Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Thursday, September 28

Congressional Races: News and Notes

Yikes, is there no rest for the weary political observer?

Senate: Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) broke ranks with the Democrats and voted for the detainee abuse law. I am angry and disappointed, but not so much as Russell. It's a bad law, but I'm trying to keep my eye on the bigger picture (regaining control of the Senate). I'm less angry at Brown's vote than I would have been if the final tally in the House (253-168) was close. It wasn't. I guess that it was some kind of regrettable political expediency, and although the benefit to Brown is debatable (and Russell does a good job of debating it), I'm going to give Brown the benefit of the doubt. He's trying to win a very, very tight race. [Note: After writing the foregoing, I was informed by a reliable source that Brown's vote was not based on political realities but a considered judgment that it was better to vote for this "compromise" than to let the status quo drag on indefinitely. With all due respect, I think he made a bad call.]

Meanwhile, Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville) opened himself up for well-deserved criticism today by telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he didn't read the classified National Intelligence Estimate until this past week, even though it has been available to him since April. His staff "briefed him" on it, along with about eight other reports that day. This undercuts DeWine's claims to be independent or to have engaged in real oversight as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. So does his statement that "there's nothing of great significance in this report." What a complete and total rubberstamp. Brown's reaction:
“After voting to lead our country to war with Iraq based on false intelligence, Senator DeWine’s continued failure to exert any oversight as a member of the Intelligence Committee is shocking,” said Rep. Brown, who voted against going to war with Iraq and has called for a winning exit strategy. “The Bush administration’s own intelligence agencies agreed in the National Intelligence Estimate that the War in Iraq has created a rallying point for jihadists, and has left the United States increasingly vulnerable to terrorist threats. Senator DeWine continues to stand with President Bush in support of a stay-the-course Iraq strategy regardless of its threat to our nation’s security.”
The Zogby/Wall Street Journal Poll out today puts the race at 44.6% for Brown, 40.5% for DeWine, margin of error 3.2 points, about the same as last month. H/T BSB.

1st and 2nd Districts: Congressional candidates John Cranley (D-Cincinnati) and Vic Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) will join Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) and Hamilton County Commissioner candidates Phil Heimlich (R-Cincinnati) and David Pepper (D-Cincinnati) at a candidates' forum for religious voters called "Voting our Faith 2006" on Monday, October 2nd, at 7:00 pm at the Cintas Center at Xavier University, 1624 Herald Avenue in Cincinnati. Nearly 2,000 religious voters are expected to attend this event, organized by the AMOS Project and Sojourners/Call to Renewal, with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as a co-sponsor. (Gubernatorial candidates Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati), Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville), and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) were also invited but have not confirmed.) “We believe that religious voters are entitled to a conversation with candidates who seek to campaign about moral values,” said Joyce Kinley, President of the AMOS Project. “As the clock ticks, we hope that these candidates mean what they say and will welcome a conversation with religious voters about the most pressing issues facing our communities: affordable health care, quality education, good jobs and stable communities.” The founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal is Jim Wallis, author of the influential book "God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It." The AMOS Project is a Greater Cincinnati faith-based coalition representing thousands of urban and suburban people of faith from over 40 congregations.

The Cincinnati Enquirer chastised Wulsin today for criticizing Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) about submitting canned editorials under her own name, instead of addressing substantive issues like Medicare Part D. The only problem is, Wulsin has addressed Medicare Part D over and over and over again. The Enquirer just hasn't been covering it, a failing that Wulsin's campaign manager had protested in writing just last week.

6th District: Chris Cillizzi and Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post call this race today for State Sen. Charlie Wilson (D-St Clairsville). This was once thought to be the Repubicans' best pickup opportunity and State Rep. Chuck Blasdel (R-East Liverpool) was regarded as a rising star, but now Wilson's polling shows him with a 49% to 25% lead over Blasdel and the Republican establishment is ignoring the contest.

13th District: The Sun News endorsed Betty Sutton today:
Sutton, 43, has made an issue of the importance of political leaders keeping the public trust. One way to restore confidence in government might be her proposal to open congressional committee meetings to the public and post summaries on the proceedings on the Internet. ... [Sutton] served in the Ohio House and on Summit County Council after getting her start in politics as a Barberton councilwoman. Her climb up the political ladder has been nurtured by an ability to identify with voters and their concerns, including loss of jobs and skyrocketing health-care costs. She proposes igniting economic development in Ohio with a permanent extension of the research and development tax credit and the so-called Patriot Corporation Act to reward companies that create jobs at home, not off-shore. She also is ready to push for significant reform in health care, a system that is bleeding employers and employees. ... Sutton has the energy and conviction to spark some changes in federal policies too often at odds with the best interests of the working people here.
15th District: Another terrific video attacking Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Columbus):

[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]

She's getting multimediafied from all sides. I love it.


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