Congressional Races: News and Notes
Because once a day is just not enough:
Senate: Today was an absolute disaster for already-struggling incumbent Sen. Mike Dewine (R-Cedarville).
The New York Times reported today that a vast archive of captured Iraqi documents posted on the internet by the federal government includes some that are dangerous because they could give terrorists "a basic guide to building an atom bomb." The archive was closed to the public in response to the disclosure. This shocking security breach came about as a result of pressure from conservative legislators in Congress, including the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on which DeWine serves:
With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.In reaction, Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) issued this scathing statement:
"Senator DeWine missed nearly half of the public Intelligence Committee meetings and failed to read the National Intelligence Estimate for nearly six months, which made me question his commitment to keeping us safe," said Brown. "The news that he did nothing to prevent the publication of information that could help terrorists create a nuclear weapon makes me question his judgment. There's nothing intelligent about posting materials on the Internet that could aid terrorists, and it's appalling that the rationale for doing so was an attempt to prove the existence of WMD that weren't there. All Americans deserve better than Senators who put partisanship and PR schemes before keeping our country safe, which is why Ohioans are going to vote for a change next week."Also today, DeWine had a miserable appearance on the MSNBC show "Hardball" with Chris "Tweety" Mathews. When DeWine tried to trot out his latest smears against Brown, Mathews responded:
"Isn't it kind of embarrassing having been a good Senator from Ohio without a mark on you to have to go back and dig up this scum? Don't you feel embarrassed you're doing this, Senator? You wouldn't be talking about this if you weren't well behind in this race."The video is here.
Finally, Brown already has a TV ad up responding to DeWine's latest attack based on alleged drug use by a staff member about a quarter of a century ago. Rapid response to such attacks has become a hallmark of Brown's campaign. The ad can be viewed here.
1st District: Take Back Cincinnati has a great post written by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) about his visit to support John Cranley (D-Cincinnati), cross-posted at Conyer's web site. Conyers totally debunks the notion that Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) has a good record on civil rights.
The Cranley campaign reports that the challenger has received the endorsement of Cincinnati's African American-focused newspaper, The Cincinnati Herald. The editors wrote that "John Cranley displays the leadership, guts, and vision that we need in Washington. Cranley has earned our respect and our vote."
2nd District: Retired four-star general and presidential candidate Wes Clark issued a formal endorsement of Vic Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) today. Clark wrote:
“American families face many difficult challenges at home and abroad. There has never been a time when foreign affairs were as closely linked to our daily lives as they are now. We are fighting the causes of terrorism that threaten our homes, and we must prepare for a changing global economy that demands America train our people to compete for the highest paying jobs. That is exactly why we need Vic Wulsin in Congress to fight for us in Washington, and I am pleased to endorse her today.12th & 15th District: Challengers Bob Shamansky (D-Bexley) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) will be featured at an "Ohio Invasion Rally" tomorrow at 10:00 am at Ohio Democratic Headquarters, 271 E. State Street in Columbus. They will speak to nearly 100 college Democrats from across the country who are in Ohio to help get out the vote for the Democratic ticket.
“Vic Wulsin, a native Ohioan, has an impressive record of dedication to public health at the community level in Cincinnati and in over 30 countries, directing or assisting programs to alleviate human suffering. She understands, as few politicians can, our nation’s urban and rural health needs and pledges to push for reform of our nation’s health care system.
“Vic’s work in post-conflict countries like Rwanda, Nepal, and Nigeria taught her that strong leadership and smart, tough approaches to negotiating solutions work. She will work with Congress to find a resolution to Iraq conflict so that issues that have been neglected, such as waging a real war on terrorism, increasing jobs and economic growth for everyday Americans, promoting quality education of our children, and finding new sources of energy, can become the focus of our attention."
Also in the 15th District, Kilroy and the Ohio Democratic Party are calling attention to an apparent discrepancy about when Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) first knew of inappropriate email communications between former Rep. Mark Foley (D-FL) and Congressional pages. Pryce has said that she did not learn of the matter until September 29th, at which time she immediately directed her staff to return political contributions from the disgraced Congressman. However, it was reported yesterday that the National Republican Congressional Committee held a conference call to discuss the Mark Foley scandal on September 27th, two days before the story broke and two days before Republican House leaders claimed to have any knowledge of the situation. Now the Kilroy campaign has produced a screen capture from Pryce's web site indicating that her press statement about the affair was dated September 27th, the day of the conference call, indicating that Pryce knew about it two days earlier than she said.
14th District: Challenger Lew Katz (D-Chesterland) will share the spotlight with Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon), and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) at the big GOTV rally tomorrow night, November 4th, from 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the The Civic, 2130 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.
18th District: Zack Space (D-Dover), seeking to take over the seat of disgraced Rep. Bob Ney (R-Heath), issued this statement about Ney's resignation late today:
"Today's resignation by disgraced Congressman Bob Ney is long overdue. Members of Congress, who use their position to commit crimes, should not be allowed to keep their jobs and collect salaries financed by hardworking taxpayers. As I have shared with the voters of the 18th Congressional district, Bob Ney represents a larger problem - Washington is broken. We have leadership who cater to special interests rather than the honest hardworking people of their communities.
"That's why I've signed a pledge to refuse to accept free gifts trips and meals from lobbyists. This pledge is my contract to the people of Ohio, who have been neglected for too long. So far my opponent, Bob Ney's hand picked candidate, has refused to follow my example and sign my ethics pledge.
"We cannot permit special interests like big oil and drug companies to hijack the interests of the people while working families get squeezed at the pharmacy and at the pump.
"It's time for the culture of corruption to come to an end. Today's resignation of disgraced Congressman Ney is the first step in restoring the people's trust and integrity in their elected officials.
"It's time for a new agenda focused on people not the powerful, and the message of change is resonating throughout the 18th district. It is time for a clean break from politics as usual. It is time for a change in leadership that will finally put working families and their needs first."