When it comes to hunter and angler issues, where stands the Democratic Party?
I recently covered a political “sportsmen’s call,” a trapshoot event in Stark County, where U.S. Sen. John Thune (R., S. Dak.) was walking point for the GOP’s Romney/Ryan campaign. (A feature article on same is set for the Oct. 12 issue of Ohio Outdoor News.)
Sen. Thune is a hunter, the image of a tall, lean Great Plains cowboy, and the perfect ambassador to sportmen and sportswomen in Ohio, a critical swing state in the upcoming presidential election. And the Romney campaign had the smarts to put its hunting poster-boy in play here in a grass-roots campaign effort.
Moreover, on Sept. 29, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is the scheduled keynote speaker at a fund-raising dinner for the Columbus-based sporting lobby, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. Obviously, the USSA invited Ryan, so its political leanings are clear.
But where are the Democrats? Have the Obama campaign and its Ohio machinery in this key swing state written off sporting interests? Are outdoors issues of no importance to the blue side of the political ledger? One legitimately can wonder. Their silence is deafening, their neglect is troubling.
It is passing strange that our former governor, Ted Strickland, garnered an A+ pro-gun rating from the most effective lobby in the country, the National Rifle Association, and his opponent, Republican John Kasich, rated an F. Yet here we are, barely a month away from what the politicos deem such a critical, close election, and only the Republican side has taken any pains to address outdoors men and women.
How say you, Ohio Democratic Party? Time is short. We’re waiting.