Congressional Races: News and Notes
What's going on:
Senate: The candidates will meet for their final debate on Friday, October 27th, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland. The debate will be broadcast live on WKYC TV 3 and will be aired on radio stations WCPN, WCLV and WNCX.
A new LA Times/Bloomberg poll shows Sherrod Brown with an eight point lead (47% to 39%), in a poll with a four point margin of error. BSB has analysis of the crosstabs, including that voters say their vote is a protest against the President by a 2:1 margin.
The Brown campaign is airing a radio ad featuring gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) in the latter's southeastern Ohio stronghold. Listen here.
1st District: The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Bill Clinton raised about $300,000 for John Cranley (D-Cincinnati) yesterday. In his public speech (there was also a private reception), Clinton said that because Republicans have embraced extreme ideology and kowtowed to special interests, "the Democratic Party can be the party of both conservatives and progressives.'' He described the GOP campaign theme as:
So we messed up, so Iraq's not going so well, and we probably shouldn't have put the head of the Florida Show Horse Association in charge of FEMA. But you still have to vote for us, the Republicans say, because the other side will tax you into the poorhouse and on the way there, on every street corner, you will find a terrorist, and when you try to run, you will trip over a terrorist.5th District: BSB reports that Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Old Fort) is suddenly taking this race seriously, sending out mail pieces and running two TV ads, and somewhere Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) came up with the funds for a TV ad of her own:
[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]
I've always liked Wierauch but given the territory I didn't think this race was on anyone's list of competitive districts, and the only advertising for Wierauch I had heard about was on radio. The only conceivable reason for this activity on both sides is that internal polling shows a real threat to the incumbent.
12th District: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Westerville) and Bob Shamansky (D-Bexley) met in their only debate last night. Coverage from the Columbus Dispatch includes these quotes:
Shamansky’s wealth was bandied about several times in the debate, with Tiberi arguing, "When you have a U.S. House and a U.S. Senate made up of a bunch of millionaires, that’s not good for America, for our system of government."13th District: I attended the debate at the University fo Akron last night between Betty Sutton (D-Copley) and Craig Foltin (R-Lorain). Sutton emphasized her long record of public service and her "integrity and backbone," Foltin boasted of his record as mayor and attacked Sutton for receiving $600,000 from Emily' List. Foltin was the smoother talker, with more specific responses and some biting attacks. However, he also shot himself in the foot repeatedly. He announced that Sutton had "no plan" and merely tries to hide behind her charges of corruption, and proceed to hold up fingers during the debate to count the times that Sutton used the word "corruption," a tactic which became tiresome and distracting and was eventually dropped. When asked to say something positive about the other, Sutton managed a grudging answer (Foltin is "good at promoting his city") but Foltin declined to say anything good about Sutton. Foltin announced that he doesn't believe in global warming, dismissing the consensus of credible scientists. In a bizarre exchange Foltin attacked Sutton for voting against a ban on late term abortion while simultaneously claiming that he would not seek to legislate his pro-life views in Congress. Foltin quoted Sutton's statement that the late-term abortion ban was "not about life but about politics" in a way that made is sound like Sutton was denying that the fetus was alive, but in context it was clear that Sutton meant the law was only symbolic because it banned procedures that were already illegal.
Saying that Tiberi consistently has voted for Bush administration policies providing tax benefits for the wealthy, Shamansky said, "I must be the only millionaire the congressman doesn’t like."
Shamansky referred to GOP scandals that have ensnared Republican Gov. Bob Taft and U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, and posed the election as a referendum on the stewardship of Bush and the GOP: "If you’re happy with staying the course, vote for Pat Tiberi. If you want change, vote for Bob Shamansky."
But Tiberi countered that his constituents "know me and know what I’m about," adding, "This is an election, not a referendum. It’s not a referendum on Bob Taft, it’s not a referendum on Bob Ney or anybody else who’s had ethical problems." ...
The candidates disagreed over whether the Bush administration had gone too far in subjugating civil liberties to the war on terrorism. Tiberi defended the monitoring of overseas phone calls, saying, "We have to stop letting the terrorists use our laws against us because they want to destroy our way of life."
Shamansky said Bush sought to establish that he is above the law by circumventing his legal responsibility to get court permission for wiretapping calls."He’s got to follow the Constitution," Shamansky said. "We do not strengthen ourselves when we trash the Constitution."
There is excellent coverage of the debate by Alex Parker in the Lorain Morning Journal and Chris Seper in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. These candidates debate again today at the City Club of Cleveland and for the last time Friday at Lorain County Community College.
15th District: The Columbus Dispatch reports that Bill Clinton raised over $100,000 for Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) yesterday, her largest single fundraiser of the campaign. Clinton said Kilroy "would take a more conservative approach on fiscal policy and military preparedness than the current Republican majority in the House."
The Dispatch also reports that Kilroy's desperate opponent, Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington), has sent out a mailer accusing Kilroy of being an ally of the Ku Klux Klan. It is based on a 1993 Columbus Board of Education vote encouraging the Capital Square Review and Advisory Board to deny the Klan permission to hold a rally on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Kilroy voted no, saying at the time that she detests the Klan but supports its right to demonstrate. According to the paper, "about 30 Klan members were met by 1,200 protesters at the Jan. 15, 1994, rally, which was largely nonviolent."
This race was ranked "4" in an NRCC document leaked to blogger Chris Bowers and published on MyDD.com last night. That means "leaning Democrat; expect to lose ... unless there's serious change."
18th District: New Philadelphia lawyer Douglas O'Meara is calling on federal bankruptcy trustees to investigate possible irregularities in bankruptcy filings by State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton), according to this story in the Columbus Dispatch. O'Meara, who supports Zack Space (D-Dover), points to Padgett's transfer of her interest in a family farm less than one month before filing bankruptcy, which exempted it from forfeiture to satisfy her debts (including a $737,000 loan from the Small Business Administration). Padgett’s attorney said she turned over her stake in the property just before leaving for a trip to Israel as part of her estate-planning process and called the charges politically motivated.
This race was ranked "5" in an NRCC document leaker to blogger Chris Bowers and published on MyDD.com last night. That means "seat is most likely gone unless significant turn of events."