OH-5: Buehrer (R) and Latta (R) Take Off the Gloves UPDATED
The GOP special primary in the 5th Ohio Congressional District has taken a very nasty turn. Responding the Ohio Elections Commission finding of probable cause on the complaint by State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) against State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta), the Club for Growth increased its $75,000 ad buy by another $35,000 and issued this statement earlier today:
“In light of Big Tax Bob Latta’s ridiculous efforts to hide his liberal tax-and-spend record, we are further determined to make sure Ohio taxpayers know the truth. ... We are increasing our ad buy, and will continue to do so as long as Big Tax Bob Latta continues to try to hide the indisputable fact that he joined with Bob Taft in backing the largest tax and spending increases in Ohio history.”
... Unable to defend his abysmal record, Latta is filing hollow political complaints, hoping voters won’t notice just how bad his record is.
“The Club for Growth PAC will not sit silently while Bob Latta attempts to portray himself as a fiscal conservative and distract voters from his tax-and-spend record ... Voters in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District deserve a representative like Steve Buehrer who will stand up for taxpayers and fight the tax-hiking machine in Washington. Clearly, Bob Latta is not up to the job.”
Meanwhile, the Latta campaign came up with this TV ad to connect Buehrer to disgraced GOP fund-raiser Tom Noe and the Bureau of Workers Compensation he swindled:
Buehrer has apparently responded by trying to link Latta's wife to Noe, and this afternoon Latta issued this statement in response:
When I entered this campaign for Congress, I truly believed that we would have thoughtful discussions on the pressing issues that are facing our nation today. Instead, we have been sidetracked by ridiculous issues such as innuendos about chicken pox vaccinations. I have had to put up with false statements about my voting record made by Mr. Buehrer and his Washington group ...
Now, beyond my disbelief as to how low a campaign can sink, Mr. Buehrer is now attacking my wife, Marcia.
I want you to know a little about her. [Lengthy biographical sketch omitted.] We have shared a lot of laughs and a few tears. Most wives would never have put up with what Marcia has over these years. She has endured eight campaigns and now a congressional race. Through the years Marcia has been bitten by dogs doing door to door, late night envelope stuffing and sealing, and eating at lots and lots of fish fries, chicken barbecues, and pancake days. She does it all with a smile. To do all this takes a special person. Am I proud of her, you bet I am. Do I love her with all my heart. You bet I do. It takes a very special woman to love a guy like me.
Today, the Buehrer campaign, through his manager Jim Banks, has submitted a records request at BGSU. What is to gain by attacking my wife? All of these records are public. There has never been anything to hide. So what’s the point?
I guess in my opponent’s case, when you get tired of attacking the candidate you attack his family. To attack my wife is beyond belief. Please point me to another election in northwest Ohio when this has ever happened. Mr. Buehrer, I am only going to tell you this once, stay away from my wife. And let me also add my kids are also off limits. ...
From someone who runs a campaign like this one, I don’t expect an apology.
Undaunted, the Buehrer campaign released this ad late today in response to Latta's ad:
UPDATE: This story in the Bowling Green News includes a reaction to Latta's press conference by Buehrer campaign spokesperson Jim Banks, who confirms that Buehrer is investigating connections between Tom Noe and the Lattas and calls Latta's accusations "out of line":
Buehrer's campaign is only gathering information from the University to respond to a recent Latta campaign ad that links the senator to convicted Republican fundraiser and former University Trustee Tom Noe, Banks said.
The 30-second television spot said Buehrer received $7,979 in funds from Noe.
But Banks said the ad fails to mention Latta also received funds from Noe, and that both candidates donated the money to the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio after Noe's illegal fundraising tactics became publicly known.