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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brown-vs.-Mandel race already heated

The race in Ohio for U.S. Senate is one of the most hotly contested races in the country, and a lot of money will be spent during this campaign.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Lorain County Democrat, faces Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Cuyahoga County Republican.

I had the chance to sit down Wednesday morning with Mandel to talk about his new jobs plan and his campaign after he spoke to a Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce group.

Mandel said he doesn’t support the bailout of Wall Street banks using taxpayer money.

When asked, Mandel stated he didn’t have a position on the auto industry bailout because he was a state representative at that time.

Brown’s campaign spokesman Justin Barasky responded Thursday during an interview that either Mandel is “lying or at least unbelievably ignorant.”

Barasky said Mandel has taken positions on the auto bailout and told the Youngstown Vindicator in March that he felt it didn’t work.

Mandel said he is developing a platform to create a better environment for restoring manufacturing jobs and an important component is the auto industry.

The campaign has seen a lot of negative advertising already on both sides, although Mandel said his campaign has run a completely positive campaign.

He was quick to point out that ads attacking Brown have come from third-party groups. He said that by law, his campaign must not have any dealings with such groups.

The Brown campaign said that after allowing negative ads against Brown to run for more than a year they had no choice but to start responding with their own negative ads.

Barasky said to this point more than $6.5 million has been spent on third-party advertising against Brown, the most against any candidate.

I wonder what all this negative advertising will mean with slightly less than six months until the election. Will it continue or even escalate? How much will people pay attention?

President Barack Obama recently brought the issue of gay marriage to the forefront and it remains to be seen how the issue might resonate with voters in November.

Mandel believes in traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Brown’s position is one of marriage equality.

Barasky believes the race will come down to whom the voters can trust to do the right thing, what side of the issues one is on, and the Brown campaign will continue to be critical of Mandel’s performance as treasurer specifically citing Mandel’s lack of attendance at state Board of Deposit meetings.

Mandel said much of the nation’s problems have stemmed from Washington, including Democrats and Republicans, and he believes it’s time for a new generation of leaders to be elected who can stand up to their own party’s leaders to do the right thing economically and for the country.

Geauga Republican Party update

Geauga County Commissioner Bill Young retires effective June 30, and his term expires Dec. 31, 2014. Is Geauga County Commissioner Mary Samide the front runner for an appointment to replace Young? She lost her re-election bid for the GOP nomination to Ralph Spidalieri during the March 6 Republican primary, but she is still fundraising.


n Werner Barthol, candidate for Lake County prosecutor, hosts a Summer Celebration Fundraiser 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 1 at Lake Metroparks Painesville Township Park. See James Falvey or Kelly Barthol.

n Fundraiser for Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Forrest Burt, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 1 at the Bond Building, Century Village Museum in Burton. See Carol Stafford.

n Old Fashioned Country Picnic for Samide, 4:30 to 7 p.m. June 8 at S.O.S. Inc., in Munson Township. See Jackie Moskal.

n Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap, 21st annual golf outing and steak dinner June 8 at Painesville Country Club. See Frank Leonbruno or Sheryl DePledge.

n Jason Wuliger, candidate for Lake County recorder, hosts pasta dinner with special guest U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 12 at Cebars Madison Tavern, Madison Township. See Dick Shreve or Pete Wayman.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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