From a Bloomberg/LA Times poll out yesterday:
Six in 10 people surveyed say they would be willing to repeal tax cuts to help pay for a health-care program that insures all Americans. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, the campaign front-runner and a New York senator, Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards have embraced the idea.
Most of the highest income group polled, those in households earning more than $100,000, support it. While more than eight in 10 Democrats say they like the plan, most Republicans oppose it.
Independent voters such as Michelle Scranton side with Democrats. "I work in health care and I see a lot of uninsured people come through and they don't seem to get the care they need," said the 29-year-old dietician from Carroll, Iowa. An agenda focused on health care and education spending would be better for the economy than returning money to taxpayers through tax cuts, she said: "In the end it would cut costs."
By 52 percent to 36 percent, Americans favored health and education spending as a better economic stimulus than tax cuts.
The poll also finds that Republicans' anti-tax message now may have less appeal than it did in the past: "A majority of poll respondents oppose leading Republican presidential candidates' plans to cut taxes on corporate profits and maintain lower rates on investment income such as capital gains and dividends."
Memo to Democrats - strike while the iron is hot.
Here is the new ad for State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), intended to shift the campaign in a positive direction by focusing on Latta's legacy:
Today Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine sent a stinging letter to GOP front-runners Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) and Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), calling on the two men to cease their negative campaigning for the good of their party. The letter reveals that DeWine and the recipients have been discussing some sort of voluntary truce, without success. DeWine proposes guidelines for the balance of the primary campaign and calls on the two candidates to agree by 4:00 p.m. today. He also hints at retribution against offending campaign consultants in the form of exclusion from a new preferred vendors list (sort of a reverse blacklist):
Dear Steve and Bob,
A week ago, the Republican County Chairs of the 5th Congressional District made an appeal to you, and by extension your vendors and supporters, to wage a more positive and constructive race in the Republican primary. ...
Unfortunately, this advice has been largely ignored by you and your teams. Instead of a civil debate that highlights your vision for the district and your positive records of accomplishment, this race has been marred [by] mudslinging and nasty attacks.
From my vantage point, the direction this campaign is headed will tarnish your reputations and those of your campaign consultants and supporters. But more important than the reputation of any individual, the tenor of the race is poised to harm our party. Did we learn nothing from the tenor of the 2006 Republican primary for governor? How many Republican candidates lost in November, having drowned in the wake left behind by the mean-spirited attack ads between our own candidates?
This from the AP (emphasis added):
34 percent of people [say] they believe in ghosts, according to a pre-Halloween poll by the Associated Press and Ipsos. That's the same proportion who believe in unidentified flying objects ... .
Forty-eight percent believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP. ...
The roughly one-third who believe in ghosts and UFOs is about the same as the 36 percent who said in recent AP-Ipsos polls they are baseball fans; the 37 percent who said the U.S. made the right decision to invade Iraq; and the 31 percent who approve of the job President Bush is doing.
I wonder what percentage report actually sighting Bush or boarding his vehicle, as opposed to merely believing in him?
Just received an email update from Jason Fisher, son of Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D-Shaker Heights) and half of the two-person documentary team "In the Zone Productions." After 18 months of hard work, including dissecting 250 hours of footage, Jason and partner John Intrater are in the final stages of finishing their documentary about the 2006 gubernatorial election in Ohio, titled Swing State, and are about to begin sharing it with the public.
You must watch this trailer, which is not only a great nostalgia trip for the 2006 campaign but is crammed with rockin' and dancin' and intimate Fisher family moments:
Jason Fisher will be the guest on "Between the Lines with Tom Beres" this Sunday, October 28th, on WKYC (Channel 3) from approximately 10:10 to 10:30 a.m. It comes on right before "Meet The Press."
A piece by Joshua Boak in today's Toledo Blade confirms and expands upon some things I noted in my post yesterday about campaign fund-raising in the 5th Congressional District special election, and adds some things I did not know.
The big contrast between State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) and State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) is out-of-state PAC-related money vs. in-state unaffiliated individuals. Boak figures that 60% of Buehrer's money came courtesy of Club for Growth, most of it from non-resident donors, while 90% of Latta's donors live in Ohio. Latta sees a positive message in the contrast:
“Not only do they contribute, but they’ve got relatives and friends within the district,” Mr. Latta said. “It’s a big advantage for the folks at home to support you.” ...
"What connection do these [Club for Growth] people have to northwest Ohio?” Mr. Latta asked. “Do we want this group to be able to buy an election? I don’t think that’s what voters want.”
Boak also notes that Latta has loaned himself $50,000, so his cash-on-hand for the final push is reportedly $150,185 rather than the lower amount I had reported. (Boak's total is a bit larger than Latta's reported cash-on-hand from contributions plus $50,000, so perhaps Boak is including post-reporting period receipts.)
As for Democratic front-runner Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon), Boak reveals that unions gave her $11,000 after the reporting deadline, so her cash-on-hand is up to $37,845. “I’m very enthusiastic about our fund-raising and I’m confident we’ll have the resources we need,” Weirauch told Boak.
I was taken aback the other day when I mentioned to a left-leaning-but-not-terribly-engaged friend that I was going to go hear U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speak. "Oh, her," he said. "She's too abrasive, and she doesn't get much done." It wouldn't be shocking to hear that from a conservative, but it's disturbing that the Republican disinformation campaign about a supposedly do-nothing Democratic Congress has seeped so far into the consciousness of even Democratic supporters.
This week Congress surpassed 1,000 votes for the first time in a single year. Congress has worked five-day weeks (to the consternation of many members accustomed to spending Mondays and Fridays in their districts) and is responsible for a long list of major legislation - including raising the minimum wage, implementing the Iraq Study Commissions recommendations on national security, ethics reform, expanding student loans, and increasing veterans' benefits. That record exceeds many Congressional years by a long shot.
A thoughtful post by Paul Kane on the Washington Post blog Capitol Briefing today suggests that the Democratic leaders in Congress are victims of the high expectations that they themselves have set. GOP-led Congresses of recent years have staked out relatively few major legislative priorities each session, so they often finished the legislative calendar with an aura of accomplishment. The Democrats took control with an enormous agenda (comparable in scope to the 1994 agenda of the "Contract with America" Congress led by Newt Gingrich (R-GA)), dominated by curtailing the Iraq war. Given the dramatic build-up to the Democrats' so-far unsuccessful confrontation with Bush over Iraq, and the lesser but still large spotlight on the SCHIP standoff, Congress has been left with the appearance of having accomplished little when the opposite is true.
Per Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman (D) will endorse presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) at the big rally to be held at the Columbus Convention Center at 11:00 a.m. this morning:
"Every once in a while, a figure comes in history who is a galvanizing and uniting force, an inspirational person who lifts up peoples' hopes, and I think that person is Barack Obama," [said] Coleman. ...
"Leaders like Mayor Coleman paved the way for this campaign to be possible," Obama said ... "Mayor Coleman is a trailblazer who has made Columbus a model for cities across the country."
Coleman said he had received calls seeking his endorsement from Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, the Democratic presidential front-runner, and from her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
"I do like Hillary," Coleman said. "I have huge respect for her, and if she does become the nominee, I will work feverishly for her. But I view Barack as a generational leader, the first time in a long time this country has seen such a transformational figure."
Coleman joins State Sen. Eric Kearney among black elected officials in Ohio who support Obama. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is supported by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) and State Sen. Ray T. Miller (D-Columbus). I am not aware of an endorsement by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory (D) or Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D), but if I am wrong please let me know in the comments!
State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) has filed his Pre-Special FEC Report and the total after refunds is $256,017.00, less than the "more than $260,000" Beuhrer had told the Toledo Blade to expect. Of that amount, $13,000 is from PACs and much of rest is from out-of-state individuals whose contributions are earmarked as relating to the Club for Growth. His cash-on-hand is $188,217.97.
The report for State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) is also available, and he reports $238,582 in total contributions, with $23,050 from PACs. His individual contributors are predominantly Ohio residents. Latta has spent more than Buehrer (who could rely on independent TV spending by the Club for Growth), leaving only $86,485.36 as cash-on-hand.
Republicans Mike Smitley (R-Van Wert), Mark Hollenbauh (R-Bowling Green), and Fred Pieper (R-Paulding) did not file.
On the Democratic side, George Mays did not file, and Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) reported $40,354.89 in contributions, of which $4,750 is from Democratic party committees and $2,200 is from PACs. She has $26,845.17 cash-on-hand.
Primary challenger Rosemary Palmer (D-Cleveland) today issued a press release calling on incumbent Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) to explain his vote this week against H.R. 1955, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which passed by the overwhelming margin of 404-6.
The web site of bill sponsor Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA), chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing & Terrorism Risk Assessment, says the measure:
"seeks to address the roots causes of radicalization, and would establish a grant program to provide funds to States to foster badly needed vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to state and federal agencies. It also creates a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism to examine the social, criminal, political, psychological and economic roots of domestic terrorism and to propose solutions, and promotes international collaboration on strategies to combat radicalization. The bill underscores the need to protect the civil liberties of law-abiding Americans."
In the press release, Palmer says “I was encouraged to see that Congress can come together and agree on a sensible approach to these issues which can pose grave dangers to US citizens. I am disappointed that Congressman Kucinich opposed the bill.” Campaign manager Anthony Fossaceca adds, “I have yet to hear from Dennis on his explanation for this, but this one ought to be good. This bill has specific provisions prohibiting the violation of constitutional and civil rights. This is a needed piece of legislation and there is absolutely no reason to oppose it."
Could "Congressman No" become the Ross Perot of 2008? A lot of fervent Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) fans would like to think so, and the anti-war libertarian candidate left the door slightly open in remarks on MSNBC (that were unfortunately cut off by interviewer Norah O'Donnell). As reported on Political Insider:
Rep. Ron Paul was asked if he would run for president as a third-party candidate. Paul replied, "No, I don't plan to run in a third party. That's not my goal. But if we have a candidate that loves the war and loves the neocon position of promoting--"
It's really hard to say what effect a third party bid by Paul (presumably on the Libertarian ticket) would have on the general election, just as the effect of Ross Perot wasn't entirely clear. Paul would provide a haven for disaffected Republicans, but also an alternative to the Democrat for independent voters who want change, or are motivated primarily by opposition to the war.
If there is yet another candidate speaking for religious conservatives, then things could really get wild. How long has it been since the House of Representatives resolved a deadlocked presidential election?
(Answer: 1824, the only time, when none of the four candidates earned a majority of electoral votes and the House picked John Q. Adams, who got 84 electoral votes, over Andrew Jackson, who got 99.)
CongressNow's Louis Jacobsen, author of the popular "Out There" column that he started at the newspaper Roll Call, conducted a telephone interview with Gov. Ted Strickland (D) on October 5th and the result (excerpt published on Stateline.org) is definitely worth a read. (There is also a related article that I recommend.) Go read the whole thing, but here are some highlights:
In the interview, Strickland told Jacobson that his biggest accomplishment so far is "passage of a $52 billion-plus budget with unanimous support in the Senate and with only one dissenter in the House." He pointed out that the budget "did not involve tax increases or fee increases" but added resources to early child care and education, increased per-pupil funding for elementary and secondary school students, and froze college tuition for two years while putting $100 million into student grant and scholarship aid. Also, the budget "expanded health care in way that makes it possible for every kid in Ohio to have access to affordable health care" and "granted a significant property-tax cut to every senior citizen and disabled person, which is one of every four Ohioans."
Strickland agreed that he is a moderate but rejected the notion that he is "cautious," saying that he has made "bold moves" while nevertheless being "fiscally responsible."
Asked about his agenda for solving economic challenges, Strickland answered as though responding to the continual taunting by Republicans who ask, "Have you turned around Ohio yet?" Strickland said that he campaigned on the "unbreakable link between educational achievement and economic growth," and accordingly has been "hugely focusing" on education. He described acquiring the power to directly appoint the Chancellor of Education and installing former State Sen. Eric Fingerhut (D) in that post, and said he has a 10-year higher-education plan for the renamed University System of Ohio which will be presented to the Legislature early next year.
Thanks to Jerid for sending along the link to this excellent campaign video by challenger State Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill), chastising vulnerable incumbent Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) for standing with Bush and against children's health, and apparently in return for Bush fund-raising aid:
Driehaus is terrific on camera, isn't he? Very natural and direct. This guy has great campaign skills.
House Speaker Jon Husted (R-Kettering) expressed opposition this week to the Ohio Healthy Families Act, proposed by a union-led coalition. It would require companies with at least 25 employees to provide seven paid sick days a year (or a smaller, pro-rated number for part-timers). As reported on the Columbus Dispatch blog The Daily Briefing, Husted said "When you're the first state in the nation to do it, it sends a bad signal that you're not trying to create a business-friendly environment, which in improving jobs might cost us jobs." Supporters say the law helps businesses by ensuring a healthier workplace, and that laws that improve working conditions make Ohio a more attractive place to work and therefore a better place for businesses to relocate.
Here's the thing. If the coalition gets 120,683 valid signatures by late December, then the General Assembly has to act on the proposal by May or the coalition could then collect 120,683 additional signatures and get it on the November ballot. This could be an extremely popular ballot issue that brings working voters out to the polls in droves. Supporters cite a national poll that showed 89% support for a guaranteed minimum number of sick days. As things stand right now in Ohio there are about 2.2 million private sector workers without paid sick leave, about 42% of the work force.
A new Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll shows Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) leading former mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) in the general election match-up 43% to 39%. While that is not a big lead, it reveals a very steady upward trend: she led in this poll by 45% to 43% in September, led by 45% to 44% in June, and trailed by 42% to 43% in April.
Clinton leads former governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) by a larger margin than Giuliani at 46% to 37%, but that lead has not grown. She led him by 48% to 38% in June and 45% to 38% in April.
Another poll out today is from the Pew Research Center and shows that Clinton is vastly better known to the general public than any of the GOP candidates, and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is also better known although by a smaller margin. Here are the percentages that could name each candidate without prompting:
78% - Clinton (D)
62% - Obama (D)
45% - Giuliani (R)
30% - Romney (R)
28% - Edwards (D)
27% - Thompson (R)
Even among Republicans, more could identify Clinton readily (79%) than could identify Giuliani (57%). Altogether, 81% of respondents could name at least one Democratic candidate, only 59% could name at least one Republican.
The poll also reveals that Democrats are more energized this year than Republicans, and more than in the last election cycle. In surveys taken in September and October, 62% of Democrats said they are following the race very closely or fairly closely, while only 52% of Republicans are doing so. Four years ago, Democrats were following the race at a rate of about 51% during the comparable period.
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the fire fighters. Here is a report from the AFL-CIO Weblog:
More than 6,000 firefighters are working around the clock, trying to contain the firestorm in Southern California, where wildfires have burned more than 400,000 acres, that forced nearly 1 million residents from their homes and destroyed 1,300 homes during the past four days.
Says Bob Wolf, president of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2881 that represents the firefighters at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection:
"Our fire fighters are exhausted, but they are out there doing what they do best. With such dry conditions, the fires are burning hot and they are burning high. Quite frankly, our members are the only thing keeping the state from going up in flames."
Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report mentions 18th District candidate Paul Phillips (R-Chillicothe), one of three Republicans competing to challenge Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover), among an increasing number of military veterans recruited by Republicans to run for Congress in 2008.
Reacting to voter skepticism over Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and perhaps encouraged by the relatively strong performance of retired U.S. Air Force Col. Jim Ogonowski (R) in losing a recent special election in Massachusetts, the GOP believes that these veterans' military credentials will give them credibility and allow them to effectively run as outsiders.
Gonzales describes Phillips as a former B-1 bomber pilot and the lead air strategist at the Combined Air Operations Center in the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He quotes Phillips as saying, "Voters recognize that they want leaders with experience.”
In order to face Space, Phillips must first survive a competitive primary against former Ohio Director of Agriculture Fred Dailey (R-Mt Vernon) and Court of Common Pleas staff attorney Jeanette Moll (R-Zanesville). Also, as noted by Gonzales, military veterans who ran as "Fighting Democrats" in 2006 had only mixed success, with double-amputee Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) notable among those who failed to dislodge Republican incumbents despite a high-profile, well-financed campaign.
That's right, you heard it here first.
Last night at the campaign kickoff for 63rd Ohio House candidate Doug Nagy (D-Mentor), about which more in a another post, blogger Jeff Hess and I encountered former appellate judge and current Congressional challenger Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell). "I hear you went to Youngstown to hear Nancy Pelosi last week," he said, "I just spent the weekend with her in Chicago!"
True enough, O'Neill shelled out $700 to spend the weekend at the Palmer House and Pelosi was in the vicinity, but no scandalous impropriety occurred. He was one of 25 top Democratic challengers from around the nation invited to attend "Strengthening Our Majority" boot camp, a campaign workshop co-sponsored by AFSCME and the New House PAC. Participant Martin Heinrich (D-NM) describes it as "two days of intense coaching on management, message, money and mobilization." According to the blog Down With Tyranny!, the trainers included Christine Pelosi (author of the forthcoming Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders"), DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), DCCC Political Director John Vogel, ACSME's Larry Scanlon, David Brock from Media Matters, Fred Ross, Jr. from SIEU, and former DCCC Chair Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL)(by video link).
O'Neill pointed out that four of the 25 challengers were from Ohio, a real sign (as participants acknowledged) that our state is the central focus for Democratic House gains in 2008. Joining O'Neill were Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) from OH-15, John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) from OH-16, and Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill) from OH-01. Repeat challenger Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) from OH-02 was absent, perhaps because she faces a significant primary race against Steve Black (D-Indian Hill).
Jerid at BSB highlights a Bloomberg/LA Times poll that came out today, showing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) with a commanding 48% to 17% lead over Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). I had also read the story, but what struck me more than the large lead was polling on voter reaction to two of Clinton's perceived liabilities, her decision to stay in her marriage to Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky episode and the demise of her 1994 health care proposal:
Only 5 percent of Democratic primary voters and 28 percent of Republicans believe it was a mistake for Clinton to stay with her husband after he had the affair. Almost half of all voters say her unsuccessful attempt to pass health-care legislation during Bill Clinton's administration will help her overhaul the system if she is elected.
Also, more than two-thirds of the respondents said that it's a good thing that Clinton will have her husband around to advise her on issues.
These are highly significant indicators that Clinton may be succeeding in overcoming skepticism about areas considered to be weaknesses. Her overall favorability/unfavorability rating is 48%/44%, still not great but better than polling from early in the campaign. She leads all GOP contenders in general-election match-ups, with Giuliani coming closest at 6 points behind. The margin of error is 3 points.
Just to throw in an extra tidbit here, as recently as a month ago I was convinced that Gov. Ted Strickland would not agree to be Clinton's running mate. Based on some signals in Strickland's recent behavior and talking with politically knowledgeable friends, however, I have come around 180 degrees on that question. If she asks, I think he'll accept.
Legislators in Utah passed a law creating a program of vouchers between $500 and $3,000 for parents who wish to place children in private rather than public schools. Because the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the new law is inconsistent with other Utah statutes, however, the voucher program will appear on the Nov. 6th ballot as a voter referendum.
In a heavily Republican state like Utah you might assume that a school voucher program would be a shoo-in. However, polls show that it is likely to fail. The most recent poll on the issue, by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, found 61 percent of Utah voters oppose vouchers.
An article in USA Today describes the Utah referendum among a variety of ballot initiatives this year that "offer a preview of what issues could surface in dozens of states next year when political interest groups will use such initiatives to attract voters in the presidential and congressional races." In particular, the issue of school vouchers could migrate to other states:
The National Education Association, a teachers union, is leading a multimillion-dollar campaign to have voters reject the voucher program. Voucher supporters also are spending large amounts. ...
A victory in Utah would be a major win for the teachers union and public-school advocates.
Yesterday I attended part of a two-hour forum at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law featuring David McKay, one of the nine dismissed U.S Attorneys whose termination (along with the revelation of political screening of new hires at the Department of Justice and other matters) brought down former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. McKay generated national news recently by stating in a speech in Spokane that an investigative report by the Department of Justice Inspector General, Glenn Fine, may be coming out soon and may lead to criminal prosecution of Gonzales.
In his presentation, McKay stated that he believes in the president's right in general to fire U.S. Attorneys. However, he deplored the politicization of the department under Bush, and related details about his dismissal that are indicative of political motivation in his termination:
He had a good record as a U.S. Attorney;
He was given no reason for his dismissal, even when he asked for a reason;
He was deliberately led to believe that he was the only U.S. Attorney being dismissed, only learning later that there were others; and,
Nobody has taken responsiblity for the decision, with Gonzales contending that he merely approved the recommendation of underlings Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling.
In fact, it is widely believed that McKay was fired for declining to pursue election fraud charges in the narrow re-election of Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA), although his decision was supported by career prosecutors in his office as well as the FBI. Others among the firings also appear to have been politically motivated, including the termination of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias apparently due to his refusal to accelerate a corruption indictment of a Democrat so that it would come out before the 2006 election. Iglesias declined to accelerate the indictment despite objections by the state's two most powerful Republicans, retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM).
Here is the new ad by State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), pounding State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) as GUILTY OF LYING (relying on the Ohio Elections Commission finding) as well as accepting money from Tom Noe (as did Latta), sponsoring Gov. Taft's gas tax (Latta merely voted for it), and working at the Bureau of Workers Compensation, the "center of Ohio's biggest scandal" (so far as I know, Latta never worked there):
Continuing a string of high-profile endorsements from conservative advocacy groups, the campaign of State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta) today annonced the endorsement of the political action arm of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). The NTU is the biggest grassroots taxpayer organization in the country. The press release refers specifically to Congressional votes to override presidential vetoes of "reckless spending" bills, presumably including the SCHIP vote:
“During his years in the Ohio Legislature, Steve Buehrer has consistently opposed tax hikes and supported fiscal responsibility. Taxpayers can depend on Steve to do the same in Congress,” said NTUCF Chairman David Stanley. “Now, when the tax cuts that revived our economy are under attack and wasteful spending is drowning taxpayers in red ink, Ohioans need Steve’s steady hand and common-sense approach in this Congress.”
Stanley observed a key difference between Buehrer and his main opponent, State Representative Bob Latta: When former Governor Bob Taft submitted a budget with a massive tax hike and a 10 percent increase in spending, Latta supported it. Steve Buehrer added to his rock-solid record by opposing that budget despite pressure from his own party. “Steve Buehrer has proven he has the courage to face down big-spending special interests,” Stanley noted. “He had the backbone to oppose a Governor from his own party and stand up for the people who pay government’s bills.”
“Steve Buehrer’s distinguished record on behalf of Ohio taxpayers gives voters of the 5th District real hope that he’ll bring needed change to Congress,” Stanley added. “Fifth District residents deserve a principled, effective advocate for tax relief and spending restraint.”
State Rep. Jim Carmichael (R-Wooster) has dropped out of the race for the 22nd Ohio Senate District seat of term-limited State Sen. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster). Carmichael, who is the GOP party chair for Wayne County, will instead run for county commissioner to replace the retiring four-term incumbent, Cheryl Noah (R).
The 22nd District is located in Medina, Ashland, Wayne and Holmes Counties in northeast Ohio. It leans strongly Republican (PVI R+12). The remaining announced candidates are State Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville) and Township Trustee Mike Todd (D-Medina Township). The audio of my interview with Todd, an excellent candidate for this district, is available here.
h/t Marc Kovac at Capital Blog.
The campaign of State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) announced today that Latta has received the endorsement of Mayor Don Gerdes of Delta, Ohio, which is the home town of opponent State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta):
Mayor Don Gerdes said, “I would like to take this opportunity to offer my full support to Bob Latta for the United States House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District. Bob is a man of integrity and conservative values. Bob has always served his constituency in a manner of respect and with a sense of urgency, whether it be an individual, village, township or city, you can count on Bob. I encourage every citizen of the 5th District to vote for Bob Latta for Congress.”
In response to the endorsement, Bob Latta said, “I am delighted to receive Mayor Gerdes’ endorsement. With so many years of public service to Delta, he understands the need for cooperation at the local and federal levels.”
Ouch, that's gotta hurt. It really makes you wonder what the history between Buehrer and the good mayor has been.
Latta is sounding a theme of pragmatism and cooperation, while attempting to hold his ground on conservative values. With his string of endorsements from conservative advocacy groups, Buehrer is counting on building a perception that he is the "true" conservative between the two men.
UPDATE: The Buehrer campaign contacted me to report that Mayor Gerdes also endorsed Buehrer's opponent in the 2006 Ohio Senate GOP primary, State Rep. Jim Hoops (R). Buehrer won that contest despite the endorsement.