Kaptur beats Kucinich in redrawn Ohio district

The Kucinich-Kaptur race is the first of at least 10 competitions this year between members of the House of Representatives of the same party as a result of the redistribution of Congress after the 2010 census.

Ohio lost two seats in Congress and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature redefined the Ninth District, stretching along the shores of Lake Erie from Kaptur’s hometown of Toledo to the west side of Cleveland.

Other races between legislators from the same party this year include a California contest between Rep. Howard Berman and Democrat Brad Sherman in a reconfigured district of San Fernando Vallay.

In Florida, Rep. John Mica, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives for Transportation and Infrastructure, will run in a primary against fellow Republican Sandy Adams to determine her party’s nomination in a newly redrawn district on the central east coast.

At the start of her campaign against Kucinich, Kaptur said she would emphasize her status as the second highest Democrat on the House of Representatives budget committee. This seniority gives her the opportunity to provide federal aid to the district to help Ohio “modernize our ports, our railways, our airports,” Kaptur said in a Dec. 28 interview.

Kaptur also focused on Kucinich’s record of opposing defense spending. “I don’t think he has ever voted for a defense law in his career,” she said.

Last year, Kucinich forced a House vote on his resolution declaring that President Obama had violated the military forces’ resolution by failing to get Congress approval for US support for NATO air strikes in Libya.

Kucinich said Kaptur “waged a campaign of no integrity and filled with false truths,” according to the Associated Press.

On the Republican side, Joseph “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher had a slight lead over the Toledo real estate agent Steve Kraus. The winner of the Democratic primary will be preferred in November. – BLOOMBERG NEWS

Hanscom musicians amid cuts in military personnel.

WASHINGTON – These are leaner times for the military budget and that means virtually no one is safe from the household ax. And now it’s time to face the music for a unique unit at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford – in the truest sense of the word.

Under a plan presented to Congress on Tuesday, its taps are for the Band of Liberty and their 55 jazz and rock musicians.

Based in New England since 1978, the group participates in official ceremonies and community parades, and maintains troops serving overseas. This month there are concerts from Vermont to New Jersey. One of their albums, “Wicked Good”, presents “a CD that uniquely represents Boston,” according to the band’s website.

But after that year, a Virginia-based Air Force band will be in charge of the entire east coast.

“There will be fewer performances in this area,” said Hanscom spokesman Charles Paone. “The Band of Liberty now includes the states of New England and New York.”

The announcement is part of a statewide downsizing plan that also means Massachusetts will be shedding more staff.

According to the new plan, Bay State will lose 241 Air Force personnel this year – or 3 percent of the total. The downsizing affects all installations, including Hanscom, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westover Air Reserve Base, and Otis Air National Guard Base. It will have the biggest impact on the Air National Guard. According to the plan, 8,886 Air Force personnel are to remain in Bay State through October.

The cuts come in addition to a number of cuts already underway involving employees from contractors who support the Electronic Systems Center in Bedford.

Bay State legislators criticized Tuesday’s announcement.

“I am not convinced that unilateral cuts to an Air Guard with years of institutional knowledge and combat experience are the right course of action and the Air Force should reconsider these proposals,” Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, told the Globe in a statement. – BRYAN BENDER

Biden will campaign with speeches in key states

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden is stepping up efforts to get President Obama re-elected by launching a series of speeches in critical states.

Biden will address key campaign issues at four events over the coming weeks, including a speech next week in Ohio, a campaign official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.

Biden was a top surrogate for Obama, appearing in fundraisers across the country and courting voters in battlefield states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. – RELATED PRESS

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