|BG man wants Latta to explain his vote against Violence Against Women Act|
|Written by Jim Litwin|
|Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:07|
To the Editor:
Last Thursday, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As the Act is credited with helping to reduce domestic violence by about 60% since its inception in 1994, the President did the right thing.
This year’s version`added protection to lesbians and Native American women. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 78-22. It passed in the House by a vote of 286-138 with 87 Republicans joining a solid Democratic block. So, it had some bipartisan support, however, why any congressman voted against it is puzzling. It seems like such a no-brainer (in 2006, the Senate supported the bill by a vote of 98-0).
Our local Representative Bob Latta was one of those who dissented in the House. As a constituent in his district I would like to know why Latta cast his vote against the VAWA. Before he voted, did he visit the Cocoon Shelter, a safe place for battered women, or Alicia’s Voice, a spokesperson against domestic violence? Had he done that, he might have changed his vote. Well, maybe.
I applaud the Sentinel-Tribune for reporting Latta’s vote in bold relief. That’s what a good newspaper does -- it keeps us informed on important issues. The Sentinel tried to get an explanation for the vote from Latta, but as usual, he was “not available,” a message that reminds me of his refusal to debate Angela Zimman in the last election. He prefers to not have his ideas tested in a public forum?
Legislators need to be held accountable. As a guide to the next election, we need to know the voting habits of our representatives in Congress. If not a weekly report, I would like to see the Sentinel adopt a policy of not only reporting on Mr. Latta’s actions, but also those of our U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
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