Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About Chris Cillizza  |  On Twitter: The Fix and The Hyper Fix  |  On Facebook  |  On YouTube  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Ohio's 18th: Voters Consider Ethics Scandals

Ohio River Ramble

Chris Cillizza

Posted by
Chris Cillizza
» About Chris

GRANVILLE, Ohio -- Your Ramblers spent the morning at a fundraiser for state Sen. Joy Padgett, the Republican candidate for the 18th district seat being vacated by Rep. Bob Ney (R), who announced in mid-September that he will plead guilty to a federal bribery charge. The guest of honor was none other than First Lady Laura Bush.

While waiting for the First Lady to arrive, we talked to a number of folks who had paid between $100 and $1,000 to attend the event. We wanted to find out whether the scandals surrounding Ney and Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R), who will leave office at the end of his current term, will have any impact on their vote.

Some, like Vicki Sugar of Granville, said the ongoing ethics problems have turned her off from politics entirely. "This is the first time I have felt I wanted to back out," she said. (See the video below.)

Sugar's friend, a woman named Marilyn Fields, said that "character really counts" and that she was "disappointed" with politicians on both sides of the aisle. Both Sugar and Fields said the main reason they had decided to attend the event was the chance to meet Laura Bush -- not show support for Padgett.

Laurie Pitcock, anoither Granville resident, said the constant barrage of negative news about politicians and the increasing levels of partisanship have left her increasingly disillusioned about the two parties. "I'd love to get beyond party lines and get things done," said Pitcock. She added that on some issues -- like the environment -- she aligns with Democrats, but on the issues most crucial to her the Republican party still better represents her view.

She was not alone. Several other attendees said that no matter how unhappy they might be with Ney, Taft or Republicans in general the alternative is not palatable.

Take Marilyn Jenson, for example. While she called the Ney situation "unfortunate" she quickly pointed out: "We'll never go over to the other side no matter what."

To win, Padgett needs a lot of people who think just like Marilyn Jenson. Even though President George W. Bush carried this district with 57 percent in 2004, the weight of multiple GOP scandals has put the race in play. Attorney Zack Space has focused his campaign almost entirely on the "cost of corruption" argument, which may or may not have saliency without Ney on the ballot.

Padgett acknowledged that "people are very disappointed with what happened," but added, "they view me as a fresh start."

Click on the image below to watch to watch Ohio voter Vicki Sugar talk about recent ethics scandals.

(Video by washingtonpost.com's Chet Rhodes).

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 26, 2006; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Ohio River Ramble  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Politics and the Price of Gas
Next: Video: The First Lady Comes to Ohio 18

Comments

JEP: thanks for the Wikipedia link. Interesting.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 29, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The number of anonymous comments here is getting really ridiculous. Whoever you are, at a bare minimum find the guts to put your name to your words. It's not even as if you need to use real names here. My birth certificate does not say "Sandwich Repairman". But all my comments here do.

As we say in Ohio, Gutless Wonders...

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | September 28, 2006 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Yockel;

I lamented long ago, on this blog and others, that the really intelligent conservative debators on the blogosphere have abandoned their arguments and given the discussion over to "doofuses" who are the only ones still willing to repeat Rove's ridiculi.

This phenomenon may be a notable bookmark on that spiral of silence, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_of_silence
the point when the intelligent debators abandoned the debate because it has become an act of forensic futility.

The argument then continues down the spiral with a lopsided dialog, a battle between intelligent logic and talking-points propaganda.

The MSM still pretends there's a viable debate going on, but that is so they can rake in all the campaign advertising money.

There is no discourse left, it is just a pitiful "rendition" of debate.

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"We'll never go over to the other side no matter what."

Come hell (Iraq) or high water (Katrina)...

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Karen;
"I still see the people at that fund raiser when all is said and done voting R"

They have to make their choice, and it has never been more true, a vote for any Republican is quite clearly a vote for war.

Unfortunately for many, sometimes there is more at stake than a worldly political agenda. Party loyalties, like all misplaced alliances, can cloud spiritual awareness.

Each person standing in that ballot box has to determine whether they support war and torture. If they think they are just loyally voting for thier party, their loyalty has been confused with their convictions.

By voting for Republicans who maintain and defend any part of the Bush status quo, many Christians have indirectly chosen war and torture over their own professed convictions.

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Baptist minister Jamie Washam of Wisconsin, who led an interfaith service during the protests, said she is adamantly opposed to the war.

"My congregation wants peace," she said. "And I think it's an offense to God."

Yup, apparently the Baptists have some REAL Christians in their congregations, too, by golly.

Denomination apperently doesn't seem to matter in dividing the flocks, it's actually the "Peace" gate that inevitably separates the sheep and goats.

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Karen makes a good point. What people say and what people do are two different things. We can observe that in public opinion polls all the time, especially when it comes to socially unacceptable behavior (racism comes to mind, corruption is another instance).

However, if supporters are afraid to speak their mind then that is a bad sign. If that's true of donors then it is safe to conclude that some base voters will not turn out.

By the way, The Spiral of Silence by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann demonstrates that votes shift when supporters do not dare to speak out any longer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_of_silence

Posted by: Yockel | September 27, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Among those arrested during the demonstrations were two Presbyterian ministers, a Catholic activist and a member of a Quaker group..."

...when I say REAL Christians, these are the folks I speak of.

REAL Christians seek peace for all mankind.

Defending war and torture and international lawlessness is quite contrary to that doctrine of peace.

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

JP

I think and really HOPE!!! you are right about the change for the majority of folk, but I still see the people at that fund raiser when all is said and done voting R.

Posted by: Karen | September 27, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If that Bush crew of weasely little goebel/goerings wants a proper lesson in torture, all they need to do is watch "The Passion."

Mel's given them some great old torments to inflict on some more innocent victims like that Canadian fellow.

Interesting thought, in this day and age, for peacefully defying the religious and political leaders of the day, could someone be arrested as a terrorist, imprisoned, tortured and murdered?

Sounds vaguely familiar...

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"increasing levels of partisanship"

Pray tell, how could partisanship get worse than ONE PARTY controlling all three of our checks and balances?

Or do I have the classical meaning of "partisanship" confused with a more contemporary version?

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"I am not so sure that they are soft, I just think they feel embarassed admitting support."

...they feel embarrassed admitting support?

That is the essential meaning of "soft" support.
A few long years ago, the same person would have adamantly voiced their opinion, fearless of peer-pressure to the contrary.

So, what HAS changed since then?

Well, Virginia, a wave of "confusion" that most would call clarity has swept the body politic, and now the brainwashed aren't so brainwashed.

Some of them have even been enlightened to the truth, and will vote for ANYONE but another "R".

They will simply say "NO" to the Republican Culture of Continual Criminal Corrupiton.

How ironic, apparently
"THE NEYS HAVE IT."

a little Chris Matthews "HA!" on this one...

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"fact-challenged blithering drunk bozo"

you left out
"with a thesaurus and a keyboard"

...a very dangerous combination.

maybe he should write for the Washington Times?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"it was AFTER all of those Christian Evangelical's decided that the war was just plain wrong that we bounced out of there fast."

I guess my problem with this whole issue is embedded in this one sentence..

Evangelicals aren't the ones who "decide" if war is wrong, Jesus condemned all types of violence.

If these people are truly evangelical Christians, the Holy Spirit should have influenced them much sooner, both then and now, to take the path to Peace, not war.

They shouldn't call themselves Christians until they espouse Christian doctrine, not mortal, politically expedient doctrine.

Defending war and torture, or even ignoring it, is not the work of Christians.

If they are so close to God, why does it take the Holy Spirit so long to reach them?

Posted by: JEP | September 27, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I am not so sure that they are soft, I just think they feel embarassed admitting support. I am sure that when they go in to vote, they will have no problems.

Posted by: Karen | September 27, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

NoVa is right. It is amazing that guests at a fundraiser are considering not to vote for the host. Padgett's base is soft.

Unless Padgett turns it around many staunch Republicans will stay home. The good government folks will turn out in droves.

Posted by: Yockel | September 27, 2006 4:13 AM | Report abuse

"Like taking candy from a baby, Space might as well relocate to outer space. a 57% tailwind is impossible to overcome. Keep dreaming. these people aren't stupid enough to vote D - no matter what. that is the stats of the electorate because of the failed policies and ideas put forth by Ds."

That's silly - in 2004 Chet Edwards overcame a much bigger Bush number than that, and Bush was actually on the ballot that year. It can be done. Second, Bush would not likely get 57% in the OH-18 if he were running this year. Third, instead of looking at Presidential numbers, you might want to look at the polling done for the actual race here. Even Padgett's own poll had her behind. She might win, but she's losing right now and is in no way a slam dunk winner.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | September 27, 2006 12:54 AM | Report abuse

And another thing: "Laurie Pitcock, anoither Granville resident, said the constant barrage of negative news about politicians and the increasing levels of partisanship have left her increasingly disillusioned about the two parties."

Gee, since all the negative news has been about Republicans I guess that means that she thinks that 1+1 = 1. Where do you find these people?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 27, 2006 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris: have to agree with the other posters. Asking people who are paying a bunch of money to attend a Republican fund-raiser if they would vote Democrat is, frankly, more than a bit looney. Hey, do you think your bosses could send you on a road trip through Italy so you could head down to Rome to ask the Pope if he's Jewish?

Following this statement "Sugar's friend, a woman named Marilyn Fields, said that "character really counts" and that she was "disappointed" with politicians on both sides of the aisle. Both Sugar and Fields said the main reason they had decided to attend the event was the chance to meet Laura Bush -- not show support for Padgett" you should have asked Ms. Fields what Padgett's opponent stood for in several major policy areas. That would have been good journalism.

My bet on her answer: a blank look, followed by an attempt to not answer the question. That would have provided an objective context in which to evaluate her commentary. Like most die-hard GOPer's, total ignorance of the alternative is the most blissful state.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 26, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I just got back spending 3 weeks in Cleveland with the Brown/Strickland campaign and the people I spoke to on their streets, groceries and Rapid Transit seemed pretty universally fed up with the corruption of Noe, Blackwell and Taft and are more than ready for a change in their government and a new direction for Ohio. They have had it with this crowd and its totally odd that Chris didn't pick this up but it sounds like he is in a southern conservative part of Ohio that does not reflect the unhappy mood of that state.
Strickland is ahead by 21% points in a recent Plain Dealer Ohio poll and Brown by 6-10% points. That is not by accident, and the story you posted about the Padgett race and blind loyalty to party does not reflect the feelings of folks in northern Ohio by any stretch of the imagination. Over a third of Ohio voters describe themselves as independents and don't identify with either party in thir most recent primary.

Posted by: Ira | September 26, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Now, JEP, there's nothing at all wrong with Evangelicals. Most of them are somehwat conservative, but they really do care about morality and, if I remember the days of Vietnam, it was AFTER all of those Christian Evangelical's decided that the war was just plain wrong that we bounced out of there fast. The same thing is happening again...including the Nixon like like of character in Bush and his "team". They and this stupid war will end up over and thank God for it! Thuis time, though, I don't want another Nixon walking around with his apologists, attempting to rewrite history. I want Bush and Cheney and Rove and the rest of them in prison, humiliated and forever marked and remembered as the scumbags they are.

Posted by: MikeB | September 26, 2006 7:42 PM | Report abuse

That would be her, JEP. Where is Tina to defend her?

And Chris, actually, this was a good way to illustrate the psychographic of the base -- that no matter what republcans in power do, what crimes they are guilty of, the base will continue to blindly, braindeadly support them. Just like the Germans did Hitler.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"Now she is saying that she and the Bush administration were aggressive at pursuing bin Laden. She is lying about one or both of these statements."

Wasn't it Condi who suggested "minor terrorist groups like Al Queda" were inconsequential, and represented a policy she described as "feckless and naive"?

Posted by: JEP | September 26, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

CriminaliZing the practice of Christianity:

' Two Presbyterian ministers were among 71 people arrested during a series of peaceful protests against the Iraq war Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for a group participating in the protests.

Demonstrators held sit-ins, prayer services and sing-alongs at four locations in the Capitol complex, including the central atrium of the Senate Hart Office Building.

Among those arrested during the demonstrations were two Presbyterian ministers, a Catholic activist and a member of a Quaker group, said Jennifer Kuiper, spokeswoman for The Declaration of Peace, one of the groups participating in the protests.

Despite a rising tide of war opposition, the protesters said they represent no party or political movement.

Baptist minister Jamie Washam of Wisconsin, who led an interfaith service during the protests, said she is adamantly opposed to the war.

"My congregation wants peace," she said. "And I think it's an offense to God."

Posted by: JOANNA | September 26, 2006 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"no matter what..."
...if Lucifer was the only one on the ballot with an R behind his name, this lady would vote for him?

Wonder if she's also an evangelical fundamentalist...

Anyone want to bet?

Posted by: JEP | September 26, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Chris, don't you think it's kind of silly to ask people at a fundraiser for candidates what they think of said candidate? Couldn't you ask people on the street or something?

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

The interesting point of this story is that there actually were people at a fundraiser for Padgett who are not likely to vote for the candidate! I've gone to fundraisers, heck, I've even had fundraisers, and believe me, you're preaching to the choir there. If Chris was able to find two people who are hesitant about the candidate at her own fundraiser, boy is she in trouble!

Posted by: NoVA | September 26, 2006 6:37 PM | Report abuse


Condoleezza Rice, in previous statements to Congress explaining why the Bush administration had not been able to prevent 9/11, said that they had no idea bin Laden posed such a great threat, and that they were not worried about him before 9/11. Now she is saying that she and the Bush administration were aggressive at pursuing bin Laden. She is lying about one or both of these statements.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2006 6:06 PM | Report abuse

todd, it's because they really don'give a damn about the country -- just about being 'right'. witness the delusional, fact-challenged blithering drunk bozo who hangs out here--rather die than admit that everything he beleives in is a farce.

Posted by: amused | September 26, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

KOZ- I tried to answer you with web site citations but it was blocked. But, we already went through this the last time and, after it was established that Republican's WERE the overwhelming recipients of this money, you answered with some lame comment like "its harmless visual stimulation". The fact is, if we wanted to clean up the porno industry in this country, we would simple arrest all Republican;s becasue, from what I am able to determine, most of them are perverts. If anyone else cares to look at the fact simple use YAHOO and type in "adult film industry political contributions". The lead off ABC news story is most nteresting! Then, do a search for "ADELPHI political action commitee" to see the list of names these sleezy people give to....

Posted by: MikeB | September 26, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It is indeed unfortunate that certain constituents, fully aware that a candidate for office from their party is ethically "challenged", will still repose trust in that person to represent her interests before the Congress.

When it comes to like minds, I guess GW is right. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, ... you can't get fooled again.

Posted by: Todd B. | September 26, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

presented with facts, republicans spin spin spin. bozo is spinning so fast he'll probably vomit all over us. but then that's what he usually does.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Mike - quit talking nonsense and making up your own facts. Please show me the donations you are talking about from her FEC report. you know, the one that lists all donations? can't do it? didn't think so. It's not there. Have you no sense of propriety?

this is why Dems have no credibility with the public, every fact that is checked is a lie - just like slick willie.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 26, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris - please comment on this scandal out of Charlie Bass' office. What do you think??

http://www.wmur.com/politics/9936715/detail.html

Posted by: NH | September 26, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

you Clintons are so predictable - go ugly early and stay away from the issues at all cost. no sense talking about anything that actually might matter. Allen is a Jew, Steele is an oreo, Padgett once had money trouble. where do these people stand on an issues you feel comfortable debating? What's that - you don't feel comfortable debating any issues, that's what I thought and it shows you bigots.

He ran a company for 30 years, yet you focus on the failure. why? Is your life so in despair? It sounds like they personally tried to bail out a corporation. would you? no, you are a perennial victim. I thought it was the government's fault that that location had financial trouble those years? which is it?

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 26, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Why would Chris ask people at a Republican fundraiser if the scandals will impact their vote? How absurd! Do you expect to hear objective responses at a Republican event? Call me naive, but I think that if they are attending a Padgett event, chances are they are not persuadable voters or disillusioned Republicans. Why don't you talk to average folks on the street?

Posted by: Partisan Democrat | September 26, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Like taking candy from a baby, Space might as well relocate to outer space. a 57% tailwind is impossible to overcome. Keep dreaming. these people aren't stupid enough to vote D - no matter what. that is the stats of the electorate because of the failed policies and ideas put forth by Ds.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 26, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MikeB--here's a little backstory:

In her 2004 bid for a second term in the Ohio Senate, Padgett was challenged by Democratic Terry Anderson of Athens, Ohio, who in the 1980s had been held hostage by Islamic radicals in Lebanon. During her race against Terry Anderson, Padgett accused Anderson of being a member of the "Blame America crowd", and campaign fliers showed a photograph of Anderson in a meeting with a leader of Hezbollah. In response, Anderson said, "He and his brothers were the ones who kidnapped me, chained me, blindfolded me and beat me. My political opponent uses a picture of that interview to try to win an election."

On June 15, 2006, Padgett and her husband Donald filed for personal bankruptcy. Their U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings listed $1.16 million in debts against $202,143 in assets. Padgett said most of the debt came from Main Office Supply Co., which the couple owned; it filed for bankruptcy in 2005. Her husband ran the business for three decades; she was the company treasurer. The Coshocton business began experiencing financial troubles in 1999; it went from 40 employees to about eight when it closed.

--Note that Padgett was treasurer of the company when she and her husband bankrupted it. Is that the experience republicans are looking for in elected officials? so she can do the same to our country? Ain't it the republican way.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Bush-Ney-Padgett and ethical standards mentioned on the same page is an oxymoron. Let's look at Ms. Padgett. She and her husband ran up millions of dollars in personal bills, living the high life and, then, filed ofr bankruptcy...becoming the poster children for deadbeats used by Congress when it passed that legislation to begin with. They managed to wreck the lives aboiut 40 people who worked for their company. In addition to stiffing people she powes money too, Ms. Padgett was the poliitcian who attacked Terry Anderson, showing photo's of him with Hizbulla terrorists, and failing to mention that Mr. Anderson was a captive of them. She is also one of the many Republican politcian's who makes noise about pornography and actually sees to it that nothing is done about it because at the same time she (along with a lot of other Republican's) is one of the single largest recipients of money from that industry. If she wins, and I don't think even Ohio voters are that dumb, she will immediately become one of the ten slimiest politcians in Washington and I would take bets she would be indicted for bribes and corruption within 12 months.

Posted by: MikeB | September 26, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

'I hear the Senate is planning to put the combined the torture and spying bill that Mitch McConnell introduced last Friday to the vote. It's much more efficient to destroy the constitution with one big bill they can hold over Democrats' heads like a samurai sword if they fail to vote for it. Very clever.'

Even Goebbels couldn't have done it better.

Posted by: joanNA | September 26, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse


An America prepared to casually toss out the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian diplomacy -- along with basic human decency and the rule of law as side helpings -- is not a country others are going to want to cooperate with. It will constitute a threat to their own interests and values. Nor will it be a country blessed with a lot of accurate intelligence. As Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has pointed out, an intelligence service shot-through with demands that it torture people "degenerates into a playground for sadists," the service itself "an army of butchers" skilled at terrorizing its victims but hardly capable of unraveling complicated investigations.

It's a grim future brought to us by grim and deranged men -- by people who seem to have developed an unhealthy level of admiration for America's enemies. (They want the country they run to transform itself into a facsimile of its evil adversaries.) It's a future in which it may become increasingly hard for decent citizens of this country to say truthfully that they're proud to be Americans.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Is no one going to comment about the ridiculousness of paying between $100-1000 simply to meet Laura Bush? I do think, however, that it's an interesting point. In 04 there was a lot of concern that women didn't like Teressa Heinz Kerry, and that while it may not have made a serious impact on John Kerry's own outcome, that apparently these things do matter at least enough to shell out some cold hard cash for a candidate you couldn't care less about.

Also, and I am sure some pollster out there has looked into this, but how well does Hilary poll with soccer moms? You have to wonder how women especially would feel about having her as their first female president. She would gain a place in history books instantly (not that she hasn't already) and I think they would consider long and hard about 1) if she is the role-model they want for their young girls and 2) the kind of legacy she would leave as America's first women chief executive.

Posted by: Iammpb | September 26, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Take Marilyn Jenson, for example. While she called the Ney situation "unfortunate" she quickly pointed out: "We'll never go over to the other side no matter what."

The really tragic stupidity of the brainwashed -- these are people who whine about paying taxes, then think the fact that their respresentative has been stealing them blind is simply 'unfortunate'. What does it take to make you see that you're simply being played for a sucker?

Repubicans are sure lucky. They have the dumbest, most credulous people on earth as their base. But of course, that's no accident.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company