Rep. Bob Latta has avoided face to face town hall events, and constituents who have tried to schedule individual meetings have been ignored. At a recent town hall held by neighboring district Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D OH-9) recently, she thought Rep. Latta was probably afraid to face voters. And he certainly has good reason. But there could be another reason Latta can so blithely ignore the legion of concerned voters in Ohio 5 that will be discussed in this post, but it’s important for voters to know that they have an increasing array of alternatives to this un-Representative.
Bob Latta’s Silence is Golden
So, why doesn’t Bob pay more attention to voters? He doesn’t have to in order to get elected. We are not who he represents. In the 2016 election, Rep. Latta raised more funds than his Democratic challenger by several orders of magnitude. In fact, he raised $345,221. This might suggest broad support across his district, but actually, all this money came from only 429 donations. And 70% of this money came from the top 24 donations.
Who were these big donors? No surprises there: Oil & Gas are #1 ($73,550), with Marathon Petroleum topping the list with an individual contribution of almost $20,000.
Rep. Latta continues to be silent on the President’s recent decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. He continues to be silent about whether he even believes the well-established conclusions of climate science.
But this silence certainly seems to help his fundraising efforts.
Bob Latta’s Words are Paid for Too
The second largest industry donor to Rep. Latta is the Telecomm industry. Since Latta is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, this makes a lot of sense in our post-Citizens United world. And, as this blog noted earlier, he’s already on board with the Trump administration’s drive to let Internet providers regulate themselves, to the peril of the very “Consumer Protection” his committee is supposed to safeguard.
Bob Latta’s Voters have Other Options
The good news is that Latta, like all House Reps, is up for re-election in 2018. Already there are a number of other challengers, including another Republican candidate.
Here is some information about the contenders:
Voters should inform themselves about the positions of all the contenders and make an informed choice that reflects their values, but it certainly seems that District 5 voters, whatever their political persuasion, can agree that Bob Latta’s lack of responsiveness and refusal to engage in face to face interaction with voters is a problem: he acts like someone who represents his top 24 donors, not the 721,478 citizens in Ohio 5. It’s time to remind Bob that that the calculation that matters is not the size of the donation but only this: one person – one vote.