Thursday, September 6th, 2012
By William Kincaid
Obama team rallies in city
  CELINA - Under President Barack Obama's administration, Mercer County has gained 300 jobs, seen its unemployment level drop from 9.1 percent to 4.4 percent and benefited from increased access to crop insurance and healthcare.
Those were the statistics revealed by the Obama for America Ohio team, which stopped in Celina on Wednesday afternoon as part of Heartland Tour 2012: Moving the Middle Class Forward, a 12-day trek through rural cities and towns in Ohio.
Senior campaign adviser Aaron Pickrell - flanked by a few local Obama supporters on Wednesday afternoon - said the traveling team seeks to protect the progress Obama has made for the state's rural communities.
Campaign officials made the pitch that Obama best reflects the values of the hard-working middle class families of Mercer County and encouraged supporters to engage in dialogue with their neighbors and friends.
"Sometimes in presidential politics, it seems like all the attention goes to our major cities ... President Obama doesn't see it that way," Pickrell said during a conference outside the Mercer County Obama headquarters at 126 S. Main St. "The president believes that every part of Ohio is important - all 88 counties, from our major urban centers to our rural areas to our small cities and towns."
Obama made 18 small business tax cuts, secured funding for 400 community health centers and invested in hundreds of infrastructure projects in Ohio, he touted.
"Here in Mercer County, the president's policies have helped grow 300 jobs," Pickrell said. "An estimated 719 adults can now stay on their parent's health insurance thanks to Obamacare. And 256 people who were on the Medicare Donut Hole got a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs."
Top-down, trickle-down economic policies that give the wealthy budget-busting cuts while placing greater burdens on the middle class and students have been tried before and failed, Pickrell said.
Bob Boggs, the former director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, also spoke, portraying Obama as a defender of middle class values and Mitt Romney as a man out-of-touch with middle class families.
"Here in Mercer County, 15,342 middle class families would see their taxes increase; 7,127 seniors would see their health care costs increase by more than $6,000; and 4,837 Social Security recipients would have their benefits privatized," Boggs said about a Romney presidency.
Boggs also said that Mercer County values of hard work, playing by the rules and looking out for people less fortunate match up with Obama's values.
The Mercer County Obama headquarters is now open, usually between 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, and will serve as a hub for community organizers seeking information.
The Obama for America Ohio team also claim the following,
• Mercer County has received $32.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
• Crop insurance and emergency disaster assistance was made available to 575,000 farms and ranchers nationwide.
• More than 1,300 farmers in Ohio struggling during the financial crisis received access to credit.
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