Brown criticizes Mandel’s campaign style

By David Skolnick


In his 35-plus years of politics, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he’s never come across a candidate like his Republican opponent, Josh Mandel.

“Nobody runs for the U.S. Senate this way,” Brown, a Democrat from Avon, told The Vindicator. “He doesn’t complete the work he’s been elected to do, he doesn’t answer questions on the issues, and the media says he’s not truthful. This job is more serious than just saying, ‘I’m against Obamacare and [other issues] and not providing an alternative.”

The incumbent, seeking his second six-year term in the Senate, said, “I wake up every day trying to figure out how to best serve the Mahoning Valley and the people of this state. [Mandel] seems to wake up every day and think about ‘How do I get promoted? How do I get a better job for myself?’”

Mandel is running for his fourth elected position since 2003. He resigned from Lyndhurst City Council after being elected in 2006 to an Ohio House seat. He finished two two-year terms in the House before being elected state treasurer in November 2008. A few months into his four-year term as treasurer, Mandel began campaigning for the U.S. Senate.

“I’m running against a guy whose ambition seems to be everything,” Brown said.

Mandel has criticized Brown for running for elected office since 1974, but Brown said he’s run for four different offices during that time and completed the full terms of every job.

Mandel “has a very good sense of the challenges facing Ohioans,” said Travis Considine, his campaign spokesman. “I would say Sherrod Brown hasn’t done his job. If he has the answer to the problems, they would have been resolved a long time ago. [Mandel] takes the seat incredibly seriously. Job creation is the first thing Josh thinks about in the morning.”

Considine called Brown “an ineffective legislator.”

Also, Considine said Mandel continues not to have a position on the $82 million government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009.

Mandel has criticized it several times, dating back to March 1, when he told The Vindicator that he “respectfully disagreed” that the bailout saved the American auto industry as well as saying, “I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work.”

During that March 1 interview, Mandel said he was developing a plan to “rescue the auto industry.” On May 14, Mandel told this newspaper that he was still working on a plan to strengthen manufacturing and the auto industry was included. He said at the time that the plan should be ready by late August along with plans for energy and agriculture.

But Considine said Wednesday that Mandel’s auto-rescue plan is included in his jobs plan, given to a Vindicator reporter May 14, the same day the Republican said he’d have a plan by late August.

“Josh’s entire job plan [released in May] is what Washington needs to get the private-sector economy moving again,” Considine said. “The principles he outlined will unleash the private-sector economy for new job growth in Ohio in multiple industries, including automotive.”

Justin Barasky, Brown’s campaign spokesman, said: “It’s no surprise Josh Mandel lied to you about his auto-rescue plan because Josh Mandel has proven he’s a politician who can’t be trusted.”

Considine said it’s “insulting” to Delphi salaried retirees that Brown would wait until a couple of months before the election to propose legislation that would restore their lost pensions and benefits. Brown introduced a bill to transfer money from the sale of government stock in GM to supplement the Delphi retirees’ benefits.

Brown said he’s been a vocal supporter for the Delphi retirees, and is working to get their benefits restored.

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