Sam Allard / Scene
Activists demonstrate outside the Federal Building (9/25/17).
Activists from a number of local groups demonstrated outside Cleveland's Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building Monday afternoon, wielding signs and waffle products to criticize Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
Frozen waffles, waffle chips, waffle cones. The concept demonstration was a brainchild of Organizing for Action
's local chapter, in response to a recent Plain Dealer
editorial that accused Portman of "waffling" on health care reform.
"Only someone who puts party loyalty over loyalty to the Ohioans who elected him would agree to this," advised the forceful PD piece.
"Portman, a suburban Cincinnati Republican, must choose not to be that politician. He must shelve his "Hamlet" imitations and immediately disavow this measure."
Monday's protesters, from the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, Indivisible CLE, Lorain County Rising and elsewhere, felt much the same. The small group of activists cited the threat to Medicaid and low-income Ohioans and the loss of money for combating the opioid epidemic as chief reasons for their opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"One thing that's being overlooked is the effect this will have on Ohio hospitals," said Martha Ferrazza, representing Lorain County Rising Monday. "[Cleveland Clinic CEO] Toby Cosgrove came out and said that 22 percent of hospitals would close if Graham-Cassidy were passed."
(In a CNBC interview, Cosgrove said that 22 percent of hospitals were "running in the red" and would be harmed by loss of Medicaid funds. It's unclear how many would be forced to close.)
Ferrazza opted to bring marshmallows in lieu of waffle products to Monday's event.
"The waffles are a pun. The marshmallows are a metaphor," she said. "It's like Portman's word. As soon as he's in hot water, it dissolves."
Though Portman was not in Cleveland, a small envoy successfully delivered the waffles to his staff.
"We had a very considerate reception today," said Matt Kuhns, of Lakewood, in a Tweet
. "[The staff] listened, took notes, accepted waffles with good humor."
Tomorrow, Indivisible CLE will host a much larger protest outside the Federal Building opposing the Graham-Cassidy Bill. That event, entitled "Stop Zombie Trumpcare" will be from 4-6 p.m.
Sam Allard / Scene
Martha Ferrazza, of Lorain County Rising, brought marshmallows (9/25/17).