Tim Ryan For The Working Man

NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first 2020 presidential primary debate in June of 2019. This is the fourteenth in a series of BFIA’s coverage and commentary of the announcement speeches by the declared Democratic candidates for president for 2020 in no particular order.  To view the previous candidate announcement posts type the candidate’s name in the search box on this page.

Tim Ryan is a nine term member of congress from Ohio’s 13th congressional district. Ohio’s 13th district is in northeast Ohio between Cleveland and the Pennsylvania border. Among the cities in the 13th district are Youngstown and Lordstown. These days those two names are most frequently associated with factory closures and the loss of good paying factory jobs. 

The Mahoning Valley area of Ohio has been literally devastated by factory closings and jobs going overseas. What often seems to go hand in hand with the loss of good jobs is the increase in drug problems, both legal and illegal. With this as the background on Tim Ryan’s district, you can see why his campaign is focusing on economic issues and health care.

Strangely enough, the Ryan campaign doesn’t seem to have a campaign website like most campaigns. Thus we will need to look to other sources for information.

Wikipedia gives us the biographical background for Congress member Ryan.   

Timothy John Ryan (born July 16, 1973) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district since 2003. The district, numbered as the 17th district from 2003 to 2013, takes in a large swath of northeast Ohio, from Youngstown to Akron. Ryan is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Niles, Ohio, Ryan worked as an aide to Congressman Jim Traficant after graduating from Bowling Green State University. He served in the Ohio Senate from 2001 to 2002 before winning election to succeed Traficant. In November 2016, Ryan launched an unsuccessful challenge to unseat Nancy Pelosi as party leader of the House Democrats.

For many of us outside of Ryan’s district, we may have first heard his name in association with his attempt to oust Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader in the US House last fall. He did pick up 63 votes from colleagues in that losing effort. 

We now turn to axios.com for a brief synopsis of Ryan’s stands on key issues. With the exception of abortion and gun control his positions have been orthodox Democratic. On abortion and gun control, Ryan has come to join the party on those issues also:

  • Taxes: Does not support cutting taxes. On The View, he said tax cuts “have been the answer for everything since 1980. And what’s happened since 1980? Average wages have been stagnant, health care costs have gone up.”

  • Renewable energy: He wants the U.S. to harness the economic benefits of renewables. “There’s so many industries out there growing. Wind and solar is growing at 25% to 30% a year. By 2030, there’s gonna be 30 million electric vehicles. I want those vehicles made in the United States.”

  • Agriculture: Ryan has a book called “The Real Food Revolution” on the need for “a new kind of food system — family farm, 21st-century style.”

  • Retirement: He wants to “restore the dignity of a secure retirement.”

  • Health care: Ryan has supported single-payer health care and the Affordable Care Act, he said in a Face the Nation interview in April.

  • Criminal justice: Endorses reducing mandatory minimum drug sentence and wants all police officers to be equipped with body cameras in order to decrease use-of-force incidents.

On abortion and gun control, axios.com reports:

  • Abortion: Ryan previously opposed abortion based on his Catholic faith (and voted for the amendment that would prevent taxpayer dollars from funding them), but he announced his change of opinion in an op-ed in The Akron Beacon Journal in 2015. He said he now thinks “we must trust women and families — not politicians — to make the best decision for their lives.” 

  • Gun control: Ryan previously received A-ratings from the National Rifle Association, but following the fatal Las Vegas shooting in 2017, he announced he would donate the $20,000 he’d received from the NRA’s PAC to organizations that support of gun control.

In many ways Ryan is a throwback to an older Democratic Party. His emphasis on the working class and economic issues is very reminiscent of Democratic campaigns from a ways back.

Here we see Ryan take question from the panel on The View. Ryan emphasizes his economic focus here:

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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