Saturday, April 19, 2014

Senator Portman and the CRPD

Perhaps we need a "Coalition of the Reasonable" to get the Convention on the Rights of a Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) ratified by the Senate. Senator Rob Portman from Ohio would be my first pick.

Like many Senators he spent some time in the House. He has won most elections by healthy margins against his opponents. That suggests that he connects well with constituents, a sign of reasonableness.

He describes himself as a economic and budget wonk (he served as President George W. Bush's international trade rep and director of the federal Office of Management and Budget). I suspect that is why Republicans put him on their budget negotiation team when Senators and Congressmen were working to avoid a government shutdown in December of last year. They succeeded. Another sign of Portman's reasonableness.

If you look at Senator Portman's legislative record -- bills he has sponsored and co-sponsored -- you will see that on substantive matters he is very comfortable being an early cosponsor of bills put forth by both Republican and Democrat colleagues -- on all sorts of issues. A further sign of reasonableness.

Earlier this year in a very candid and powerful interview with CNN, Senator Portman publicly stated that he now supports gay marriage because his son has told his family he is gay. That was no easy thing for Senator Portman to do. That too is a sign of reasonableness, a sign of someone who has the courage to embrace fairness, equal rights, in a very personal way.

Finally, he was one of the Senators who voted for the extension of unemployment insurance on April 7, 2014. An additional sign of reasonableness.

I believe if we urge Senator Portman to help us with the ratification of the CRPD, he would do so. His smarts, his considerable negotiation skills, his calm manner, and yes, his reasonableness is what we need to finish our journey to ratification of the CRPD.

Here is Senator Portman's contact information:

Washington DC:  202.224.3353
Columbus:  614.469.6774
Cincinnati:  513.683.3265
Cleveland:  216.522.7095
Toledo:  419.259.3895
Twitter:  @robportman

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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