A recent news report about Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel's Republican voting record has Democrats in his state calling his abilities "laughable."
On Monday, Ohio's Democratic Party spokesman, Andrew Zucker, said in a written statement, "Since launching his Senate bid from the empty halls of the treasurer's office, Mandel has been the darling of secretly-funded special interests and Republican Party bosses who support him because they know he'll do their bidding in Washington, so for him to claim he'd be anything more than a Republican Party mouthpiece is about as laughable as it is preposterous."
After analyzing Mandel's four-year voting record in the Ohio House of Representatives, a Saturday Dayton Daily News article concluded that Mandel consistently supported the GOP leadership in Columbus.
The Dayton Daily News reported that Mandel, voted against the Republican leadership just 29 out of 654 times during his state legislative tenure. Most of Mandel's siding with Democrats came on technical votes or for issues such as increasing penalties for cockfighting, school solar energy projects, a measure to make it harder for children to drink antifreeze, legislative redistricting regulations, casino rules and mobile home regulation.
In contrast, the Dayton Daily News showed that Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, whom Josh Mandel will face in the November election, voted with national Democratic leaders 92 percent of his time in Washington.
Last week Mandel, a Tea Party favorite, said that if he succeeded in unseating Brown in November, he would resist pressure from Republican leaders, the media or special interest groups to vote a certain way. Mandel, now Ohio's state treasurer, stressed his independence in a July 2 story for an Ohio public broadcasting website:
Those guys in Washington aren’t gonna push me around. You know the day that some Republican boss who’s been there for 40 years puts his hand on my shoulder and says ‘Listen son, you better vote for this legislation or else we’re gonna kick you off your committee’ or someone from the media says ‘Hey kid, you better vote for this or we’re gonna blast you in the media’ or some lobbyist says ‘Hey son, you better vote for this or we’re gonna shut off your fundraising,’ you know I’ll look any of them squarely in the eye and tell them that I don’t work for them. My boss is 11.5 million people in the state of Ohio and I’ve been through tougher stuff than this.”
In recent months, Ohio Democrats have continuously attacked Mandel over whether he would be independent, noting a recent fundraiser that he held with Republican senators in Washington. Democrats have also referred to Mandel's support from national Republican groups and his hiring of friends and GOP political associates to posts in the treasurer's office.