Congressional Races: News and Notes
Senate: George W. Bush likes Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Cedarville) but Lorain County, Ohio isn't so crazy about him. In a recent interview with WTVO9 News in Steubenville, Ohio, Bush said "I think DeWine would be the right man for the U.S. Senate, that's for sure." (Watch the video here.) "It's no surprise that George Bush is campaigning for Senator DeWine, since he needs him to keep rubberstamping the same policies that have led to massive job losses in Ohio, a war in Iraq with no end in sight, and massive giveaways to oil and drug companies while costs for families skyrocket," said Joanna Kuebler, Communications Director for Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Avon). As for Lorain County, Brown's home turf, an account of DeWine's dismal attempt to make a campaign stop there today appears on the blog of the Chronicle Telegram:
Brown’s supporters welcomed DeWine to Elyria Township with anti-Republican chants and pro-Brown signs Wednesday. The Republican senator stopped by the U-Haul Midway Rental Center on North Ridge Road to meet with the owner and several members of the local Latino population, but the more than 50 Brown supporters stole the spotlight. DeWine's scheduled stop was the El Carreton Mexican Restaurant on North Ridge Road in Sheffield Township, but the Brown supporters beat him there and forced him to change his plans. DeWine said he changed the location of his appearance in order to prevent adverse economic effects on the restaurant where more than 70 chanting and sign-carrying Brown supporters had gathered.Video of part of this episode can be viewed here.
Meanwhile, Brown had an excellent reaction to the ridiculous flap over the botched Iraq joke two days ago by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and whether he should apologize to the troops:
The people who should apologize are George Bush and Mike DeWine for sending our troops into battle without body armor and without examining the cooked intelligence.2nd District: A new SurveyUSA poll shows Vic Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) at 48% and Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) at 45%, within the margin of error of 4 points. An identical poll two weeks ago had Wulsin at 40%, Schmidt at 48%, so the trend in favor of Wulsin is dramatic. From the polling report:
Independents favor Wulsin, 55% to 35%. Those Independent voters provide Wulsin's margin of victory. If they do not turn out on Election Day, Schmidt wins. In the past 6 weeks, voter enthusiasm has increased in this District. ... Wulsin's gains are concentrated among younger voters. Wulsin had trailed by 10 in this group, now leads by 22, a 32-point swing. Of those likely voters who approve of President George W. Bush's performance in office, 86% vote for Schmidt. Of those who disapprove of Bush, 84% vote for Wulsin. President Bush's Job Approval among Likely Voters in OH2 is 44%.Hat-tip Ohio 2nd.
12th & 15th Districts: Former Senator Max Cleland (D-GA) will join challengers Bob Shamansky (D-Bexley) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) tomorrow, November 2nd, at 11:00 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus for a press conference on national security and Republican failures regarding veterans’ services. Max Cleland served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict, attaining the rank of Captain. He was awarded both the Bronze Star and Silver Star for valor in combat. Cleland was seriously injured, requiring the amputation of both legs, and his right arm. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1996, serving until 2003. Shamansky served as a Special Agent in the United States Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War.
14th District: Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Concord Township) has an ad running on cable TV that talks about cutting taxes and saving jobs, particularly crediting the incumbent with helping to save the DFAS facility in Cleveland from the Base Closing Commission. It makes no mention at all of his opponent, law professor Lew Katz (D-Chesterland).
18th District: Zack Space (D-Dover) visited the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center (known by locals as "The Base") in Heath, Ohio today. It is the largest defense-related facility in the region. Rick Platt, Executive Director of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, said, "We feel it is our job at the port authority to sustain and grow the jobs that are here. By Zack Space meeting with staff and our management team, he demonstrates to me that he's committed to helping us remain one of the largest defense employers in the district."
In a second campaign event today, Space joined with long-time veterans advocate Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Iraq War veteran (and Ohio Senate candidate) State Rep. John Boccieri (D-New Middleton) to meet with local veterans at the Zanesville VFW today. "Ohio ranks 48th in terms of money that comes back to our veterans – especially those that are disabled," Boccieri said. "Zack Space will be a strong voice in Congress who will work to ensure that that those who have served and who are currently serving have all the resources they need from a very a grateful country." Space said that making veterans health care affordable and accessible would be a top priority. He also told veterans that, if elected, he would join congressional efforts to make veterans health care mandatory and index veterans health care to the cost-of-living index. Currently, veterans health care funding is discretionary and is therefore subject to potential budget cuts. "Zack Space has a long history of serving his community and he will continue to do so in Washington. Veterans of the 18th district need leadership like Zack Space in Congress because he will be a strong advocate for Veterans and their families," said Congressman Steny Hoyer. Space also promised to join efforts to eliminate the unfair veterans tax. Currently, for every dollar given in tax-free VA compensation for disability or injury that was combat-related or service connected, a dollar in retirement pay is deducted.