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Ohio legislators, voters react to Rep. LaTourette's retirement

6:07 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- After 18 years in Washington, Congressman Steve LaTourette won't run again. Why? He says it's frustration with the politics in Congress.

People in Cleveland, even his peers in the U.S. House, are reacting with sadness and shock -- but also shared sentiment.

"For a long time now, words like 'compromise' have been considered to be dirty words," said Rep. LaTourette, a Republican from Ohio's 14th District.

"Congress? They could be doing a lot more," said Teresa Schleicher.

"They're not doing anything. It's a do-nothing Congress," said Keith Mundy.

Real Clear Politics averages recent polls to find only about 17 percent of the American public approves of the job Congress is doing.

And it's not just you. We polled local Congressional Representatives and they have strong feelings, too.

"I think we're all frustrated by the way things are going in Congress," said Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio's 11th District. "Certainly anyone who reads the papers realizes that there is not a lot getting done here."

"Politics is part of the problem here," said Rep. Jim Renacci, (R) District 16.

"When you lose a guy like Steve LaTourette, who is as thoughtful and intelligent as any member of Congress in the entire country, and he's saying that it's too extreme, I think that really says something," said Rep. Tim Ryan, (D) District 17.

Ohio's people, even her legislative leaders, say partisanship is getting in the way of solving problems.

"I hope that other members of Congress recognize that when we get to the point that we're turning off guys like Steve LaTourette, we really better re-evaluate what we're doing," said Rep. Ryan.

"It's very sad, but I also think that it may hopefully send a message to everybody to cut it out," said Rob Falls.

That's what Republican Representative Jim Renacci says freshman legislators are trying to do.

"Republicans, democrats, they say they same thing. We need to be able to work together to get things done," he said.

And Representative Marcia Fudge agrees.

"There should be those of us in this body who are willing to do everything in our power, to try to continue to pull the parties together to try to continue to move things forward."

But it might be easier said than done in what historians are calling the least productive Congress in the last 30 years. One Clevelander says do what we do at work.

"Work together, organize like a business, a company does," said Sharon Lee.


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