Huge sigh.First, less than two weeks ago, I came across a local news item in which a clergyperson stated the belief that Ohio State Rep. Josh Mandel (R, Lyndhurst, 17th), had succeeded in passing legislation that would force certain Ohio pension plans to divest from investments in companies with ties to Iran or Sudan.
No such legislation passed, no such law exists. The pensions signed a voluntary agreement and, from what we know, continue to work on plans that would be in compliance with that written agreement. However, no Ohio law was ever passed requiring them to divest.I contacted Rep. Mandel and I contacted the news outlet. The news outlet issued a correction (it had previously reported on the fact that the bill was getting tabled) and Josh and I had a lengthy conversation about the situation.
Then, over the last few days, items started to pop up in my mail about Mandel’s speech in California. I wrote about his presentation here.
Here is why I’m writing further about that presentation:
There is a first-hand report of that event that is making its way to the public via Powerline, Townhall, The American Thinker and the Jewish community via outlets such as Jewish Current Issues (aka JCI, aka JPundit.com). After the recitation of the impressions Mandel left with the attendees, the post at JCI, in addition to asking people to contribute to Mandel, had a four minute video of his speech in California posted last night that has since been removed (it appears to be back up). They used a program called DropShots which, according to the website, “does not allow your page to be indexed or available to search engines” and so I’ve not had any luck finding that video for you to watch.
Okay – so that’s really not upsetting – what’s got me distressed? First, from Powerline:
Given that he’s a Republican in a two-to-one Democrat district in the Cleveland area, Mandel will need to give a lot more sterling speeches — and raise another $400,000 — to stay in his current job.
While Mandel could give almost any speaker a run for his money, the secret to his winning a state representative seat two years ago was knocking on almost 20,000 doors — wearing through three pairs of shoes in the process. But with the GOP having a razor-thin four seat majority in the Ohio House, Mandel will be facing a tidal wave of cash from his opponent, the state Democratic party, and independent political groups, including so-called “527s.”
>If Mandel survives this November, expect to hear a lot more about him. Not only does he give a “world-class” speech, but he already has an impressive legislative track record. In his first (and only) term, he introduced Iran divestment legislation, and he successfully led the effort to force Ohio’s massive pension funds to stop investing in companies that do business inIran.
Are they talking about the same Ohio House District 17 that I live in?
Two to one Democrats?
Candidates who need $400,000 to win a seat (that’s been a GOP seat for years)?
Facing a “tidal wave of cash from his opponent” et al? Where??? Where is that tidal wave coming into the 17th race from the Dems?
“If” he “survives”? Evidence of any of these, anyone? Numbers, anecdotes – anything?
Okay. So that’s Upsetting Thing #1 (which is really Upsetting Thing #2 after the thing with the “successfully passed” Ohio law that doesn’t exist).
Here’s Upsetting Thing #2 (or 3, depending on how you count), from The American Thinker piece:
Mandel faces tough odds-but then again he always has and he has always risen to the challenge. We hope he continues to do so.
“Faces tough odds”“he always has”?I’m going to take the high road here and not go after the obvious absurdities in those statements that should be apparent to people who live in the 17th District but who obviously were not at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in California.
Rather, I will say this:
I hate reading this kind of embellishment largely because in Mandel’s case, the embellishing isn’t even necessary. There are many ways in which he could get re-elected to his seat and retain his integrity. But these kinds of sound bites, without a shred of evidence to support even one of the assertions, not only do not ring true to this resident of the 17th, but disturb me greatly as I consider what kind of politician it is who does not accurately portray his road to re-election.
Final note: although I have not taken the time yet to determine precisely how many voters in the 17th voted Dem, voted Republican and are Independents (or non-affiliated as we say in Ohio), I have checked Mandel’s campaign finance situation from 2006.
Of the money he raised in seeking an open seat for his first term in the Ohio legislature, he was able to give $200,000 to the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee. You can see the reports here.
For 2008, the most recent report indicates that his balance on hand is $174,276. Given that it probably didn’t cost that to win in 2006, I would guess that all the money now being raised (and encouraged by telling people that he is in a tough rac and at risk of a “tidal wave” of cash from the Dems) will be going to the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee again.
PS What’s it mean when you see $200,000 going to a GOP committee like that? I’m told it means the donor wants a role in leadership.