...Ohio Senator Waffling...

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A spokesman for DeWine admits the senator is reconsidering his previous position. Mike Dawson told The Columbus Dispatch that the senator must weigh whether the ban is worth risking all the funding in the bill for Ohio airports and other provisions. According to the Dispatch, DeWine still favors the privatization ban but he's not sure he'd vote against the reauthorization bill if the current language remains. Despite what must be enormous pressure from the White House to change his vote, DeWine's fellow Ohio Republican George Voinovich has apparently indicated to NATCA that he won't alter his position. Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Lorain) accused the White House of mounting an "ideological jihad for privatization" and said the public won't stand for it in the case of air traffic control. He said similar debates are being conducted over Medicare, parks and a host of other publicly run services but air traffic control is different in the minds of voters. "This one is barely debatable," he said. "I just urge my colleagues to put public safety over political ideology." Brown and Carr both reject the notion, brought forward by supporters of the conference language, that intransigence on the privatization issue is threatening airport project funding. Carr said any funding delays must be the White House's responsibility because it is the administration that is trying to modify the will of Congress to meet its own agenda, first through veto threats, then by pressuring the conference committee to change the bill. "Everything was fine until another branch of government (the executive branch) interfered," said Carr.