COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, an editorial in the Toledo Blade highlighted Rob's accomplishments and "disciplined lawmaking" to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic and human trafficking saying he "has created yet another new way of being a senator" as he "goes out of his way, in whatever he does, to form a close working partnership with a Democrat." The editorial goes on to say that Rob "came to the Senate to get things done and to help people, and unarguably, he has done so" calling his work "thoroughly admirable."
Portman is blazing his own path
September 25, 2016
...Rob Portman is now among the originals in the Senate. He has created yet another new way of being a senator.
If I had to name that model I’d call it the transpartisan technocrat...
He doesn’t look for a consensus on divisive issues. Rather, he tries to bypass the great ideological orthodoxies and really partisan divides and find practical remedies to concrete problems... He picks issues that are less defined, have more to do with the real lives of ordinary Americans, and that matter to him personally. Two of those are drug addiction (specifically the heroin epidemic) and human trafficking.
Mr. Portman then goes out of his way, in whatever he does, to form a close working partnership with a Democrat.
Finally, what Mr. Portman does is drill down into the issue, make himself almost an expert on it, and then find not so obvious fixes that are systemic, technical, budgetary, or legal — but usually noncontroversial. For instance, he has led the way, with a Democrat, in trying to expose something called Backpage.
Backpage.com is a classified-ad website which Mr. Portman accuses of being complicit in selling children as sex slaves. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which he chairs, and which is the heir to the committee once chaired by Harry Truman, has subpoenaed records detailing the ways that Backpage screens ads. Backpage has fought in the courts, citing the First Amendment. And lost. The Supreme Court has ruled that Backpage must comply with Mr. Portman’s subpoena. Almost the entire Senate has backed Mr. Portman in this effort.
This is disciplined lawmaking. I have never known a senator who does the amount of detail work on his pet issues that Mr. Portman does. A Senate staffer maybe, but not a senator.
And I know of no member of the Senate who cares so deeply or has been so consistently concerned with these two important human issues which, politically, have little weight or traction. It is thoroughly admirable.
Being a transpartisan technocrat results in Mr. Portman passing a huge amount of legislation. You could call much of it small scale, but it is not small in consequence. He says he came to the Senate to get things done and to help people, and unarguably, he has done so.
Mr. Portman is “a 21st century senator” in the words of his friend John Kasich...