Strickland: Stopping Drug Abuse Too Important for Portman’s D.C. Double-Speak

COLUMBUS, OH – In a new interview with WLIO-TV, Senator Rob Portman once again displayed the kind of D.C. double-speak that Ohioans hate about Washington: this time touting drug treatment provisions in the Omnibus Budget Bill that he voted against.
 
In response, today former Governor Ted Strickland issued the following statement:
 
“When you’re from a working class community in Appalachia and worked as a prison psychologist, the horrific impact of drug abuse is no abstraction: it is a very real and very dangerous threat to the people of Ohio. As governor, I went after this problem through both enforcement and treatment. We brought healthcare and public safety officials together to crack down on illegal prescriptions by launching the Ohio Prescription Drug Taskforce, supported local treatment programs through community grants, and worked to educate thousands of Ohioans about the dangers of addiction. In the Senate I will continue to do everything I can to fight against this scourge to our society.
 
"But what I will not do — and what Senator Portman has now done repeatedly — is tell folks in Ohio one thing, and then do the exact opposite on Congress. Stopping the epidemic of drug abuse in Ohio is too important for these kinds of political games. And the kind of double-speak that Senator Portman is practicing on this and so many other issues is exactly why working people in Ohio are so fed up with the Washington establishment.”
 
One week ago, the NE Ohio Media Group’s Steve Koff highlighted Portman’s rampant duplicity on this issue, writing that Portman’s hypocrisy is “how Washington ticks off the rest of America:”
 
“Let’s start with Portman. In the days before the vote, he sent no fewer than 14 press releases touting all the benefits for Ohio that he worked to get in the bill […] Then Portman voted against the very bill that will do all this and more…Portman’s vote seemed to contradict not only his commitment to these projects. It also contradicted his pledge after former talk show host Jon Stewart and a firefighter with cancer confronted him a couple weeks earlier….Explaining his consistency, after the seeming inconsistency of all his boasting about the goodies for Ohio, is a hard sell politically. ‘He was against it before he was for it and then he was against it’ — that’s not exactly a line a politician relishes. And Portman will face it in 2016.” [NE Ohio Media Group, 12/21/15]

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