09/12/2008 04:37 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Case Of The Missing Mean Jean Schmidt

Earlier today DownWithTyranny covered an aspect of the infrastructure crisis and how the amendment to fund the Highway Trust had passed unanimously in the Senate and by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House, 376 to 29. With the exception of one lunatic fringe extremist from Indiana (Mike Pence), the entire GOP House leadership supported the bill. Had it failed, it wouldn't have just meant potholes causing broken axles and perhaps more collapsing bridges, but also many thousands of workers joining the unemployment lines-- in every state.

The story at DownWithTyranny focussed on Scott Garrett, the only congressman from the Northeast to join a motley gaggle of far right neo-confederates who voted no. His Democratic opponent, Dennis Shulman, explains how this is not atypical of Garrett's behavior and that he often is the only member of the New Jersey congressional delegation to vote against the interests of his own constituents. In passing, we mentioned that Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH) had missed the vote, which was a disgraceful dereliction of duty.

It turns out, it wasn't a dereliction at all-- it was much worse. You may recall that Schmidt was one of the purveyors of the absurd lie that China was drilling from Cuba into American oil reserves. Even after Republican Senator Mel Martinez called her nonsense an urban myth, she has continued to push it on low-information voters who think congressmembers are good sources of truthful information. Well, even though over 12,000 jobs were at stake in Ohio-- a state where they can do without more job losses-- Schmidt missed the vote, claiming she had to be with her pregnant daughter in Cincinnati.

Fair enough; they're the family values party and we can't expect a mother to disregard the needs of her pregnant daughter, right? The vote was at 4:18 PM. The Cincinnati Enquirer did some poking around and caught Schmidt in one of her series of blatant lies. Turns out that Schmidt was still lingering around the House chamber after it adjourned at 4:34 PM. She stayed to take part in a "Drill Here Now" stunt that Big Oil pays Republican members of Congress to stage. That means she was home with her pregnant daughter in Cincinnati at 4:18 when a bill that would save 12,000 Ohio jobs was voted on, but back in the Chamber between 4:34 and 6:29 to participate in this GOP circus act?

The McCain campaign finds nothing wrong with that and is promising to add Schmidt-- who they originally passed over-- to the "Sarah Palin Truth Squad." According to Double Talk Express spokesperson, Paul Lindsay, McCain thinks Schmidt is a "great voice" and "an accomplished leader in her own right... and we're fortunate to have her help."

On the other hand, folks in southwest Ohio would be far better off looking for help from Schmidt's Democratic opponent, Dr. Victoria Wulsin, who came close to beating her in 2006 and is likely to do so in November. Blue America has prioritized her race as one of the most important in the country. You can contribute here, unless you want to see liars like Mean Jean Schmidt continue disgracing the United States Congress.