Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican nominee for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, said during a debate Monday afternoon that he would have voted against the auto bailout package.
Mandel, who is challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), told an audience at the City Club of Cleveland that he would have opposed the 2009 package passed by President Obama and Congress, saying that the package hurt pensions for workers at the Delphi plants and other plants in the state. Mandel has long discussed the Delphi pension issue when questioned on the auto bailout, but he has not taken a specific stand on the bailout until Monday's debate.
"I would not have voted for that," Mandel said of the bailout.
Mandel used the contentious, hour-long debate to rail against the auto bailout, the federal bailout for financial services companies, and the federal stimulus program, saying that Brown has not voted to create jobs.
"I am not a bailout senator; he is the bailout senator," Mandel said of Brown.
Brown, who has made the auto bailout a cornerstone of his reelection campaign, immediately fought back, giving a virtual tour of Ohio in terms of the auto industry. Brown also cast the auto bailout as a bipartisan issue, noting that former Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) both voted for the package.
"Those are real jobs and real people," Brown said. "If you would be so out-of-step with George Voinovich and Steve LaTourette to be against the auto rescue, it boggles my mind."
Mandel, 35, did stress that his opposition to the bailout was not an opposition to the auto industry in Ohio. He said he will make the auto industry, along with middle-class jobs, a top issue if elected to the Senate.
"This is an issue that is personal to me," Mandel said. "As a United States Senator I will take a back seat to no one in fighting for auto jobs."
The auto bailout has been a top issue in the Ohio Senate race, with Mandel previously calling Brown "un-American" for voting for the bailout and saying that he "should be ashamed" of his vote. Mandel has ducked questions on how he would vote on the subject, leading to a testy exchange with a newspaper editorial board when he was pressed for an answer. The bailout has become a top issue for Democrats nationally, with much of the Democratic National Convention dedicated to the subject.
When asked during the debate about his hiring practices in the treasurer's office, Mandel defended his appointees. He deflected questions comparing his hiring to the practices of former Treasurer Kevin Boyce (R), who Mandel criticized in 2010 for supposedly hiring political cronies. The Dayton Daily News has reported that Mandel has given top jobs to political associates and college friends, while The Huffington Post has reported that he sent his debt management director to a beginner's class in the subject.
"The comparison is apples and oranges; the folks we hired are qualified professionals," Mandel said. "I will take our team of qualified professionals we have in my office and stack them up to your office."
Mandel even hinted a road trip may be in the future for his appointees.
"I will take them to Washington," he said.
Brown hit back at Mandel's defense, noting that Mandel has skipped 14 months of state Board of Deposit meetings, along with campaigning during the workday at out-of-state locations including in the Bahamas. Brown also spoke critically of Mandel's hiring practices
During the debate, Mandel stressed his opposition to the bailouts as part of his platform to reduce federal spending. He said he would not fund future bailouts in order to cut spending, and said he would utilize bailout funds for other areas of the budget. Mandel also called for defense cuts, in opposition to what has been said by other Republicans, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Mandel, a retired Marine who fought in Iraq, said he would like to close some military bases in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
"We are not fighting the Nazis anymore, or the Cold War anymore," he said.
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Nuts Bring Buckets of Same
Just in case anyone forgot that the House Judiciary Committee ACORN hearing was a House Judiciary Committee hearing about ACORN, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/02/acorn-hearing-a-barrel-of_n_376882.html">Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) helpfully brought a bucket of acorns</a> to the House Judiciary Committee. Also that day, colleague Lamar Smith praising the "turnout so early in the day" at 2:30pm, and Louie Gohmert offering up the malaprop: “From one acorn, many nuts can grow.” Like, say, Peter King.
Hello Kitty, Hello Revolving Debt
Credit cards. Were it not for them, we would have to save up money in order to buy things. But do some credit cards take it too far, marketing to the youths? Byron Dorgan thought so when he saw the Hello Kitty Platinum VISA. "Does it seem to you like they’re targeting that 10-year-old, the 14-year-old." Ha! He should see the <a href="http://www.shopinprivate.com/hello-kitty-pink-guilty.html">Hello Kitty vibrator</a>.
"I'll See Your Baby, And Raise You Two Tweens"
Last time out, we made mention of Representative John Shadegg's (R-Ariz.) attempt to wield a baby in order to make a point about how terrible health care reform was. We neglected to mention that Representative Pete Stark (D-Calif.) took it a step further, and attempted to bring two young children to make his own points about health care (5:25 in video), at which point the House was officially barred from trafficking in human props any further.
John Thune's Stackin' Dollars
How much is too much stimulus? When it allows representatives to make junior high math analogies based on topography and astronomy, maybe. Here, Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) makes some stupid pictures of dollar stacks that extend into the sky, to the celestial firmament itself. “If you took 100 dollar bills, Mr. President," Thune said, "and stacked them on top of each other you would have a stack that goes 689 miles high.” He added, "In other words, if you took the 100 dollar bills and not stacked them on top of each other, but wrapped them side-by-side all around the earth… If you could believe this, it’d go around the earth almost 39 times." So, we cannot stimulate the economy, because of science! (1:15 in clip)
Gettin' High On Your Own Supply (Of A Substance That Does Not Get You High)
Representative Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) wasn't having any of that whole "regulating tobacco" stuff. Why? Because it's "not the nicotine that kills, it's the smoke!" So, he argued, why don't we regulate lettuce, to keep people from smoking lettuce? Wouldn't that prevent a "pandemic" of cancers? This would have been a good point, were it not for the non-existence of either a massive industry geared toward curing lettuce and rolling it into cigarettes, or a target market of consumers who were even remotely interested in smoking lettuce. BUT YEAH OTHER THAT ALL THAT STUFF (and the fact that nicotine is addictive) STEVE BUYER IS A GENIUS.
And Now, A Poem From Ted Poe
From Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas): <i>It came on two pages, It has withstood the ages. / The word "shall,'' is only 10 times mentioned, But enough to get one's attention. / No taxes did this law raise, To this day it continues to create much praise; / Two great religions does it claim, The "Law of the Ten Commandments'' is its name. / A current writing, 1,990 pages long, Has a socialist philosophy that is all wrong; / Difficult for the people to understand, And troubling what big government doth demand. / Over 3,445 "shalls'' it does loudly shout, New massive taxes does it proudly tout; / Written in secret by the bureaucrats, For exclusive use of the taxacrats. / The Congressional bill called "Health Care Reform," Is illusionary, the authors are still ill-informed; / Government ought not take over America's health biz. / And that's just the way it is."</i> And so, America, this is why you should have to die of easily treated medical conditions.
And Now, An Even Dumber Poem, From Roland Burris
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Chuck Grassley Goes All Aggro On The Speaker Box
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Sam Brownback Will Save Your Inanimate Genetic Material
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The Most Important Prop Of All
James Inhofe (R-Batshit) hates him some gay marriage, and the gays in general. And to make his point, he carries around with him The Most Important Prop in America: a picture of his family. "As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship." Ha! THAT HE KNOWS OF!