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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    Anderson deserves better (even if he was a journalist) 

    The hot-button national issue of terrorism has become a part of the Ohio Senate 20th District in Southeast Ohio. One of the candidates should be familiar not only to Ohioans, but also to most Americans. His face was on our TV screeens for years.

    Democrat Terry Anderson, a former war correspondent who was held captive by Iranians in Lebanon for almost seven years, is trying to unseat Republican state Sen. Joy Padgett in this predominately rural, heavily Republican Appalachian district. He must be making inroads, because Padget has produced a campaign mailer that is both unfair and mean. She depicts Anderson as a terrorist symphathizer, posing with a Hezbollah leader and quotes Anderson as saying: ``Are we wiling to accept that they hate us, not because they're crazy but because we've done something wrong?''

    Anderson returned to confront his captors, to ask the secretary general of Hezbollah if he could admit the kidnapping was wrong. That's when the photo was taken. The quote was from a panel discussion at Ohio University about U.S. media coverage of events in the month after 9/11. Anderson, who was released in 1991, says he also told the OU panel that ``America is loved in many ways.''

    ``I have spent 13 years trying not to hate, trying to learn to forgive (my captors), bedcause I am a Christian, and I am required to do so,'' Anderson said. ``And my opponent wants you to believe that makes me soft on terrorism. She demeans my profession. She demeans my family's pain.''

    No state senator from an obscure Ohio district will have any effect on the fight against terrorism. so as a campaign topic, it is specious. Would Padgett pull the same crap with photos of John McCain returning to North Vietnam to try to bring divided people together? Anderson walked out of the debate he was supposed to share with Padgett Wednesday night in Marietta. Ohioblog doesn't blame Anderson. I'd have been holding the door for him.

    The issue most pertinent in the 20th District, where unemployment is nearly 7 percent, is the issue most pertinent in Ohio: jobs. Jobs that are not simply taking each other's fast food order or helping each other buy something in a store. Jobs that have a future instead of minimum-wage handcuffs. Training to get such jobs. That's what they should be discussing in the 20th District.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 10:55 AM

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