Occupy Defense Attorney Seeks U.S. House Seat (OH-12)
Our series profiling independent and alt-party candidates for seats in the November election who have endorsed the New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform continues. An introductory piece is here.
by Andy McCoy, NPA Volunteer
Bob Hart, the Green Party candidate running for U.S. House from Ohio’s 12th District, may be in his first race, but it’s not his first time advocating for what he believes in.
Hart’s work as a public defender in Franklin County was not only seminal to his candidacy, it led to a job as an Assistant Attorney General in the state’s Consumer Protection section, litigating to hold the tobacco industry responsible for advertising to children. He also headed a legislative effort to protect consumers from predatory lending, and most recently represented activists involved with Occupy Columbus - an experience that informed his candidacy to no small extent.
“My campaign’s overarching theme is that money is not speech,” Hart says, “and that we need to rid our political process of the distorting and corrupting influence that Wall Street and big money has inflicted on our political institutions and political debates.”
Hart wants to ensure that every American has the ability to be a productive member of society, and is calling for a national commitment to full employment, a guaranteed living wage, a guaranteed college education, and universal health care. His prioritization of green energy initiatives demonstrates an understanding of problems endemic to a petroleum-based economy, and the military doesn’t get a pass, either: Hart wants to transition the country’s economic focus away from the military industry and towards a peace industry.
His rejection of the military-industrial state extends to militarization of domestic police forces. Hart believes police departments in possession of military-grade weapons “should renounce their use against civilians and quickly move to disable and safely dispose of all such weapons and vehicles.”
For all his policy initiatives, Hart favors a bottom-up approach. “Throughout the campaign we’re pointing out the necessity of building a people’s movement to reclaim our democracy,” Hart notes, “from the distorting and undemocratic actions of big corporate money and lobbyists.”
His Republican opponent, incumbent Patrick Tiberi, is a career politician. He has raised most of his money from industry and large donors. Tiberi recently sponsored a bill to limit the EPA’s authority to regulate pollution in America’s waterways. He’s also voted to maintain the national surveillance state and worked to protect it from oversight.
Democratic candidate David Tibbs has not yet released the amount or source of his campaign contributions and his position as CEO of a defense contracting firm is omitted on his campaign website and Ballotpedia page.
Hart has pledged to refuse donations from PACs and corporations. His focus on economic justice flows from his prior experience, which looks to be the guiding light of his people-focused campaign.
Campaign contact information: