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Apparently, Paul Hackett had done his homework in preparing for the Democratic primary election for the campaign to unseat Senator Mike DeWine. His team had analyzed their opponent, Rep. Sherrod Brown, and discovered that Brown had consistently voted to reduce or eliminate funding for the intelligence community during his years in Congress, leading to a large liability in a general election against DeWine. Instead of reacting to the intelligence gap, the Democrats tossed Hackett under the bus in favor of Brown -- whom they claim is more electable:
Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown voted to cut intelligence funding more than a dozen times before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a record that Paul Hackett's campaign advisers called proof that Mr. Brown could not win in November.
A consultant hired by Mr. Hackett, Mr. Brown's onetime Democratic opponent for Senate, estimated the funding cuts would have totaled billions of dollars if enacted. None were. The consultant called Mr. Brown's votes on those proposals and a dozen more recent national security issues "toxic in today's political environment," according to campaign research documents obtained by The Blade. ...
In August, 1993, his first year in Congress, Mr. Brown supported an amendment to reduce funding for intelligence agencies by 10 percent of what they'd received in the 1993 fiscal year. It failed by a 3-1 margin. Democrat Louis Stokes was the only Ohioan to vote with Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown voted for similar attempts to cut intelligence budgets, most of them sponsored by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) or Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), at least once a year through 1999. ...
The Hackett researchers also noted Mr. Brown voted against the entire intelligence appropriations bill in 1998 and voted twice to declassify Congress' intelligence spending levels, which are secret. He opposed creating the Department of Homeland Security, along with establishing and reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act.
The Democratic leadership has stepped on its own foot in a big way in Ohio. The Republicans have struggled to get past a scandal involving its investment in rare coins, and the tightly-contested state looked ready to switch to red as a result. Mike DeWine had already angered the GOP base by tossing in with the Gang of 14 and allowing the Democrats to block several appellate-court nominees such as Henry Saad and Brett Kavanaugh in return for the uberpartisan smearfest that the Democrats staged for the Alito hearings.
Now, however, the Democrats have shoved Hackett aside to grease the skids for Brown, whose track record on national-security issues has been abysmal. After spending years doing his best to starve the intelligence community into non-existence, what will Brown say about his view of national security? The Democrats will once again face an election where their candidate will only reinforce the worst aspects of their tattered reputation on the issue that will be foremost in voters' minds during wartime. Hackett could have given them a chance to argue that opposition to the Iraq war did not mean a hostility to the military and national-security agencies. Brown's track record demonstrates that for Democrats, it does.
Ohio Democrats can thank the party leaders that hail from New York, Vermont, and Nevada for sticking them with what has to be Mike DeWine's dream opposition this November. Once again, given a choice between a competitive candidate and one from Stereotype City, the Democratic kingmakers have chosen ... poorly.
Mike and Karl would send their personal congratulations, but they're too busy laughing to pick up the phone.Sphere It View blog reactions
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