As most attention on the battleground state of Ohio has been focused on the presidential race, the battle for control of the statehouse and Congress has flared up in the Buckeye State.
But in two particular races featuring Republican candidates who are Iraq War veterans, the Democratic Party apparatus and their left-wing allies have launched vicious attacks incredibly questioning their commitment to serve the people.
On Monday, journalist Joel Mowbray published an article looking at the state representative race between Republican incumbent Josh Mandel and Democrat Bob Belovich. Mandel won the Ohio 17th seat in November 2006 in a longshot bid in a heavily Democratic district, but he had to take a leave of absence from the legislature when he was called up for a second tour in Iraq, which he completed earlier this year.
According to Mowbray’s research, Belovich has openly criticized Mandel for his military service during the legislative term, with his wife, Barbara, saying publicly that Mandel “went AWOL” on his constituents by returning to Iraq. Mowbray also reports that an audio clip of the Democratic couple revealed that attacking Mandel for his military service was a critical component to their election strategy:
At a Progressive Majority event in Cleveland this July, Mr. and Mrs. Belovich laid out their campaign blueprint for defeating Mandel. “[Mandel] feels that his obligation to George Bush is stronger than his, you know, his obligation to the people in the 17th District,” Barbara Belovich said.
To make matters worse, Bob Belovich added that Mandel was elected in 2006 because of his “blue sign” and his “Jewish name.” When Mowbray spoke with Belovich, he defended his openly anti-Semitic remarks by launching into a five-minute diatribe about the voting habits of Jewish voters in his district.
But Democratic Party officials haven’t limited their attacks on Iraq veterans to statehouse races. In one of the most closely watched congressional races nationally in the Ohio 15th District, Republican Steve Stivers and Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy are squaring off to replace retiring Rep. Deborah Pryce, a Republican. In the 2006 cycle, Kilroy barely lost her bid to knock off Pryce in an election year when Democrats surged in Ohio.
To help buoy Kilroy’s chances, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has poured mountains of cash — $280,000 in just the past two weeks and another $600,000 reserved for this last week alone — into the race to flip the Ohio 15th seat from red to blue. The DCCC is running television ads attacking Stivers, telling voters that the current state senator is “not on your side” — a claim that flies in the face of Stivers’ 23-year military service in the Ohio Army National Guard (where he currently holds the rank of lieutenant colonel), including a one-year tour in Iraq where he was awarded a Bronze Star.