On Tuesday, September 2nd, we attended two fundraisers in the Cleveland area for two very prominent and respected legislators in Washington, DC.
The first one was for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana held at the lovely home of Jill Miller Zimon and Jeff Zimon in Pepper Pike. We arrived right when it started at 5:30pm and could only stay for a little while but we got to meet U.S. Senator Landrieu, who was a very gracious person, and visit with her for a few minutes. We asked her what she thought of immigration reform and she said that she “supports the comprehensive immigration reform that was put together by a bipartisan senate and wishes that the house would pass it also.”
We had our picture taken with U.S. Senator Landrieu by Mr. Howard J. Bochnek, Vice President of American Infection Control, Inc. which manufactures a hospital disinfectant. Mr. Bochnek told the senator, as well as ourselves, about the situations that he and his company have encountered regarding copyright/intellectual property rights and he likes it that “the EPA creates an even playing field and allows a small company to compete with the big boys by providing credibility” by certifying his product over cheaper imitators. We were very sorry that we couldn’t stay here longer because Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown was due arrive shortly.
But we left Pepper Pike on the east side of Cleveland to drive to Wendy Park on Whiskey Island on the west side of Cleveland to catch the second hour of a fundraiser that also started at 5:30pm for U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of District 9 of Ohio.
When we arrived at 6:35pm U.S. Congresswoman Kaptur was addressing the attendees and taking questions. She talked for a long time about the excessive amount of nutrients in Lake Erie and told us that on September 15th there will be a hearing regarding the technologies that are available to deal with the problem. Other subjects that came up included terrorism and the need for energy independence for the United States.
When asked about what it is like to serve in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Congresswoman Kaptur bemoaned the lack of “constructive dialogue” that occurs too often at this time and wished that both parties could work more closely together. It is scary to her to when her frustrated colleagues tell her that they are considering not running for reelection because they don’t believe that they are accomplishing anything. She also said that the controversial gerrymandering of districts shows a “great disrespect for our community” and cited examples of how Lorain and Parma have each been divided amongst U.S. Congresspeople. She firmly believes that this mitigates against the community and said that “when you break the community you break the ability for people to work together.”
After this section of the program ended, U.S. Congresswoman Kaptur made herself available to privately speak to everyone present. She thanked us for being there and thanked Ms. Wong for her support.
Other people who were there tonight were Judge Diane Karpinski (who we have seen at so many events that we laugh when we see each other now) and Judge Anthony J. Russo with whom we spent a few minutes discussing the upcoming election in November. We also had a good talk with Mr. Dennis J. Meaney, Business Manager/Financial Secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers-Local No. 38 who is optimistic about several upcoming construction projects that will provide work to the union members and believes that the upcoming republican convention might generate a few more.
Before we left, we also asked U.S. Congresswoman Kaptur what she thought about immigration reform and she said that she supports comprehensive (and she placed great emphasis on that word) immigration reform.