Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, October 27

Congressional Races: News and Notes UPDATED

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in Ohio's Congressional races:

Senate: After a week of conflicting reports on whether the national Republican establishment had really given up on this race, the Republican National Congress confirmed that it has canceled its plans to run ads supporting Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville) in the crucial final week of the election. "Even the Republican Party now realizes that Sen. DeWine is having a hard time getting traction in Ohio," said Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) spokesman Ben LaBolt. With yesterday's SurveyUSA poll showing Brown with a 20 point lead, it looks like this race is all over except for the shouting.

1st District: The NRCC is running an outrageous ad against challenger John Cranley (D-Cranley), depicting a little school girl getting zapped with electric arcs and saying that Cranley voted to allow children as young as seven to get "tased" with 50,000 volts of electricity. The Cincinnati Enquirer political blog compared the ad to an "over hyped stinker of a movie" and "horror flick" and pointedly noted that it was not screened to newspaper reporters before going on the air. Cranley's vote is explained this way:
The ad is referring to a non-binding resolution last year, sponsored by Charterite Councilman Christopher Smitherman, what would have asked the Cincinnati Police Department to change its policy on the use of the stun guns on children under 11. Democratic Councilman John Cranley, who is opposing Republican Steve Chabot in the 1st District congressional race, voted against the resolution and in support of the police policy.

That's remarkable because most of the attacks on Cranley have been that he's "turned his back" on police. And it puts national Republicans on the same side as Smitherman -- a councilman one prominent Republican officeholder famously called "a smart-mouthed little punk" -- and against the Cincinnati Police.
Cranley has released a new ad attacking the voting record of Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati).

2nd District: The new TV ad by Vic Wulsin (D-Indian Hill), highlighting the notorious floor speech in which Rep. Mean Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) smeared decorated veteran Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) as a coward, has led the enraged incumbent to repeatedly threaten to report Wulsin to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) for violating House ethics rules, despite the obvious difficulty that Wulsin is not yet a member of Congress. This absurd action gained Schmidt derisive attention on Keith Olberman's "Countdown" on MSNBC last night as one of the day's "Worst People in the World."

Wulsin outraised Schmidt by 30% in October ($170,885 to $131,834) and also outraised the incumbent for the third quarter ($351,036 to $332,863).

5th District: An internal poll released by the campaign of Robin Wierauch (D-Napoleon) yesterday showed nine-term incumbent Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Old Fort) at only 50.67% to the challenger's 42.09%. Gillmor has won with more than 70% of the vote in prior elections. Among the 7.24% of voters who are truly undecided, Weirauch leads Gillmor more than 2-to-1. Democrats were 42.99% more enthusiastic about voting this year, versus 22.05% more enthusiasm among Republicans. Perception of Gillmor’s job performance is weak, with 20.32% unable to rate his performance and 31.82% rating him “out of touch.” The poll was conducted by Ohio consulting firm re:organize by telephone of 400 likely voters October 19th-22nd and has a margin of error 4.9 points, after weeks of negative ads and mailings from Paul Gillmor’s re-election campaign.

12th & 15th Districts: Challengers Bob Shamansky (D-Bexley) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) have received strong endorsements from Suburban News Publications, a chain that reaches about 185,000 readers in the greater Columbus area. This helps offset the recent endorsement of incumbents Pat Tiberi (R-Westerville) and Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) by the Columbus Dispatch.

14th District: Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Concord Township) appears to be nervous. The campaign of challenger Lew Katz (D-Chesterland) reports that LaTourette has conducted three polls since the primary election but hasn't released any results, a sure sign that that the results were disappointing. Katz supporters have reported that one of the polls was of the "push poll" variety, asking the voters what they thought of LaTourette's performance as prosecutor in the Lundgren murder case. FEC filings indicate that LaTourette spent $164,000 in media buys in October, presumably in response to the poll results.

18th District: Federal bankruptcy trustee John Kennedy is investigating whether State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) transferred her Coshocton farm to family members on the eve of her bankruptcy in order to keep it from her creditors, a clear violation of Ohio law. Padgett transferred the property to her brothers Victor and William Dickerson in September 2005 for free, although in bankruptcy filings Padgett said the transfer occurred in May 2005. Padgett's lawyer, David Burns, said Padgett asked him to transfer the property for her in the summer of 2005 because she has no children and wanted her nieces and nephews to have her part of the farm in case she died during a trip to Israel, which trip was later canceled.

Zack Space (D-Dover)
has been endorsed by the National Education Association, the nation's largest professional employee organization dedicated to advancing public education.


At 4:16 PM, Blogger Pho said...

LaTourette in the 14th may continue to run hard, but he is not worried. This race shows up in none of the "Hot Race" polls -- National Journal, Cillizza, etc. DCCC shows no sign of interest indicating that either their internals show no chance for Katz or they don't think he'll listen to them -- equal chance of either.

In this environment, the 14th was a real chance for a pickup. Dtrip dropped the ball failing to recruit a candidate. Instead we have a guy whose had nothing to do with politics for 30 years and it shows.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You don't think Katz 'n' Dogs is an effective strategy?

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin Weirauch Caught Red Handed Using Fake Poll

Brad Mascho, Communications Director for Congressman Paul Gillmor (R- Tiffin) released the following statement on behalf of Citizens for Gillmor calling on Gillmor’s Democratic opponent, Robin Weirauch, to defend her “record of deceit”:

Thursday, Robin Weirauch’s campaign released a poll conducted by re:organize which she claims is “a respected Ohio-based political consulting firm.” Unfortunately, in her zeal to convince voters that she is a viable candidate, Mrs. Weirauch failed to mention that this poll was actually conducted by her campaign manager, Trish Lanahan, who is one of the two owners of re:organize.

This poll is self-generated and self-serving. There are dozens of reputable and competent pollsters in America, but unfortunately Mrs. Weirauch feels it is more important to use her own campaign manager to trump up fake poll numbers to deceive the voters of the Fifth District.

The revelation that Mrs. Weirauch is using fake polling only compounds a record of deceitfulness which has been the foundation of her campaign. In a live debate on WTVG ABC 13 Thursday, Congressman Gillmor revealed that Mrs. Weirauch has been using deceptively questionable employment figures as the basis for her claim that the Fifth District has lost 4,000 jobs due to NAFTA.

In both of her campaigns for Congress, Mrs. Weirauch used employment figures provided to her by Policy Matters Ohio, an organization run by the Leader of the Ohio State Senate Democrats. It was revealed yesterday that the members of the Board of Directors of Policy Matters Ohio have contributed more than $70,000 in campaign donations to Democrats across our country. It is an organization with an agenda which does not present reliable facts. In contrast, Congressman Gillmor’s research of the job figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that since 1993 (the year before NAFTA was enacted), the 16 counties which comprise the Fifth District have added nearly 16,000 jobs to the labor force, reduced unemployment by more than 3,500 jobs and reduced the unemployment rate by 0.8%

Although we are confident that the voters of the Fifth District will see through the tactics of Mrs. Weirauch, it is important to bring these disturbing facts to light. Political campaigns should be about presenting the facts to the voters to let the people make an informed decision about their leadership. Less than one week before Election Day, there is no place for the type of unethical conduct the Weirauch campaign has displayed and voters deserve an apology for her dishonesty. Congressman Gillmor has a long history of principled service to the people of the Fifth District. He has brought honor to his office and served with distinction. It is a record we are sure will continue as voters learn of his opponent’s record of deceit.


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