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Mandel favors closing bases in Germany, Italy, Japan; courting Kuwait

Published: Sat, August 4, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

GOP candidate for US Senate also calls for reforms in US tax code

By David Skolnick



American “troops are misdeployed” by being stationed at large bases in countries such as Germany, Italy and Japan, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and a Marine veteran, says.

“We’re not fighting the Nazis anymore, and we’re not fighting the Japanese anymore,” Mandel, who had two tours in Iraq during his eight years in the Marines, told The Vindicator on Friday.

The nation’s “main enemy today is radical Islam, and in my mind, we need to draw down a lot of the bases in Europe and Asia in order to save money here in the United States to fund important programs like Social Security and Medicare and pay down the debt,” he said.

Some bases should be shut down after a review of U.S. military facilities in those three countries is done, he said.

Most soldiers in those countries would return to the United States to serve here, Mandel said.

He also said the United States needs to increase its presence in the Middle East.

“The place that makes the most sense to me is Kuwait because they’re an ally,” he said.

When asked about Israel, Mandel said he hadn’t thought of that country.

In response, Justin Barasky, campaign spokesman for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent Mandel will face in the November election, said, “I imagine many Ohioans disagree with Josh and would think of Israel as an ally in the Middle East before Kuwait.”

Mandel also talked Friday about an “aggressive reform” of the tax code, saying “we need to dismantle” it, and build it back up, eliminating tax credits given to special-interest groups. The tax code should be simple and “needs to be flatter.”

“When approximately half of the American [adult population] doesn’t pay taxes, and General Electric” pays no federal taxes, “that’s the mark of a broken system,” Mandel said.

“We need more people working and paying into the system and less people depending on it through welfare and Medicaid,” he said.

Barasky said, “The fact that Josh Mandel just admitted that he wants to raise taxes on roughly half of Ohioans is a stunning piece of evidence that his main concern is obeying his special-interest bosses in Washington.”

Mandel says he is beholden to no one, including officials in his own political party.

The Republican candidate also said federal regulatory reform is needed. All current regulations should be reviewed to determine if they are needed, effective and not cost-prohibitive.

Also, “we need to stop all new federal regulations. Place a moratorium on new federal regulations” until the review on existing ones is done, he said.


Mahoning County probably is in the best position among the state’s 88 counties to capitalize on shale exploration as it has the natural resources and a skilled blue-collar work force, Mandel said.

Also, for the auto industry — including the General Motors complex in Lordstown — to survive and thrive, everything must be done to protect coal-mining jobs in Ohio, he said. About 86 percent of Ohio’s energy comes from coal, he said. To reduce coal as an energy source would force companies to spend more on operating their businesses, he said.

Mandel also brought up a Brown television commercial in which the Democrat touts his support of the federal auto bailout while next to and inside a Chevrolet Cruze, a car assembled at the Lordstown complex.

In the commercial, Brown says all of the car parts — like him — come from Ohio. But The Plain Dealer recently reported the aluminum wheels for the Cruze LTZ model in the commercial are manufactured in Europe. (The wheels on the Cruze Eco are made in Ohio.)

Brown’s campaign said the senator is aware only the Eco model has Ohio-made wheels, and was speaking generically, the Cleveland newspaper reported.

Mandel said Friday that Brown’s campaign “knew we were lying in this ad,” and is still running it. If it was his commercial, Mandel said he would have said a mistake was made and taken it off the air.

“Mandel can’t take a single breath without repeatedly spewing previously debunked lies,” said Barasky.

He noted Mandel recently was mentioned by The Plan Dealer’s PolitiFact Ohio political fact-checking organization as having the most false statements of any candidate running for office this year in the state.

Mandel met privately Friday with about 10 to 15 local business leaders at the Youngstown Club to discuss his proposals. The event was organized by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Later in the day, Mandel attended a Mitt Romney campaign office opening at Eastwood Mall.


1michael1757(279 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey mandel,when rommy gets his A** kicked in nov,as well as you,your both goin' down. You both can take a hike. You want support in Ohio,& you want to raise taxes. Beat it!!!

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2eagleye(59 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Deployment of troops overseas shouldn't be about only saving money. It's about national security strategy that provides us certain advantages over potential enemies. Having served 23 years active duty and 8 of them overseas, I've served both in Japan, Germany, Korea, and Panama. By having a limited number of troops and assets overseas, it gives us an advantage in time and logistics in responding to a crises. Most people don't realize that in the case of Japan, and Germany, they repay the US for certain costs involved with us being there. The Japanese government pays for the buildings and family housing, and other things related to our bases. Our troops would be paid whether they are in Georgia or Japan, so those costs remain the same other than transportation. I agree that some troops can be pulled out of some areas, however, the pro's and con's have to be evaluated, and not just on a strict cost cutting basis. The biggest waste of military manpower and resources is the constant engagement in butt wiping missions for largely political purposes instead of military and national security objectives or poking our noses into every regional dispute or firefight. Libya comes to mine as an example of a very stupid decision using our forces and wasting a lot of resources.

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3mrblue(999 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey Mandel-----You have no shot!

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4James_S(268 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

"The nation’s “main enemy today is radical Islam..."

Not true.

The nation's main enemy today is the international banking cartel which owns our country, our MONEY, our Congress and our politicians (for the most part:^).

THEY dictate our foreign policy and have our politicians dancing to their tune.

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