Connie Schultz and Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown background

General Election 2006

Henkel benefits from the Manufacturing Extension Program

Pollinator Protection Act of 2007

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 3-5-06, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

``Power Couple

AVON -- Most couples would think of winning a Pulitzer Prize, or announcing a run for the U.S. Senate, as once-in-a-lifetime events.

For journalist Connie Schultz and U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown (D-Avon), both milestones were part of a year that included setting up house together, Schultz's leave of absence from her popular column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the release of her first book next month.

Brown, 53, and Schultz, 48, each with two children from previous marriages, enjoy full lives and careers and a shared passion for public policy. As a living definition of a power couple, both say mutual respect is the key to making it work.

A conversation with the pair over coffee in the comfortable, book-lined living room of their rambling brick home this past week revealed that a healthy sense of humor enlivens their marriage. It also revealed a couple very much in love.

Schultz said she expected to hear criticism of her husband after he announced his plans to run against incumbent Senator Mike DeWine, but not to the degree they've encountered. And though neither shared specific examples of the criticism they've received, they admitted part of their courtship early on was comparing hate mail.

''We were both pretty happy on our own, and not looking to get married,'' said Schultz. ''When we first started dating, we compared ugly mail on Fridays.''

Brown said they figured out they both got less-than-flattering mail from a lot of the same people. Conversely, they met following Brown's admiring e-mail of one of Schultz's columns.

''Sherrod sent me an e-mail when I started writing my column in October 2002, comparing me to Barbara Kingsolver,'' said Schultz. ''It was a major line, but it worked. What I loved most was that he signed it ‘Sherrod Brown, Lorain, Ohio.' He didn't identify himself as a congressman.''

The two met face-to-face New Year's Day 2003 and became engaged the following Thanksgiving, Schultz said.

''When you've lived as long as we have, you know what you want,'' she said, smiling warmly at her husband. ''You've experienced the options.''

But Schultz said she had not experienced anything like the scrutiny she has seen this year.

''About two weeks after Sherrod declared for the senate, someone tried to steal our trash,'' Schultz said. ''It was two guys in suits and ties.''

Brown was in Washington at the time. ''I told her maybe Avon dressed their garbage collectors that way,'' said Brown, smiling. ''I thought, `No, not even in Avon do they wear suits to pick up the trash,''' said Schultz. ''Anyway, our dog started barking, Connie ran outside, and the guys dropped the trash,'' said Brown. ''They just jumped back in their van and drove away,'' said Schultz. ''It was like something from a movie.'' ...

The pair said respect and shared values brought them together.

''When we met three years ago, I liked the way she lived her life,'' said Brown. ''She balances her work, her children and her personal life. We both respect what each other does for a living.''

So why did Schultz decide to leave her column behind?

''It was a hard decision, but once I made it, I was ready,'' said Schultz. ''I am unequivocal in my support of Sherrod's race. What it came down to, for me, was the chance to change the direction of the country by winning the state back. As much as I love writing my column, I also wanted to be there for Sherrod, because Sherrod has always been there for me.''

Schultz gave her husband credit for not trying to influence her column.

''Sherrod has never, not once, asked me not to write about something, or even tweak it,'' said Schultz. ''I certainly have written about things that a lot of his constituents may not have liked. But he's never made an issue of anything. I don't know many husbands like that, frankly, and certainly not many men in politics like that.''

The leave of departure was not ordered by the Plain Dealer, according to Schultz.

''No one on the Plain Dealer staff said I had to leave,'' said Schultz. ''But I couldn't do any stump speaking while I worked there. I couldn't be fully present for my husband. I was even avoiding being in pictures with him. In my gut, it just didn't feel right.''

Taking her husband's hand, Schultz said she had no regrets about the decision ...

Schultz said their faith has helped get them through the toughest times.

''We both have a very strong spiritual faith,'' said Schultz. ''We also have a deep faith in what we're doing.''

Brown agreed, saying ever since he went to Israel with two Jewish friends a decade ago, he's found Christ's Sermon on the Mount to be an inspiration in both his personal and professional life.

''They took me to the top of the hill where Jesus is believed to have preached the Sermon on the Mount,'' he said. ''The guide handed me the Bible, opened to Matthew 5, and said ‘read this.' So I read the sermon and it was so exciting. To me, the Sermon on the Mount is the best sermon ever preached, and maybe the best political speech ever delivered. It's a big part of where my political views come from. The great traditions in Jewish and Christian teaching are about what you extend to the least among us, and what you believe about social justice.''

Schultz said politicians on the Left need to be vocal about their religion.

''I've written about how the far Right co-opted Christianity,'' said Schultz. ''It's important for those who are progressive to re-stake their claim to the faith.''

Brown expects a knock-down fight for the Senate this year.

''We know Karl Rove's paying a lot of attention to this race,'' said Brown. ''It's Ohio, and it matters in 2008 and all that. We just didn't think we was going to pay attention this early.''

Schultz said the negative campaigning from opponents has only strengthened her resolve.

''If I let any of this drive a wedge between us, then we lose no matter what we win in the end,'' said Schultz. ''We know we're fighting for the right things. I wish I hadn't encountered some of the behavior we've seen in this race. But we're far stronger than anything we've seen. I don't mean to say I don't get scared sometimes. I do. I worry about how ugly it can get. But everything, so far, has only driven us closer together.''''

sallyn@morningjournal.co

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 3-5-06

``Sherrod Brown

Born in Mansfield, Nov. 19, 1952, the son of a doctor. Attended Mansfield public schools and worked on family farm.

Bachelor's degree in Russian studies from Yale University, 1974.

Elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, 1975.

Earned master's degrees in education (1979) and public administration (1981) from Ohio State University while serving in the Statehouse.

Elected Ohio secretary of state in 1982, at age 29, and served until defeated by Bob Taft in 1990.

Elected to Congress, 1992. Now in seventh term in U.S. House of Representatives and running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Mike DeWine.

Author of "Congress from the Inside" (Kent State University Press, 1999) and "Myths of Free Trade: Why American Trade Policy Has Failed" (The New Press, 2004).''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 11-9-06, by Stephen Koff and Thomas Ott, Plain Dealer Reporters

[General Election 2006]

``Middle class, bipartisan politics on his mind

Sherrod Brown will still fight. He'll be feisty when he feels the need to be.

And now he gets a powerful platform from which to do it - unlike Mike DeWine, his election opponent, who may be staring at the end of a 30-year career in politics.

"I've always run campaigns where I've been outspokenly progressive, fighting for the middle class, standing on the side of working people, and I will continue to do that," Ohio's new U.S. senator-elect, a critic of corporate America and the coziness of Washington politics, said the morning after his biggest career victory.

As he spoke with reporters just 10 hours after he celebrated his win, denying DeWine a third Senate term, Brown said he intends to be strategic in what and whom he takes on. Democrats will control the House and at least half the seats in the Senate, and Brown said his party will pick issues on which it can get Republican agreement rather than pick arguments to lord its dominance over the other party.

"We're not going to engage in partisan retribution. We're not going to do any of those kinds of things that some have called for, to go after the president or go after Dick Cheney," Brown said at a morning news conference in Cleveland. "Instead, we're going to focus on issues that matter in people's everyday lives."

Brown, who in unofficial results won by 12 percentage points, said he hopes for bipartisan deals on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, student aid and national security improvements. He hopes to get agreement with Republicans to allow government negotiations with drug companies for Medicare prescription programs, which could reduce prices for seniors but is now prohibited by law.

He hopes to be appointed to committees that use his 14-year House experience on health care and trade issues, though that will be up to Senate Democratic leaders. He has already spoken with several about it - and upon his victory, he also got calls from Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, three Democrats with presidential ambitions.

"This is an important state," said Brown. "People know that."

But none of them tempted him with the idea of being a running mate - and he says he has "zero interest" in running for a higher office anyway ...''

To reach these Plain Dealer reporters: skoff@plaind.com, tott@plaind.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 11-9-06, by Liz Sidoti and Bob Lewis, Associated Press

``Virginia Senate win assures 51 seats when Congress convenes

WASHINGTON -- Democrats completed an improbable double-barreled election sweep of Congress on Wednesday, taking control of the Senate with a victory in Virginia as they padded their day-old majority in the House.

Jim Webb's victory over Sen. George Allen in Virginia assured Democrats of 51 seats when the Senate convenes in January. That marked a gain of six in midterm elections in which the war in Iraq and President Bush were major issues ...

Democrats began the year with fewer seats than at any time since Herbert Hoover occupied the White House ...

In the House, Democrats won 230 seats and led in two races, while Republicans won 196 seats and led in seven races. If current trends hold, Democrats would have a 232-203 majority ...

Aside from gains in Congress, Democrats took 20 of 36 governors' races to give them a majority of top state jobs -- 28 -- for the first time in a dozen years. Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio went into the Democratic column ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 11-9-06, by Brad Dicken

``Focus is on wages, stem cells and drug costs

ELECTION 2006: Brown lays out his plan as new U.S. senator

CLEVELAND -- U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday laid out an ambitious agenda of issues he wants to tackle as Ohio's newest senator when he takes office next year, including pushing the progressive values that propelled him to victory.

The Avon Democrat said he wants to focus among other things on raising the minimum wage, stem cell research and cutting prescription drug costs.

"We pick issues that are absolutely in the public interest where there is significant bipartisan support and those are the issues we move forward on," Brown said. "It's the message we send to the country that we mean business, that we're not going to engage in partisan retribution."

Brown rode a wave of voter discontent with the current Republican leadership in Washington and Columbus to an election victory over U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine on

Tuesday. He said working with Republicans, including Ohio's other U.S. Senator, George Voinovich, would be key to that success.

He said he hopes to work with Voinovich on reducing the national debt and balancing the budget. "You pick out issues that you're interested in -- trade issues, balancing the budget, health care issues, education issues -- and you find the senators across the aisle who agree with you," he said.

Brown said he would like to work with senators Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on trade issues. He also mentioned working with potential Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona on cutting prescription drug costs.

Brown said he would like to serve on the Senate Finance Committee, which deals with healthcare and trade, two issues Brown has always had a deep interest in, but he isn't sure if, as a freshman senator, he'll be able to win such a prestigious assignment.

Brown also said he wants to tackle two issues key to the security of the nation, including passing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and finding a solution to the war in Iraq. "We need to come up with an exit strategy to deploy our troops out of Iraq in the next year and a half, two years," he said.

While Brown said he now represents the entire state instead of one congressional district, he plans to continue to do constituent work and be an outspoken critic of drug and energy companies.

"I think you run as you serve and I've always done that," he said. An advantage for Ohioans, Brown said, would be his close friendship with newly elected Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. "Ted Strickland and I will have a much better relationship than DeWine and Taft had," he said. "The cooperation we'll have as senator and governor will absolutely payoff."''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-12-06, by ALEX M. PARKER, Morning Journal Writer

``Ohio's new senator-elect talks about winning and what's ahead in D.C.

AVON -- It took a while for Sherrod Brown to decide to run for Senate, but once he did, he never looked back.

And now that determination has paid off, as the 12-year representative for Ohio's 13th Congressional District will be headed to the U.S. Senate next year -- along with eight other newly elected Democrats from across the country.

With massive turnout for a mid-term election, Democrats picked up huge gains in Congress and regained control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Locally, Democrats won every election in Lorain County.

Last year, Brown, who was born in Mansfield and previously was Ohio's secretary of state, overcame his initial hesitation and decided to leave the 13th District to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Mike DeWine.

DeWine was running for a third term, and many political observers thought it would be a close race.

But on Tuesday night, Brown's race was one of the first Senate matchups television networks called -- and they found he had won decisively.

Unofficial final results show Brown won 56 percent of the vote, while DeWine won 44 percent.

The Morning Journal caught up with Brown by phone on Friday [11-10-06] from his Avon home. He had just finished two days of campaign celebrations and congratulations, and admitted he was ''a little tired and a little hoarser than normal.''

Q: When you first entered the race a year ago, what did you think your chances were against DeWine, a two-term incumbent?

A: I thought my chances were always good, because I thought people in this country wanted a new direction. I think they had enough that the government had abandoned the middle class.

Q: Did you ever imagine you'd be entering a Senate with a Democratic majority?

A: I didn't think that. As Election Day drew near, it became more and more likely. I don't think anybody thought that a year ago.

Q: You gave up a safe congressional seat and a chance to chair a congressional committee by declaring to run. Did you ever stop and say, ''Wow, this is quite a gamble?''

A: After you start, you don't look back. I made my mind up that this was the right thing to do for my family, for me, for my country and my community. You don't second-guess, you don't look back.

Q: Are you still going to live in Avon? Will you be buying a house in the D.C. area?

A: We will not move to Washington. I have an apartment in Washington; we're going to keep that. We have no intentions of moving.

Q: It seemed like every day you had a press conference in a different city. Was the campaigning schedule easy for you or your family?

A: It's not easy, you just go forward and do what you've got to do. I just feel blessed that I got the opportunity to do all this.

Q: Did you keep an eye on the 13th Congressional race during your campaign? What did you think of the results?

A: I was very pleased that Betty Sutton succeeded. I think she'll advocate for the same issues that I have for years ...

Q: In 1994, you survived the so-called ''Republican Revolution'' and defeated Greg White in your first re-election battle as a congressman, while dozens of Democrats lost nationwide and Republicans took the House. As someone who was involved both in the 1994 election and the 2006 election, do you think they were similar years? Was this year a ''Democratic Revolution?''

A: The voters, people wanted a change in direction. I think that the Democrats had been out of touch in those years, and the same thing happened to Republicans.

Q: You've been a secretary of state, a congressman and now a senator. Do you think this will be the last office you'll hold?

A: Yes. There's no doubt it will be the last office. This is it. I want to be in the Senate. I want to be in the Senate for a number of years, but I am certain I will never run for another office.

Q: Is your wife (Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz) going back to work at the Plain Dealer?

A: First of the year [2007].

Q: When's her book coming out?

A: She's writing a book about this race, but she will have it completed by the end of the year. She will conclude the first draft in the next couple of weeks. The book will come out on June 12 [2007]. You never know precisely, but that's what they say.

Q: What's your post-election schedule been like?

A: It's been pretty hectic. I have people I want to call and thank, things have continued. It's more relaxed (than during the campaign). I plan to take some time off.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 4-13-07, by KATE GIAMMARISE, Morning Journal Writer

[Henkel benefits from the Manufacturing Extension Program]

``LORAIN -- According to analysis by Sen. Sherrod Brown's office, Ohio has lost more than 185,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001.

That's a decline of nearly 19 percent, the report said.

In just the four-county region of Lorain, Cuyagoha, Lake and Geauga counties, there are 40,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than there were in 2001.

Brown, a Democrat, said yesterday he plans to introduce new legislation to help strengthen the federal Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP). The bill would add a low-interest loan program to the MEP ...

Brown said the program helps retain and create new manufacturing jobs -- by his count, more than 7,000 in Ohio since 2001.

Additionally, Brown said he and other Senators will fight to add more funding for the MEP.

Currently, the program is funded at $104.6 million annually, but President Bush's budget has allocated only $46.3 million for next year. Brown said that number should go up to $113 million.

''We're spending $1.2 billion a week in Iraq, we're asking to spend $113 million on this,'' he said. Brown said he believes Ohio would get a substantial portion of the funds. ''We are a major manufacturing state,'' he said.

The MEP assists small companies with strategies such as how to save on energy spending, deal with increasing health care costs, cover training costs and learn how to export their products.

Among the area companies the program has assisted is Elyria-based Invacare, Avon-based Henkel Corp. and Avon Lake-based PolyOne, according to a list from Brown's office.

For instance, in 2003, the program, through the Cleveland-based nonprofit Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET), which receives MEP funds, helped Henkel identify ways to make the company more efficient.

Under Brown's proposal to add a low-interest loan component to the program, manufacturers seeking to develop new products could apply for funds ...

According to the analysis from Brown's office, since 2001, Lorain County has lost 8,352 manufacturing jobs. Among Ohio's 88 counties, only Franklin, Montgomery, Hamilton, Cuyahoga, Stark and Summit counties lost more manufacturing jobs during that time.

Erie County has lost 2,701 manufacturing jobs and Huron County has lost 2,498 manufacturing jobs since 2001.

The statistics are based on numbers from the Ohio Department of Development and the Bureau of Labor Statistics and were compiled by Brown's office.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Joournal, 6-8-07, by MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Senator Brown, legislators look to protect Ohio's bees

LORAIN -- Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, and other legislators are working to protect Ohio's bees -- which along with bees from around the country -- are dying off at an alarming rate.

Brown's office announced Wednesday that he would support the Pollinator Protection Act of 2007. If passed, the bill would classify pollinator habitat as a conservation resource and pollinator habitats would be eligible for $3 billion in Farm Bill conservation funding.

''The bee population in Ohio is declining at an alarming rate and Ohio's fruit and vegetable farmers are at risk,'' Brown said in a statement. ''This bill would support Ohio's farmers by protecting the bee population they rely on to pollinate their crops.''

According to Brown's office, the bill would allow beekeepers to apply for conservation funding to help save their hives.

The bill is currently in the Senate's Agriculture Committee and Brown hopes it will be included in the 2007 Farm Bill, Brown spokeswoman Bethany Lesser said.

Area beekeepers have been concerned about the mysterious disease -- titled Colony Collapse Disorder -- that is threatening bees and food supplies nationally.

The trend was first noticed in 2006, when honeybee colonies began to die across the U.S. Potential causes being investigated for the disease include chemical residue or contamination, pathogens, stress level of the bees and lack of genetic diversity, according to a working group of researchers that is studying the disorder from Pennsylvania State University, Florida Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Bee Alert Technology Inc.

A variety of crops, including fruits and vegetables, could be affected if the bee shortage continues ...''

EDITORIAL from The Morning Journal, 6-9-07

``Brown does well in supporting new bill to safeguard honeybees

It's good to see Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown of Avon co-sponsoring legislation aimed at protecting honeybees, and the crops they pollinate, from a mysterious affliction called Colony Collapse Disorder.

Ohio honeybees have been hit hard by the disorder which began spreading nationwide last year. In Oberlin, beekeeper Walter Jorgensen said he has lost 75 percent of his hives. Statewide, 72 percent of Ohio beekeepers' honeybees died off between last September and March of this year [2007], according to Brown's office, citing an Ohio Department of Agriculture report.

Affected bees leave their hives, then fail to return as normal; instead they wander off and die.

This problem goes far beyond simply having a fall-off in honey production. Bees are used agriculturally to pollinate more than 70 kinds of fruits and vegetables. In Ohio alone, nearly $87 million in crops relied on pollination by bees in 2005. That menu included apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers and cabbage, Brown's office noted ...

The legislation sponsored by Brown and about 30 other senators is called the Pollinator Protection Act of 2007. It would classify pollinator habitat as a conservation resource and make beekeepers eligible for $3 billion in Farm Bill conservation funds to safeguard hives. The funding would help beekeepers improve the habitat and food sources for the honeybees.

The bill is in the Senate Agriculture Committee, of which Brown in a member, and needs to be included in the 2007 Farm Bill.

We encourage the full Senate, and the House, to support such efforts to save the nation's bees and ensure that our nation's food supply is not threatened.''

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