, but the cap on interest will benefit struggling families.
Local voters blessed two schools with good news. Genoa voters, on the third and final try to secure more than $19 million of tobacco settlement money, passed a 1.9 mill levy to build a new elementary school. Unofficial count had the levy passing 2,599 to 2,058. Allen Central would have had to be rebuilt or renovated and was facing a $2 million upgrade to treat sewage. For the projected cost of renovation, the community gets a new school. By the way, it will be an energy-efficient school built to specifications of the United States Green Building Council.
On the other hand, Waite gets to keep its old school when voters ok’d a proposal to allow tobacco money to be used to renovate Waite, instead of replacing it. The Toledo community should be commended for seeing the historical significance of this building outweighs the lower construction and operating costs of a modern building.
Lucas County residents should also be commended for passing the COSI levy. The jobs of the future are being offered today by First Solar and Xunlight, both located in Perrysburg. These high tech jobs require a science based education. Toledo’s science and industry museum introduces our children to the education needed for these jobs.
Good news to see that Holland’s Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is taking advantage of his 15 minutes of fame. According to a Blade article, Joe, the unlicensed plumber turned anti-tax symbol by John McCain, is launching a Web site as a political watchdog and fund-raiser for charity. Go with the flow Joe.
Good also to see that in this election for change, one thing remains constant. In Rossford, Perrysburg, Bowling Green and Genoa, voters overwhelmingly approved Sunday sales of beer at various carry-outs. Realizing that a few may not be able to handle a few, Wood County voters ok’d a replacement levy for the Board of Alcohol, Drug addiction Mental Health Services.
And, finally, the best news. Ohio allowed early voting which increases participation. Irregular work schedules, forced overtime, on-call schedules, sickness, health and transportation issues are just some reasons citizens can miss voting on the traditional election day.