Friday, June 02, 2006

Kilroy For Congress

The Official Blog For Mary Jo Kilroy has moved to our website.

Please visit us there

Monday, March 06, 2006


News release...


KILROY: “Congress must have the opportunity to vote on the Dubai port deal.
Pryce’s vote to block an up or down vote defies common sense.”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Franklin County Commissioner and Democratic Congressional Candidate Mary Jo Kilroy assailed Deborah Pryce’s vote last Thursday to block Democratic efforts to require a vote on a plan mandating a Congressional up or down vote on the sale of American port operations to Dubai Ports World following a forty-five day review.

“Congress must have the opportunity to vote on the Bush administration's plan to outsource the management of our nation’s ports to the government of Dubai,” Kilroy said. “Deborah Pryce claims she favors requiring such a vote, but the first chance she got to weigh in on guaranteeing a Congressional vote on the deal, she voted against it. Ohioans send their Congressmen and women to Washington to provide leadership and to represent their views. But when it comes to protecting our ports, Pryce doesn’t even want to require a Congressional vote, so that there is no official record of what her point of view is.”

Kilroy concluded, “This process must be more transparent. First, Congress must have full access to all of the detailed findings of the 45-day in-depth national security investigation. It must insist on having all of the detailed information that will allow it to make an independent judgement on the national security implications of the transaction. Secondly, it must be ensured that Congress will have the opportunity to have an up-or-down vote on the deal, a vote that cannot be blocked by the Republican congressional leadership.”

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Release: Pryce forgets about Ohio Port


KILROY: “I don’t know where Deborah Pryce is looking, but she has a port right here in Franklin County. Rickenbacker Airport is an inland port and major hub for cargo that comes in from overseas ”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Franklin County Commissioner and Democratic Congressional Candidate Mary Jo Kilroy challenged Deborah Pryce’s assertion that Ohioans are not directly affected by the current port security debate because “Ohio doesn’t have any ports.” Pryce made the statement on Wednesday during a session of the House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy ("DIMP") and was reported on local NPR affiliate WCBE.

Commissioner Kilroy said, “I don’t know where Deborah is looking, but she has a port right here in Franklin County. Rickenbacker Airport is an inland port and major hub for cargo that comes in from overseas. Deborah Pryce just doesn’t get it.”

Kilroy added, “It defies common sense that anyone thinks we should trust the security at those ports to a company owned by a government that was one of only three that recognized the Taliban and that had direct ties to 9-11 terrorists. Central Ohioans are particularly vulnerable if there’s a security breech at a shipping port where cargo enters our country. Rickenbacker Airport is classified as a Foreign Trade Zone and customs doesn’t inspect some cargo destined for our airport until it reaches Central Ohio.”
Kilroy called on Congress to stop studying this issue and rely on common sense and pass legislation to kill this deal and keep our ports out of the hands of foreign governments.

Rickenbacker Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs for cargo in the nation. 89,590 metric tons of freight moves through Rickenbacker annually. The Columbus Regional Airport Authority is grantee and operator of Foreign-Trade Zone (“FTZ”) No. 138, which encompasses nearly 5,000 acres at Rickenbacker. A FTZ is a site within the United States that is legally considered outside of Customs territory. Goods may be brought into the site duty-free and without formal customs entry.
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Monday, February 27, 2006

We must do better for port security

From Mary Jo...

I'm sure you agree that port security is not an issue to be taken likely -- as a nation, our safety depends on our ability to protect ourselves at every entry. Today we issued a release about the recent controversy. We deserve better in this area than what we've seen from my opponent.

Mary Jo


KILROY: “Deborah Pryce has a pre-911worldview on port security. We must immediately implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, and create a comprehensive plan for securing our ports.”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Franklin County Commissioner and Democratic Congressional Candidate Mary Jo Kilroy challenged Deborah Pryce’s record on port security today. Kilroy said the United States should immediately cancel the sale, implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, and create a comprehensive plan for securing the nation’s ports.

Commissioner Kilroy said, “Deborah Pryce has a pre-911 worldview of protecting our ports. As chair of the subcommittee with direct oversight over the Dubai port security sale, Pryce initially approved outsourcing our national security to a country used by 9/11 hijackers as an operational and financial base. Only after Democrats discovered this sale and raised questions did she acknowledge a problem.”

Kilroy added, “Deborah Pryce is giving aid and comfort to the Bush administration and its wrongheaded view of our security by refusing to call on the President to cancel this sale. Rather than rubber-stamping every Bush administration policy, she should have been doing her job and providing the oversight necessary to secure our most vulnerable national infrastructure. I call on President Bush to cancel this sale immediately.”

Kilroy noted that Pryce has repeatedly voted against increasing port security funding First in 2003, Pryce voted against $250 million earmarked for port security grants. Then as recently as last Fall, while the Dubai port sale was still pending, she voted against a proposal calling for an additional $400 million in funding for port security, including $13 million to double the number of new overseas port inspectors provided for in the President’s budget. That proposal addressed the holes in securing the nation’s ports by requiring DHS to develop container security standards, integrate container security pilot projects, and examine ways to integrate container inspection equipment and data.

“More than five years after 9/11, American ports are not as safe. Without implementing all of the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, and creating a comprehensive plan for securing our ports, the President and the Republican Congress have not fulfilled their responsibility to keep Americans safe. Instead of moving us toward these goals of increased safety, Deborah Pryce’s decisions are holding the nation back and endangering us all.”

Pryce chairs House of Representative Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy ("DIMP") which oversees Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States ("CFIUS"), the Federal agency that approved selling the management rights of six of the nation's ports to Dubai Ports World, a state-owned company of the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. seaports handle over 95% of our nation’s foreign trade worth over $1 trillion a year. A weapon of mass destruction detonated in a container at a seaport could cause tremendous casualties and an estimated economic loss ranging from $58 billion to $1 trillion. The 9/11 Commission report concluded that terrorists have the opportunity to do harm as great or greater in maritime and surface transportation than the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that ports will have to spend $5.4 billion over ten years to maintain a basic level of security.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Healthcare w/Gov. Tom Vilsack

An entry from Mary Jo...

Friday was a big day for us here at Kilroy for Congress. It was our honor to host Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa and discuss the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable, quality healthcare. If you are interested, the press release for his visit is below.

As a two-term governor, Vilsack has been on the frontlines with this issue and had some interesting things to say. I was most interested in the fact that there was a time when he could negotiate prices with drug companies who wanted to do business in his state – saving tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers. Then President Bush’s prescription bill came along and made it illegal for him to continue negotiating.

With one stroke of a pen, a Republican healthcare initiative – supported by Deborah Pryce – cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

If you are interested in more information about Gov. Vilsack and his thoughts on healthcare, I encourage you to visit

- Mary Jo


KILROY: “We need to fix the Medicare prescription drug benefit.Seniors are confused, frustrated and not paying less.”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack campaigned in Ohio today with Congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15). They focused on health care policy.

Governor Vilsack said, “Mary Jo Kilroy is a strong leader and we need her in Washington. She will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors and provide affordable health care coverage for all Americans. She is a dedicated public servant who will work to reform the culture of corruption that currently plagues Washington; and she will be an advocate for sound fiscal and economic policies that stem the tide of job loss in Ohio.”

Kilroy added, “I want to go to Washington to fix the Medicare prescription drug benefit that the Congressional leadership and Deborah Pryce passed. It was a bill written by the pharmaceutical companies, for the pharmaceutical companies and Ohio senior citizens are suffering. We need to fix the prescription drug benefit in Medicare. Seniors are confused, frustrated and not paying less.”

Kilroy said heath care is an economic issue. Kilroy, said, “The rising cost of health care and prescription drugs has been a one-two punch that has hurt Ohio families who were already reeling from job loses. One of the best economic policies we can have is to make health care affordable for all Ohioans, especially for those who have lost their jobs.”

She noted the Prescription Drug Bill supported by Deborah Pryce prevents the re-importation of less expensive medicine from Canada, prohibits the government from negotiating drug prices with manufacturers and reduces coverage for some seniors previously covered by Medicaid. The plan will also reap an estimated $139 billion in new profits for pharmaceutical companies.

Kilroy said, “For too many seniors this is the drug company benefit, not prescription drug benefit. Right now, the only clear winners are the drug companies and the politicians who accept their contributions. Deborah Pryce is part of the problem on this issue and that is why we need a new Member of Congress fighting for Ohio seniors.”

Governor Tom Vilsack was elected Iowa’s 39th Governor in 1998, the first Democratic governor of the state in more than 30 years. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002. Mary Jo Kilroy serves Franklin County as commissioner and served eight years with the Columbus school board. Kilroy has also worked side-by-side with Access Health Columbus providing health care to uninsured, low-income families.

Governor Vilsack said, “When it comes to health care and many other issues, Mary Jo gets it and has the ability to make a difference in Washington. She understands that we need to make changes to our current health care system to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. She understands that doing so is good policy, but more importantly she understands that it's the right thing to do.”
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Democratic wins in MO a good sign

Here's a message we received this morning from Corey Dillon, executive director of the Missouri State Democratic Party. Way to go, Corey!

Tonight Missouri voters overwhelmingly took out their frustration with Matt Blunt and the Republicans at the polls. Democrats won two out of three special elections for state House of Representatives even though President Bush handily carried all three districts in 2004.

In a stunning victory, Charlie Dake won one of the most conservative districts in rural Southwest Missouri, the 132nd in Lawrence County. To put things in perspective, John Kerry only received 28.5% of the vote in 2004, and Matt Blunt got OVER 71%. This district is right in Matt Blunt’s backyard, and it just goes to show that the people that know Matt Blunt the most, voted for the Republicans the least.

Michael Frame also captured victory in the 105th district in Jefferson and Franklin counties. This district has been a bell-weather for Missouri with Bush taking it last year with 52%. We are excited that Michael was able to keep this seat in Democratic hands.

Frustration was also prevalent in St. Louis County where Gen Frank received 48% of the vote in an area where George Bush got over 59% of the vote in 2004. Only a strong candidate like Gen and the continuing backlash against Republicans in power made this possible. This conservative St. Louis County district is going the way of the rest of Missouri and will be an exciting place come November.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

From the Chicago Tribune

Here's an article from today's Chicago Tribune that talks about races in Ohio, and highlights Mary Jo's race (with quotes from Mary Jo and Deborah Pryce). Pryce's spin is that she doesn't think we are really running to win -- let's hope she keeps thinking that!

For a change, incumbents feel the heatPolitical scandals appear to weaken the GOP in Ohio.

The road back to Capitol Hill could be hard.

By Jeff ZelenyTribune national correspondentPublished February 5, 2006

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- The congressional corruption scandal has stirred waves of anxiety across the country for politicians whose names appear on the November ballot, but perhaps no place in America is the power of incumbency as wobbly as in Ohio.

Republicans are rattled by ethical lapses and criminal charges throughout the ranks of state government here, topped by Gov. Bob Taft's pleading no contest last summer to four counts of state ethics violations. Now they find themselves facing credible congressional opponents for the first time in years as Democrats eye a handful of seats they believe could be among the ripest targets in the battle for control of Congress.

In electing Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as the House majority leader, Republicans demonstrated a desire to distance themselves from the bribery and corruption scandal that toppled former Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and left Rep. Bob Ney, the Republican who represents Chillicothe and a swath of central and eastern Ohio, under criminal investigation.But the rise of Boehner and the prospect of political reform may not resolve a larger question: Could this be the year of the challenger in Ohio and beyond?

Ohio was pivotal in the 2004 presidential election, tipping the election to President Bush. It could be decisive again in 2006 congressional races.

"Obviously, Democrats believe there are opportunities here because of what's going on in the state," said Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), who says she believes she wears a bull's-eye because of the wrongdoing of Republicans surrounding her. "I hope that I am looked at individually. I will run on my record."

Devalued golden ticket

While incumbency often provides a golden ticket to re-election, the rules may be different this year in Ohio, where Pryce faces her first serious challenge since being elected in 1992.

When asked last week to assess the political mood of her central Ohio district, she replied: "The more important question is what the mood will be like in November. There is a lot that could happen between now and then, and I'm certain the mood will improve."

Pryce conceded she has a "hotly contested race. I truly don't believe they think they can win it, but they are trying to keep me busy and preoccupied."

As he scoured electoral statistics across the country, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, liked what he saw in Pryce's 15th Congressional District.It was evenly divided between Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004, he said, and he believed Pryce could be vulnerable because she was part of DeLay's leadership team.

After considerable courtship--including the promise of sending Eli's Cheesecake from Chicago--Mary Jo Kilroy answered Emanuel's call.

"When the record of the majority is as bad as this one, it's not a good time to be an incumbent," said Kilroy, president of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. "We need to send a message that we don't like how things are going in this country, and it's time for a change."

Fallout has far reachThe fallout from the ethics scandal has even dogged some incumbent members of Congress who are seeking other offices. Corruption has emerged as an issue in at least three gubernatorial races--in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada--where GOP members of Congress are on the ticket.

But here in Chillicothe, where seven churches sit along a five-block stretch of Main Street, corruption has become a local issue.Ney, who was elected in 1994 to represent Ohio's 18th Congressional District, has been implicated in the federal fraud investigation of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has agreed to testify against members of Congress as part of a plea bargain.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett has said if Ney is indicted, he should not run for re-election.Ney, however, maintains his innocence and retorted that he would not allow some "party boss" to make a decision that belongs to Ney's constituents.

So he came to a restaurant here last month and announced his drive for re-election."I don't know all the details, but he's in some hot water, and the truth will come out," said Randy Rinehart, 52, a local minister who is trying to keep an open mind. "A lot of people have a price on their souls--especially in politics."

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, dismissed the suggestion that all GOP candidates could suffer from the lobbying scandal. But he conceded that whoever is swept up in the investigation faces a challenge.

"I think Bob Ney has a tough race," Reynolds said. "It may get to a point where all the skies are clear . . . but I don't know what the future might hold."

Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer, recruited by Emanuel to run against Ney, said ethics would play "a huge role" in the race.

"The very reason why both political parties are sponsoring ethical reforms in the United States Congress is because of Bob Ney," Sulzer said. "The average voter here is already weary of the political scandals because of what they have seen in Columbus and now they are seeing it from their own congressman."

John Wright, a professor of political science at Ohio State University, said Democrats appeared to have recruited more candidates than in most years."The problem Republicans are experiencing right now is a perception of arrogance and corruption, which was the undoing of the Democrats in 1994," Wright said. "Whether or not this has reached the same proportions I don't know, but I would be worried if I were a Republican."