Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jean Schmidt’s position on Cuba “bought and paid for” by lobbyists

By Nate Noy

Truth seekers everywhere should be grateful for two things: (1) that transparency exists regarding campaign contributes, therefore they must be disclosed and; (2) the Internet site where one can go back and view websites from the past verbatim.

I’ll let the facts speak for themselves on my most recent discovery regarding Jean Schmidt.

Fact: The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has a PAC with Ohio Registration number C00161265. This PAC made numerous campaign contributions to Jean Schmidt while she was a State Representative.

Fact: The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation like many farm trade associations has long been a strong proponent of lifting the trade embargo with Cuba. A few years back the federation even sponsored a trip to visit Cuba; Jean Schmidt was on that trip.

Fact: Jean Schmidt was a major supporter of lifting the trade embargo. On her campaign website she linked to a number of articles urging the lifting of the embargo and even wrote her own opinion on the subject.

Fact: On 4/21/2006 three anti-Castro PACs made campaign contributions to Jean Schmidt totally $6,000.
Democracy Believers PAC
1155 21st St. NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Date Contributed = 04/21/2006
Amount Contributed = 2000.00
PO Box 10460
Burke, Virginia 22009
Date Contributed = 04/21/2006
Amount Contributed = 1000.00
US Cuba Democracy PAC
1200 W. 49th St.
Hialeah, Florida 33012
Date Contributed = 04/21/2006
Amount Contributed = 3000.00

Fact: The US Cuba Democracy PAC was happy to report that this past summer an amendment to the farm bill to ease trade restrictions with Cuba was defeated on the House Floor.

Fact: Jean Schmidt voted against this amendment.

H.AMDT.707 to H.R.2419 Amendment sought to remove certain banking restrictions related to Cuba's payment for agricultural purchases from U.S. producers.
Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] (introduced 7/27/2007) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 7/27/2007 House amendment not agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Rangel amendment (A008) Failed by recorded vote: 182 - 245 (Roll no. 749).

Fact: there are two other major pieces of legislation that are currently before Congress urging the lifting of the embargo and to allow travel to Cuba. Jean Schmidt is NOT a cosponsor for either bill.

H.R.624 : To lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] (introduced 1/22/2007) Cosponsors (54)
Committees: House Foreign Affairs; House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce; House Judiciary; House Financial Services; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Agriculture
Latest Major Action: 4/12/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology.

H.R.654 : To allow travel between the United States and Cuba.
Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] (introduced 1/24/2007) Cosponsors (119)
Committees: House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 1/24/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Here is what Jean Schmidt previously wrote on her campaign website:

Ohio Farmers Look to Cuba for Their Future
February 4, 2003

"What is the definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time. That can be said of the nearly 40-year-old embargo that the United States stubbornly maintains against Cuba, the Caribbean country of eleven million people. The reasoning behind the move back in the 1960’s was noble enough. Bring pressure to bear on a Communist dictatorship that was oppressing its people, taking away all their personal freedoms, the very hint of which is repugnant to Americans. But, the times they are a-changin’ and like it or not, we’re losing precious time and opportunities to other countries and other states that have seen the possibilities we’ve continued to shun for four decades.

The good news is that may be coming to an end. Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) president Terry McClure recently visited Cuba and returned with visions of a new market for Ohio’s struggling farm community. Our Caribbean neighbor, who is a mere 90 miles from Miami, Florida, is capable of purchasing $700 million dollars in food, much of it the very crops we grow in Ohio. Already $250 million has been spent in trade with the United States, but not with Ohio farmers. To begin a reversal of that trend and open up the doors to Ohio farmers, the Ohio Farm Bureau has organized an initial fact finding trip to Cuba in March. I am very happy to report that I will be along on that trip. I am also happy to tell you that not one cent of this trip will be paid for by your tax dollars. I am paying for all of my expenses.

My interest in Cuba is not new. My husband’s family had business interests in Cuba in the 1950's. During my first term in the legislature, I approached the Department of Development about sponsoring a State delegation of business and agriculture leaders to Cuba. I met with the Cuban Trade Council in New York to learn the mechanics of putting a trip together, as well as, with Cuban American business people in Ohio to gain a greater insight to the economic benefits that could result from such a trip.

By now, we are all painfully aware of the dire straits of the state economy is in. Now more than ever, it is important to look at new opportunities that will help bring dollars back into our economy and offset the staggering deficit that looms in the near future. This trip, sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau through the Columbus Council on World Affairs, takes the critical first steps in establishing relationships and opening doors that have been closed too long. Along with touring working farms, port facilities, cooperatives, processing facilities and seeing various cultural sites, I will be meeting with high-level Cuban government officials, farmers and business people. It is a first step in reversing the effects of sanctions whose time has come and gone.

If you are interested in learning more about Cuba, or have questions or comments, you may write to me at my Columbus office at State Representative Jean Schmidt 77 S. High Street Columbus, OH 43215, calling me at (614) 466-8134, or sending an email to me at I look forward to reporting back to you on the progress we make during this trip. Look for more information on my website,, including photos. I am proud to have this opportunity to explore opening new markets for the hard working farmers in Ohio. It’s time to open our doors to this new trading partner and to leave behind the outdated ideas from forty years ago that have never attained their goals. "

Conclusion: When Jean Schmidt was getting payoffs from a group in favor of lifting the embargo her position was that “It’s time to open our doors to this new trading partner and to leave behind the outdated ideas from forty years ago that have never attained their goals.” However, as soon as she gets to Congress she accepts money from anti-Castro groups opposed to what her previous contributors stood for and she has delivered by voting against an amendment that would ease restrictions and is not a cosponsor for bills that would directly result in what she previously advocated.

Cuba has been a hot topic in the news as of late and many people are starting to advocate lifting the embargo and allowing US travel to Cuba. Where do you suppose our Congresswoman stands on this issue, the answer likely is that she will stand behind the group with the biggest checkbook.

Jean Schmidt, the Congresswoman reprimanded by the Ohio Elections Commission for a “reckless disregard for truth,” should it surprise anyone that her vote appears to always be for sale? One thing is for sure, Jean Schmidt has proven that she IS corrupt enough to be a member of Congress.

1 comment:

Rick Morris said...

I didn't know about this playing-both-sides-of-the-Cuban-trade deal until now. You utilizing has to be Jean Schmidt's worst nightmare :-)

Seriously, though, for as much as people talk about YouTube holding politicians permanently accountable (hello, George Allen!), the Wayback Machine is just as powerful if not more so.

As the fiercest of anti-communists in my youth, you really got my blood boiling with this idiocy of playing footsie with Fidel. This account right here shows the true identity of our "would-be trading partners," psychopathic butchers who tried to bring 9/11 to our soil 39 years before it happened:

I'd like to see somebody rationalize THAT away.