MIAMI COUNTY — One election just ended, but former Ohio governor and current Senate candidate Ted Strickland is focused on the 2016 election. Strickland made an appearance in Miami County on Saturday to discuss what he wants to do for Ohio’s middle class in Washington, D.C.
As county Democrats gathered at Cooper’s Farm in Ludlow Falls, Strickland spelled out his plan to address what he calls “the middle class squeeze.”
“There’s a reason why people are upset in America today,” he said. “Because for the last 30 years, people have worked really hard. They’ve created wealth. But the wealth that they have created through their hard work has not been shared with the workers, it has been concentrated in the top 1 percent of the richest people in our country.”
Strickland argued that wages have remained flat, while costs of living — and especially the cost of college — have risen.
He discussed the burden of student debt on young Ohioans, which he claimed is one of the main factors “squeezing” the middle class. While he voted in favor of allowing college students to refinance their loans, he said that his opponent, Sen. Rob Portman, voted no.
“The rich are getting richer and the working class are barely holding on,” he said.
Strickland touched on organized labor, arguing that “labor built the middle class in America.” He also mentioned the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
“That decision said corporations are people and that money is speech. And that’s why we are having millions and millions and millions flow into our political campaigns,” he said. “I’m concerned that there are very wealthy individuals trying to buy control in our country.”
He also stressed the importance of getting out to vote in national and local elections alike.
Party chairman Dave Fisher, current Tipp City councilwoman Dee Gillis, and Tipp City councilwoman-elect Carrie Arblaster also spoke at the event.
“A lot of us feel like we can’t make any movement here,” Arblaster said, stating that Miami County is a majority Republican county. “But we do matter.”
Fisher also discussed the importance of local elections, saying, “We’ve got a lot of work to do going into next year.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected]