View Full Version : Cincy Post Endorses Dem for 2nd Congressional

07-26-2005, 04:03 PM
Cincinnati Post (http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050726/EDIT/507260326/1003)

For more than three decades, Ohio's 2nd Congressional District has been represented by men who may be fairly described as Republican patricians. We don't mean that in a pejorative sense. Rob Portman, like Willis Gradison and William Keating before him, adhered to standards all too rare in Congress. They were policy-oriented pragmatists inclined toward the money issues: tax policy, health care, retirement security, economics.

Next Tuesday voters in the 2nd District will go to the polls in a special election to decide who will fill the unexpired term of Portman, who resigned to become the U.S. trade representative.

The June 14 primary produced two capable, and competitive, candidates: Jean Schmidt, a Republican, and Paul Hackett, a Democrat.

They share certain similarities.

Both are products of financially secure families - Schmidt's father was a builder and entrepreneur in Clermont County; Hackett's father was an engineer and manufacturer's representative who settled in Indian Hill.

Both are athletes - Schmidt is an accomplished marathon runner, Hackett ran track before he became a U.S. Marine.

Both also have long records of public service, albeit in different ways.

Schmidt served as a township trustee for 10 years before winning election in 2000 to the Ohio House of Representatives. There she served for four years before giving up the seat to run for the Ohio Senate - a race she lost, in a recount, by just 22 votes.

Schmidt has also held a variety of civic and political posts, and serves on the governing boards of such entities as the Clermont County Library, Clermont Mercy Hospital Foundation, the Live Oaks/Great Oaks Business Industry Partnership Council and Greater Cincinnati Right to Life.

Hackett's public service revolves around the Marine Corps. In 1982 he enlisted in a reserve officers program while he was a student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He completed law school at Cleveland State before starting full-time active duty in 1989. He continued in the active reserves after returning in 1992 to Cincinnati, where he practiced law in a small firm before launching a solo practice in 1994. Hackett served on Milford City Council from 1995-98; he stepped down after purchasing what he describes as the oldest house in Indian Hill - a recently-renovated, 200-year-old stone structure on the banks of the Little Miami River.

Last year Hackett re-enlisted in the Marine active reserves; he went in with the rank of major and served in Iraq with a governance support team, where part of his job involved organizing convoys to bring money and supplies from Baghdad to Iraqis serving in the regional government.

In terms of their ideology and their approach to issues, Schmidt and Hackett present sharp differences.

Schmidt, from what we can discern, would likely be a dependable vote for the Bush administration, particularly its foreign policy and Iraq. In this campaign she has allied herself with the president, as she did earlier to Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and before that to former House Speaker Larry Householder. Her approach to policy issues is incremental, except perhaps concerning taxes. She seems generally to favor supply side economics, and wants to make President Bush's personal income taxes permanent and get rid of the estate, capital gains and alternative minimum taxes entirely. She supports incentives to encourage small businesses to offer health insurance, greater reliance on ethanol as a fuel source and a prohibition against Congress' use of Social Security funds for general government operations.

Hackett, in our view, is a gust of fresh air. If we had to put a label on him, it would be Libertarian Democrat. He says what he thinks and doesn't seem to have much use for the orthodoxy, or the partisanship, of either party. He doesn't want the government telling him what kinds of guns he can own, nor does he want it interfering in family or medical decisions or taking away civil liberties in the name of fighting terror. He regards Social Security more as an insurance program than a retirement savings plan, but wants to put it on a sound footing and would raise the earnings ceiling if necessary to do so.

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.

07-26-2005, 04:23 PM
Is this atypical for the Post? I don't know the editorial leanings of the Cincy papers.

07-26-2005, 05:24 PM
They endorsed Bush.

alex trevino
07-26-2005, 06:49 PM
I think Hackett is an attractive candidate..I think he will lose on name recognition alone..but had he had time to mount a full campaign I think he would have beaten Jean Schmidt..who is not a bad candidate herself...In the end though the Repub money machine will prevail.

07-27-2005, 08:52 PM
Looks like the Right Wing Wackos are trying to swift-boat him....More disgusting tactics by the party of "morals."

July 27, 2005
OH-2: Swift Boating of Hackett Into High Gear
Posted by Tim Tagaris
Eric Minameyer, an advisor to Jean Schmidt, was just the beginning of the "swift boating" of Paul Hackett in what appears to be a coordinated effort by her campaign. Upon arriving at Hackett HQ this morning to take some photos and videos, I was shocked to hear that the deplorable tactics have been taken to a new level in the past 24 hours.

1.) A local conservaitve radio host started by questioning Paul Hackett's service to country. Scott Sloan of WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati went off on some insane rant about the real level Paul's patriotism regarding the war in Iraq and claimed Hackett was using his service for "political purposes."

Over the past two days, Republicans have been calling into talk radio across the district saying things like, "Paul wasn't really a Marine Corps Major in Iraq." It's a coordinated effort, as I am hearing from people that similar lines are being repeated and repeated by radio callers in and out of the district.

2.) The "swift boating" is picking up steam, and we have to fight back. I sat no less than five feet away from a reporter from a cable news outlet that asked, "Some say that this was all a plan on your part. To go to Iraq and come back with this great story while running for congress."

Less than 30 minutes ago, a reporter from CBS asked about Eric Minameyer's question, and yes, questioned Paul's service to his country.

3.) A few days ago, an Amry Private First Class was burried in Fairfield, Ohio. Within 24 hours, a number of flags were burned and tossed into a pile infront of his mother and father-in law's home. As you can imagine, this incident has led to a lot of press and sadness for the family.

The same host above, Scott Sloan, attempted to tie Paul Hackett to the flag burning incident. He said that it was people like Paul Hackett that allow things like this to happen.

3.) Last night, a number of people in the district began receiving robo-calls talking **** (for lack of a better word) about Paul Hackett. Of course, they hit on the standard themes, choice, equal rights, and yes, Iraq.

4.) Earlier today, the police had to be called at campaign HQ as a strange individual pulled up to the office, kept the car in park, and started plugging away at a lap-top. When people walked out of HQ to investigate, the car pulled off quickly. The police have been notified.

One local said, "this really reminds me of what was happening last October. It got real ugly down here before the election.

Sound familiar...


07-28-2005, 01:37 AM


To print this page, select "Print" from the File menu of your browser

Paul Hackett, right, the Democratic candidate for Congress in
Ohio's 2nd District, with his wife, Suzi, at a rally last week.
The special election is slated for Aug. 2.

Dogfight in Ohio
A Marine who fought in Fallujah is trying to become the first Iraq war vet to serve in Congress -- and give Democrats hope that Ohio is not permanently lost.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Bill Frogameni

http://images.salon.com/src/print_new.gif (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/07/26/hackett_schmidt/print.html)http://images.salon.com/src/email_new.gif (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/07/26/hackett_schmidt/email.html)

July 26, 2005 | Paul Hackett remembers being in Kuwait, waiting to be shipped home after a seven-month tour of duty in Ramadi and Fallujah, watching CNN America with his fellow Marines. What he saw enraged him. "All I saw on TV was Terri Schiavo," he says. "The federal government and the Florida state government came screeching to a halt to intervene into the private lives of this family during this tragic time ... Like that scene out of 'Network,' I felt like the guy who stood in the spotlight and said, 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.'" Not long after he returned to Ohio, he decided to run for Congress.

Hackett, a 43-year-old personal injury lawyer and Marine Reserve major who volunteered for service in the Iraq war, has little prior political experience, only having served as a city councilman in a small town. But he's a contender in a special congressional election taking place in Ohio on Aug. 2 to fill the 2nd District seat vacated by Republican Rob Portman, who's now serving as the U.S. trade representative.

Hackett, a Democrat, is surely the underdog. The 2nd District, which includes Cincinnati, has been solidly conservative in a state that's thoroughly dominated by the GOP and that decided the 2004 election for President Bush. His better-funded opponent, Jean Schmidt, is well-connected and, as a former state representative, has a more extensive political résumé. But Hackett hopes his credentials -- Iraq war vet and plain-spoken self-described moderate -- will give him a much-needed edge.

Hackett hopes he's part of a seismic political shift happening in Ohio -- a shift driven in part by recent outrage against Ohio Republicans over a high-profile, multimillion-dollar accounting scandal (http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2005/06/10/coingate/) that has cast a cloud over the state party and may find its first political fallout victim in Schmidt, the first major Republican candidate to face the voters since the scandal broke.

A victory for Schmidt would mean continued Republican dominance in this district that voted 65 percent in favor of Bush last November. If Hackett wins, however, it would make him the first Iraq war veteran in Congress -- and would also give Democrats hope that Ohio has not gone completely and irreversibly to the GOP.

On the issues, the candidates both describe themselves as fiscal conservatives, but on the Iraq war and the so-called moral values questions, they stand in stark relief. Hackett is a critic of Bush's Iraq war policy and believes America was led to war unnecessarily. Schmidt is a strong backer of Bush's handling of the war. Hackett is pro-choice. Schmidt is president of Cincinnati Right to Life. Schmidt voted against gay marriage in the Ohio House of Representatives, while Hackett's take is: "Gay marriage -- who the hell cares?"

Hackett, who is married, says he doesn't feel the need to defend his marriage through the national Defense of Marriage Act, or any other anti-gay marriage legislation. "If you're gay you're gay -- more power to you," he said. "What you want is to be treated fairly by the law and any American who doesn't think that should be the case is, frankly, un-American."

Hackett's left-of-center views on social issues may not go over well with conservative Ohioans, and Schmidt is so far beating him financially, but last week Hackett got a profile boost when former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/07/26/veterans/index.html) campaigned with him. By bringing in Cleland and highlighting his military service, Hackett hopes to neutralize any criticism Schmidt could levy concerning his stance on the war.

Schmidt commends Hackett for his service, but believes Hackett should "stand with the president" by "supporting the Iraqi war effort and our troops that are over there," her campaign manager Joe Braun said. (Through Braun, Schmidt declined to speak with Salon.) When asked to answer that charge, Hackett is blunt: "The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there." He doesn't hesitate to criticize Schmidt's support of the war: "All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."

In spite of her endorsement from the NRA, Hackett steals some of Schmidt's thunder when it comes to guns. Hackett says he's an NRA member and, when asked about gun control, he answers with an old saw: "Gun control is when you point your gun and hit what you aim for." Local pundits have noted Hackett's macho appeal to the crossover voter (his time in the Marines, his 6-foot-4-inch frame, his blunt talk), and Hackett acknowledges this appeal is further enhanced by his hands-on appreciation for hunting and gun culture.

With only a week to go before the election, it's hard to gauge the state of the horse race. Given his limited financial resources, Hackett says he decided not to commission any polls. Braun says the Schmidt camp has done "tracking" but declined to release any specific numbers. Braun does, however, see Hackett as a legitimate contender.

And recent ethical questions surrounding Schmidt's campaign may work in Hackett's favor. Among other things, Schmidt had to pay back $644 for a gift she took (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050708/NEWS01/507090320) last fall from a lobbyist but failed to report as required by law. The lobbyist worked on behalf of the Chiron Corp., which was at the center of last winter's flu vaccine controversy. Schmidt enjoyed a free dinner and then a free Cincinnati Bengals game courtesy of the lobbyist, but claimed she didn't know the gift came from the lobbyist. Rather, she has said, she thought the tickets came from former Bengals quarterback "Boomer" Esiason.

Then there's the $10,000 that Schmidt's campaign accepted from one of Tom DeLay's political action committees. Hackett criticized Schmidt for taking DeLay's money. "Tom DeLay," says Hackett, "is the poster child for corruption in Washington." Braun dismisses Hackett's criticism as political opportunism and says, if the situation were reversed, Hackett would take $10,000 from the Democratic leadership.

Finally, a Cincinnati paper ran a report (http://www.citybeat.com/current/porkopolis.shtml) last week suggesting that Fritz Wenzel, Schmidt's media manager, was working for her campaign while simultaneously working as the top political reporter and columnist at the Blade, Toledo's news daily and a major Ohio paper. Wenzel's last day at the Blade was Friday, May 13. Two weeks before he left to become a political consultant, according to the report, Wenzel made scathing comments about Schmidt's Republican primary opponents on a personal blog he maintained. The blog entries have since been pulled off the Web, and reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Wenzel's company, Wenzel Strategies, was paid $30,000 on Monday, May 16, by the Schmidt campaign.

May 16 was also the day his last column ran in the Blade, but Wenzel made public his plans to start a consulting business weeks prior to that. Braun praises Wenzel's work and denies Wenzel was working for Schmidt inappropriately. Wenzel and Braun both claim Wenzel drummed up the work for Schmidt over the weekend after he left the Blade. "I had a busy weekend," Wenzel reportedly told the Cincinnati paper. Hackett doesn't buy this explanation. "It's more of the same," he says, lumping this alleged ethical lapse in with the others. "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck."

It's unclear how damaging any of these ethical questions will be for Schmidt as the campaign hits its home stretch.

At present, both campaigns say they're going full bore. Braun feels Schmidt's chances are good, but confines himself to saying, "We're working hard." As for Hackett, he knows he's got an uphill challenge, but says he's ready. "There's nothing about this election that can faze me," he says. "After Iraq, everything seems like a walk in the park."

07-28-2005, 02:00 AM
If people are so stupid that they will vote for a candidate who was never in the military who smears a candidate who was ( like they did in the presidential race, like they did in the South Carolina primary when Rove smeared McCain), what can we do? They deserve who they get.

Roy Tucker
07-28-2005, 09:06 AM
The 2nd Congressional District is so solidly entrenched Republican, it's not even funny. It's a minor miracle that a Democrat is making a realistic run at Portman's seat.

Portman was elected in 1993 and could have had the seat for as long as he wanted. And Willis Gradison before him had held office for 31 years.

Should be a good litmus test of Republican strength. I think with all of Taft's mismanagement, they are vulnerable.

07-28-2005, 09:24 AM
If people are so stupid that they will vote for a candidate who was never in the military who smears a candidate who was ( like they did in the presidential race, like they did in the South Carolina primary when Rove smeared McCain)
Heh, or in the 2004 presidential race when the Republicans smeared Kerry.

it's really amazing, the amount of Republican chickenhawks who support the Iraq war. For, as Cheney so eloquently put it, while Vietnam was going on, he had "more important things to do."

07-28-2005, 04:29 PM
Dayton Daily News has joined the Post in endorsing Hackett.

UZU\U]UcTYWYWZV]Dayton Daily News (http://www.daytondailynews.com/opinion/content/opinion/daily/0727hackett.html?UrAuth=%60N^NUOaN[UbTTUWUXUTUZTZUaUWUbU)

Hackett offers 2nd District fresher voice
By the Dayton Daily News

"What kind of men do we have in Washington representing us right now? One refuses to back the president and the other is crying on national television."
— Jean Schmidt, Republican candidate for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District

That quote — about Ohio's two Republican senators — came during the recent congressional primary campaign in the contest to replace U.S. Rep. Rob Portman. Most of the GOP candidates were trying to out-conservative each other.

Ms. Schmidt found a remarkably classless way to do it, commenting on the fact that when Sen. Voinovich talks about what he wants to leave behind for young people, he is capable of choking up.

More important, she seemed to be saying that voters who like legislators who exercise occasional independence from their party should not vote for her.

Ms. Schmidt won the crowded June primary, and on Tuesday, she and the Democratic candidate, Paul Hackett, will face off in a special election. The 2nd District includes Lebanon and southern Warren County.

Mr. Hackett is a former four-year member of the Milford City Council. He departs from his party on gun control, which he basically opposes. He is obviously eager not to be seen as a down-the-line Democrat, given that the district is overwhelmingly Republican.

Mr. Hackett doesn't explicitly break from the party on a wide range of issues. He favors abortion rights and opposes the Bush plan on Social Security, for example.

But here also is man who left a comfortable civilian life in middle age to rejoin the Marines to go to Iraq. He had doubts about U.S. policy there, but he volunteered, he say, out of loyalty to the Marines.

Not your classic suburban liberal.

Mr. Hackett was in the thick of things in Iraq, running an entrance to Fallujah after an American assault that took control of that city from insurgents. He helped to provide water and other necessities for civilians.

Now he has strong views about Iraq. He believes the Bush administration hasn't understood the difficulty of training the Iraqi military. He would put more urgency into the effort.

As a vet, he could have a voice on this issue in Congress, even as a freshman.

Candidates often tell voters that they should send a new kind of face to Washington, not just another politician. Trouble is, such candidates seldom offer much evidence that they could contribute more than somebody who has governmental experience.

After all, Jean Schmidt would be a respectable member of Congress. She's an energetic person with some background.

However, for a voter looking for something beyond a conventional political background, Paul Hackett is a welcome alternative. In an era when partisan fervor is a national scourge, a candidate who is likely to show some independence looks especially good. And he has generally sound positions on the issues.

He is the better choice for the 2nd District.

Copyright ©2005 Cox Ohio Publishing, Dayton, Ohio, USA. All rights reserved.

07-31-2005, 12:34 AM
washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/) .correction {margin-top:8px;padding-top:10px;margin-bottom:8px;border-bottom:1px solid #CCCCCC;padding-bottom:10px;font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;color:#5A5A5A;}.correction strong {color:#CC0000;text-transform:uppercase;}

GOP Says It Will 'Bury' Name-Calling Candidate

By Dan Balz
Sunday, July 31, 2005; A05

Paul Hackett doesn't fit conventional political profiles. He is a Marine Reservist and an Iraq war veteran who opposed the war before the U.S. invasion and remains a harsh critic of President Bush's policy there. He is also a Democrat battling to win a special House election in Ohio in a district that has been in Republican hands for more than three decades.

On Tuesday, voters in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District will elect a successor to former representative Rob Portman, who quit Congress to become U.S. trade representative. Hackett hopes to beat the long odds by defeating Republican nominee Jean Schmidt, a former state representative, by stressing his military service and independence.

A lawyer and a major in the Marine Reserves, Hackett volunteered last year to serve in Iraq and spent seven months there in a civilian affairs job, including service around Ramadi and Fallujah. He returned to Ohio in March and decided to jump into the race for Portman's seat, seeking to become the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress.

His campaign has drawn support from Democrats across the country. Liberal blogs have defended him from GOP attacks. Former Ohio senator John Glenn, another former Marine, sent a message to online supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asking them to pitch in financially. Democracy for America, the organization founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, says it has raised $80,000 for Hackett.

Schmidt, who won a crowded GOP primary, has charged that Hackett's views don't fit with those of voters in conservative southwest Ohio, where Bush won 64 percent of the vote last November. But the outspoken Democratic nominee hasn't been shy about bad-mouthing the president.

Hackett told USA Today that Bush's taunting line, "Bring 'em on!" was "the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the United States make." He also told the newspaper that, while he was willing to put his life on the line for the president, "I've said that I don't like the son-of-a-[expletive] that lives in the White House."

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have bought TV time for commercials over the weekend. "He called the commander in chief a son-of-a-[expletive]," said NRCC spokesman Carl Forti. "We decided to bury him."

Hackett, hoping to capitalize on the widespread disarray in the scandal-plagued Ohio GOP, remains unapologetic about his characterization of the president. "I said it. I meant it. I stand by it," he said in a phone interview. "In this district, we need more straight-talking, straight-shooting politicians."

07-31-2005, 01:47 AM
I think this is fairly rediculous to analyze and such.

They are trying to somewhat make the Dems happy, because they endorsed Bush before!

08-02-2005, 09:16 PM
305 precincts out of 753 reporting, Hackett is up 51% - 49%.

This is amazing, regardless of what happens from here. Republicans usually win this district by 50+ percentage points.

08-02-2005, 09:33 PM
I don't trust the the people who are in charge of the voting machines. I expect the results to reverse soon.

08-02-2005, 11:25 PM
Schmidt wins. 52 % to 48 %. Many reports of voting irregularities. Some polling places were closed today. Schmidt has been caught red handed on Videotape campaigning well within 100 feet of a polling place in violation of Ohio election laws.
But Hackett did win more land mass. Looks like someone needs to post a map with all the Blue and the little bits of Red near the major cities. ;)

alex trevino
08-02-2005, 11:30 PM
Hackett did an amazing job...name recognition and the most flaggrant gerrymandering this side of Mississippi is what did him in. Portsmouth and Cincinnati in the same congressional district PLEASE! I saw Schmidt's victory speech she is claiming it was a victory for the President. :rolleyes:

08-03-2005, 01:07 AM
We have met the enemy and he is us.

08-03-2005, 08:01 AM
We have met the enemy and he is us.

Feel free to move to a country of your choice at any time. If the enemy is your own countrymen, then why stay here? No one keeps you in this terrible place where the enemy is around you. It almost sounds like a case of paranoia to me.

Oh wait... is the new-age way of reacting to an election that did not turn out in the way you hoped? People are your enemy. They used to call this type a sore-loser. What do we call it today?

Well at least the Representative is from that community. She did not grow up and live most of her adult life in Arkansas and then get elected in a state hundreds of miles away. Perhaps the voters were too smart for that?

Congrats to Rep. Schmidt.

Dom Heffner
08-03-2005, 09:31 AM
Well at least the Representative is from that community. She did not grow up and live most of her adult life in Arkansas and then get elected in a state hundreds of miles away. Perhaps the voters were too smart for that?

Yeah, no Republican has ever done that.

08-03-2005, 09:31 AM
Well at least the Representative is from that community. She did not grow up and live most of her adult life in Arkansas and then get elected in a state hundreds of miles away.

I don't think you're qualified to be pronouncing others paranoid.

Roy Tucker
08-03-2005, 09:40 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to see Hackett run against Schmidt again in 2006.

He came out of nowhere to make it a tighter race than the local GOP ever dreamed possible. Stunning is the word I seem to be hearing.


08-03-2005, 09:46 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up bypassing the house and running for the senate. If he can pull that much from a district that considers themselves "conservatives" (I think it's more follow the leader than anything else) he would be very competitive in the rest of the state.

08-03-2005, 09:50 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up bypassing the house and running for the senate. If he can pull that much from a district that considers themselves "conservatives" (I think it's more follow the leader than anything else) he would be very competitive in the rest of the state.

Yeah, I'd personally love to see him run against DeWine.

08-03-2005, 12:23 PM
I don't think you're qualified to be pronouncing others paranoid.

Actually, he might be over-qualified.

08-03-2005, 01:07 PM
It almost sounds like a case of paranoia to me.

I don't think you're qualified to be pronouncing others paranoid.

Actually, he might be over-qualified.

Rule Five, gentlemen. Keep it to yourselves, or I'll have to suspend you.