Who's for Midwest Modernization

Congressman Dennis Kucinch is running for president in 2008. But he must not want it too bad.

After all, the Democrat from Cleveland has yet to sign on in support of the Great Lakes Restoration Implementation Act recently introduced in Washington D.C. And that puts the presidential hopeful at risk of not capturing all the region's 127 electoral votes, including key battlegrounds like Michigan, Wisconsin, and his home state of Ohio.

Cleveland, like all of NE Ohio, has big plans to revitalize its lakefront, renew its downtown, cleanup its rivers, generate new economy knowledge jobs, uplift its quality of life, and compete in the 21st century global economy. And the $20 billion public works project to restore the Great Lakes would program significant public spending to advance the effort. Supporting the proposal is a simple way for politicians to show they're in tune with the urgent economic, environmental, and social needs of the deindustrializing midwest.

Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - two fellow Democrats - support the proposal. But Rep. Kucinch, like a number of Great Lakes leaders, have yet to see the strategic value in the restoration proposal. Here's how the region's current support for the restoration plan lines up:

Yes: Sen. Obama and Represenatives Emanuel, Bean, Davis, Jackson Jr., Schakowsky, Kirk

No: Senator Durbin and Representatives Rush, Lipinski, Gutierrez, Roskam, Weller, Costello, Biggert, Hastert, Johnson, Manzullo, Hare, LaHood, and Shimkus.

Yes: Rep. Carson

No: Senators Lugar and Bayh and Representatives Visclosky, Donnelly, Souder, Buyer, Burton, Pence, Ellsworth, Hill

Yes: Senators Levin and Stabenow and Representatives Ehlers, Stupak, Hoekstra, Ehlers, Camp, Kildee, Upton, Wahlberg, Knollenberg, Rogers, Miller, McCotter, Levin, Kilpatrick, Conyers, Dingell

No: none

Yes: Senator Coleman and Rep. McCollum

No: Senator Klobuchar and Representatives Walz, Kline, Ramstad, Ellison, Bachman, Peterson, Oberstar

New York
Yes: Senators Clinton and Schumer and Representatives Maloney, Reynolds, Higgins, Slaughter, and Kuhl

No: Reps. Bishop, Israel, King, McCarthy, Ackerman, Meeks, Crowley, Nadler, Weiner, Towns, Clarke, Velazquez, Fossella, Rangel, Serrano, Engel, Lowey, Hall, Gillibrand, McNulty, Hinchey, McHugh, Arcuri, and Walsh.

Yes: Senators Brown and Voinovich and Reps. Gillmor, Kaptur, Jones, Sutton, LaTourette, and Regula.

No: Reps. Chabot, Schmidt, Turner, Jordan, Wilson, Hobson, Boehner, Kucinich, Tiberi, Pryce, Ryan, and Space.

Yes: Senator Casey and Rep. English

No: Sen. Specter and Reps. Brady, Fattah, Altmire, Peterson, Gerlach, Sestak, P. Murphy, Shuster, Carney, Kanjorski, Murtha, Schwartz, Doyle, Dent, Pitts, Holden, T. Murphy, and Platts.

Yes: Reps. Ryan, Baldwin, Kind, Moore, Sensenbrenner, Petri, and Kagen.

No: Senators Kohl and Feingold and Rep. Obey