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MARCY KAPTUR Printer Friendly Page
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Osama a Deist? Ethan Allen a Terrorist? Meet Marcy Kaptur
By James Alan Winter
March 12, 2003

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  • Democratic Member of Congress, representing the 9th District of Ohio
  • Member of the Progressive Caucus
  • After 9/11, she compared Osama bin Laden to American patriots in the Revolutionary War

Marcy Kaptur is a Democratic Member of Congress who represents the Ninth District of Ohio.

Born in Toledo in June 1946 to blue-collar parents who worked at local auto plants, Kaptur earned an undergraduate degree in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in 1974 from the University of Michigan. She then found employment as a county urban planner from 1969-1974, and as an urban planning consultant from 1975-1977. In President Jimmy Carter's White House she became Assistant Director for Urban Affairs, and after Carter's electoral defeat in 1980 she worked for a year as Deputy Secretary of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank.

Kaptur first ran for Congress in 1982, winning her Ninth District race with 58 percent of the vote. She has been re-elected every two years since then.

Kaptur's position has always been that industry in the so-called "Rust Belt" declined not because unions and class-war politics ruined the investment climate and forced wages to uncompetitive levels, but because of unfair, low-cost foreign competition. Favoring tariffs and trade barriers, she fought fiercely against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

In August 1995 Kaptur made a rousing anti-free trade speech before Ross Perot's organization United We Stand, and in 1996 presidential candidate Perot offered to make her his Reform Party running mate. A committed Democrat, Kaptur declined.

In 2003 Kaptur said the following about Osama bin Laden and his fellow jihadists: "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown."

Kaptur is a member of the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Americans for Democratic Action rates her voting record as 85 to 95 percent on the left side of legislation. During her congressional career, Kaptur has voted:

  • against the continuation of U.S. aid to the Contra rebels who were fighting against the Soviet-backed, Castro-trained, Marxist Sandinista dictatorship of Nicaragua in the 1980s;  
  • against the Gulf War of 1991;
  • against the development of a national missile defense system;
  • against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001;
  • in favor of the post-9/11 anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act;
  • against allowing the U.S. government to use electronic surveillance to investigate suspected terrorist operatives;
  • against a bill permitting the government to combat potential terrorist threats by monitoring foreign electronic communications which are routed through the United States;
  • against an October 2002 joint resolution authorizing U.S. military action in Iraq;
  • against the establishment of military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror;
  • in favor of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq immediately and by a preordained date;
  • against President Bush’s 2007 decision to deploy some 21,500 additional U.S. soldiers in an effort to quell the violent insurgents in Iraq;
  • in favor of a proposal to expedite the transfer of all prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention center;
  • against requiring hospitals to report (to the federal government) illegal aliens who receive emergency medical treatment;
  • against the Real ID Act, which proposed to set minimal security requirements for state driver licenses and identification cards;
  • against a bill calling for the construction of some 700 miles of fencing to prevent illegal immigration along America's southern border;
  • in favor of a proposal to grant state and local officials the authority to investigate, identify, and arrest illegal immigrants;
  • against major tax cut proposals in September 1998February 2000March 2000May 2001May 2003, and May 2006;
  • against separate welfare reform bills designed to move people off the welfare rolls and into paying jobs; and
  • in favor of prohibiting oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
One of Kaptur's largest campaign contributors has been the American Association for Justice.


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