Following Dewine’s tactless decision to raise his public profile and join the senate “gang of fourteen” Dewine’s son, Patrick, was defeated in a primary race for the House seat being vacated by Rob Portman. Patrick Dewine out-raised his opponents and was considered a favorite in the race for a while. Early polling showed Pat Dewine ahead in a field of eleven candidates with forty-two percent of likely voters. The contest was heated and there were two main flash points in the race. Religious voters confronted Pat Dewine about his separation from his wife, and the circumstances surrounding his divorce. Secondly, Pat Dewine faced the scrutiny of the local and statewide media regarding his Father’s decision to abandon the conservative fight for President Bush’s judicial nominees and join the moderate “gang of fourteen.” Following Senator Dewine’s decision, Pat Dewine began to slip in the polling, and he eventually ended up fourth in the crowded field of candidates. Despite spending more than one million dollars on this primary race for a house seat, and outspending his opponents more than three to one, Pat Dewine was dealt a humiliating defeat. Many voters cited his Father’s lack of principle as a factor in their vote.
Furthermore, in the general election for the house seat, Representative Jean Schmidt, the Republican who defeated Pat Dewine, former congressman Bob McEwen, and eight others came under national scrutiny by the press in the race for the seat. The media successfully tried to make this election a referendum on the war, and on Mike Dewine’s leadership. Turn-out in the general election was very poor, and Jean Schmidt prevailed, but national recognition was bestowed on the democrat in the field, Paul Hackett who is now running in the democrat primary to replace Senator Dewine. Hackett has used every opportunity afforded him by the mainstream press to blast Senator Dewine.
On Thursday this week, The Dayton Daily Democrat (also known as the Dayton Daily News) hailed Mr. Dewine’s vote against drilling for oil in ANWR. The paper stated that it was, “the second time in a matter of hours that Dewine bucked his party on tight votes as the Senate prepared to recess for the year.” DeWine, who has consistently voted against drilling in ANWR because of "environmental concerns for that pristine place," said he does not believe drilling in the refuge would help solve the nation's energy problem. Instead, he said, the nation needs to look at alternative sources of energy. "Whether you drill in ANWR or whether you don't drill in ANWR, there isn't enough oil, period," he said. The paper went on to add that Senator Dewine had not voted for the budget bill because it would “hurt poor children.” Voting to reduce the amount of growth in spending on Medicaid and foster parenting programs was too much for Senator Dewine to swallow. Dewine joined other well known RINO’S Susan Collins, Lincoln Chafee, and Olympia Snowe in opposing these spending reductions. I hope that the fat lady started warming up to sing when Senator Dewine began echoing Chuck Schumer in his liberal whining about “poor children.”
These votes are gaining notoriety around Ohio. Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Democrat Paul Hackett, one of two Democrats vying to oppose DeWine next year, said Hackett also would've voted against the budget reconciliation bill and against ending debate on the defense bill. But Frisch said DeWine's votes didn't make him a hero to Hackett.
"We're not giving kudos to Senator DeWine for doing the right thing," Frisch said. "He voted for the Republican leadership that twisted arms to get this thing through. He's part of the problem."
Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said the votes might help DeWine in the general election. "It probably causes further problems with conservatives, but serves him well in the general election," she said. "I think that it's two more votes that make it hard for Democrats to label him a rubber stamp."
Moreover, these votes by Senator Dewine only continue a pattern of voting established early on in this congressional session. The NRA is considering endorsing a candidate against Dewine after Dewine was one of only two Republicans to oppose a bill shielding gun manufacturers from liability from damages due to the use of their weapons. Dewine has also voted with the democrats in the past to ban certain types of assault weapons.
Senator Dewine also found himself on the wrong side of the social security debate. Voting with Arlen Specter, Snowe, and Collins again, Dewine voted with the democrats on a disingenuous and politically stupid resolution offered by Senator Bill Nelson that stated, “ "Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt." Dewine had no real reason to support this foolish amendment, yet he must plan on using it for credibility in next year’s election. We could have really used Dewine’s help in doing something constructive and meaningful for social security.
Either Paul Hackett or Representative Sherrod Brown might be able to mount a credible challenge to Senator Dewine. I have never voted for any democrat for senate in my lifetime, but I may now consider it.
Until I stopped to consider it when yesterday’s vote infuritated me and a few of my Republican friends, I did not realize how many times Senator Dewine disappointed us this year! All of these votes by Senator Dewine find me hoping that Senator Ted Stevens will follow through on his threat to campaign against all the senators who voted against ANWR and come to Ohio next year. Senator Dewine deserves it!
Check Out Best Posts of the Year at STOP THE ACLU!
Right Wing Nation Covers More of Dewine's Stupidity!