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Immigrants and Advocates Call on Senator to Stop Accepting Campaign Support Raised in Donald Trump’s Name
Today, immigrants and advocates gathered at Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) campaign offices in Cleveland (Brecksville) and Columbus to deliver petitions calling on the Senator to reject all campaign funds raised in Donald Trump’s name. According to a December report in Buzzfeed, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has been using Trump memorabilia to attract donors since early May. Among those campaigns benefiting from those donations is that of Senator Rob Portman. Participants in the petition deliveries placed “I’m With Trump” stickers on the headquarters’ doors, challenging Sen. Portman and his staff to answer for the NRSC funds. Campaign officials removed the sticker from the Brecksville office door almost immediately, while those delivering petitions in Columbus were not even allowed to pass through the door.
The Trump brand and his dangerous policy positions have become toxic around the world. But, this is not the case for Senator Portman and the NRSC. While Senator Portman has called Trump’s proposals “counter to our traditions” in the past, he also indicated that he would still vote for Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee. When asked by The Hill about supporting a potential Trump nomination, the Senator responded, “I intend to…I guess you could come up with some scenario where something crazy could happen, but I think the country’s in trouble and I think if we don’t have new leadership and new policies, it’s hard to imagine it getting back on track.”
Senator Portman’s stance on Donald Trump is even more confusing given his recent endorsement of Ohio Governor and Presidential candidate, John Kasich. Governor Kasich has called Trump’s proposals–on immigration in particular–“crazy” and a super PAC backing the Governor rolled out a plan today highlighting the “sky-high” price tag of Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, “It means nothing for Senator Portman to denounce racist remarks by Donald Trump if the Senator is going to then fundraise on his name and vote for him if he becomes the nominee. For someone who is running to represent our state’s values, Senator Portman should know better and should correct this mistake now by rejecting any funds raised in Trump’s name.”
Added Jose Mendiola, President of Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association (LOIRA): “Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he does not want the help of the Republicans, so why is Rob Portman accepting donations made in Donald Trump’s name?”
Don Bryant, President of Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, also attended the delivery in Brecksville.
In Columbus, petitions were delivered by Julie Nemecek (Columbus-based immigration attorney), Austin Kocher (a local graduate student).
Said, Austin Kocher, an Ohio Native and graduate student at Ohio State University, “Rob Portman should agree that there is no room in Ohio for political campaigns funded by fear and bigotry. The solution is simple. Mr. Portman: stop taking Trump dollars.”
Ohio’s Voice is a project of America’s Voice.