The Ohio 33rd Senate District stretches from the northern city limit of Youngstown to the Ohio River and from the bucolic setting of Greater Sebring eastward to the Pennsylvania line. Joe Schiavoni has served this area magnificently in his role as State Senator – the last four as minority leader – but alas term limits require the ushering in of someone new to fill his seat.
On the Election Day ballot to represent the 33rd for the next four years is John Boccieri and a fellow whose name rhymes with “bully.” I’m sure you’ve seen his blood-red yard signs.
So let’s cut to the chase. Vote for John Boccieri.
I hope the majority of people who voted already via absentee or early in-person voting at the Board of Elections have already cast their vote for John. If you’re a traditionalist, though, and plan on going to the polls tomorrow, it’s you I want to talk to for a minute.
If healthcare protections, good wages and jobs, quality education, secure futures, and policies that favor revitalization of our neighborhoods and industrial base are important to you, then pick up the pen or pencil in the voting booth tomorrow and carefully darken the oval next to the name John Boccieri.
Voting for John means you really appreciate all that he has already done (see previous paragraph), that you appreciate his devotion to our country (as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force he served four rotations supporting troops in Iraq), that you value him as a family man (happily married with five beautiful children), and that you probably admire his skill as a commercial airline pilot. And that you like his smarts – he’s got a pair of master’s degrees.
If you listen to the campaign of Rhymes-with-Bully, you would think that John was responsible for everything from the Great Recession to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. They love to paint him as a “career politician” because he’s run for office nine times, apparently forgetting that you need to run after you successfully serve your term – you don’t get appointed. At 49, he’s not quite old enough to be called that, but on the other hand, if John is a career anything, let’s try military with 24+ years of service to his country.
In addition to castigating John with weak and unfounded accusations, there are at least two more things that annoy me about Boccieri’s opponent. The family of Rhymes-with-Bully owns a couple grocery stores and we eventually stopped shopping there because you can’t select your own peppers. Maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but we like to be able to pick up a pepper like you can everywhere else and hold it in our hand and inspect it for its flaws and firmness and texture. But there? Pre-packaged. “You will buy these peppers we have selected for you and you will like them.” They still do this because of the evidence in this hours-fresh photo:
It strikes me that this is the perfect metaphor for a Republican. The GOP has firmly embraced gerrymandering as a powerful means of minority control, where politicians pick their voters rather than voters picking their leaders. What could be more analogous than Rhymes-with-Bully who picks your peppers for you rather than letting you pick your own? And really, do we need one more R in the Ohio Senate? There are already 24 of them out of 33! Ds might go on the endangered species list.
One last thing. If Rhymes-with-Bully is still your guy, fine. But his campaign flaunts Youngstown city ordinances with impunity. They like to put his blood-red yard signs everywhere, but most egregiously on public rights-of-way. Yeah, every now and again during campaign season someone sticks one where it shouldn’t be and I don’t pay that much attention, but today on a northbound I-680 ramp there were EIGHT and on an off ramp TEN! “Rhymes with Bully: We don’t need no stinking rules!”
The insanity that has been these midterms is mercifully concluding, and when the final vote is tallied I’m pretty sure the Ohio Senate’s 33rd district will continue to fly smoothly under the strong and steady command of Lt. Col. John Boccieri.
Okay. Now get out there and vote!