Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Ohio special election: Now's your chance
Here's a profile from Bill Frogameni writing in Salon—
On the issues, the candidates both describe themselves as fiscal conservatives, but on the Iraq war and the so-called moral values questions, they stand in stark relief. Hackett is a critic of Bush's Iraq war policy and believes America was led to war unnecessarily. Schmidt [the Republican candidate] is a strong backer of Bush's handling of the war. Hackett is pro-choice. Schmidt is president of Cincinnati Right to Life. Schmidt voted against gay marriage in the Ohio House of Representatives, while Hackett's take is: "Gay marriage -- who the hell cares?"
Hackett, who is married, says he doesn't feel the need to defend his marriage through the national Defense of Marriage Act, or any other anti-gay marriage legislation. "If you're gay you're gay -- more power to you," he said. "What you want is to be treated fairly by the law and any American who doesn't think that should be the case is, frankly, un-American."
Hackett's left-of-center views on social issues may not go over well with conservative Ohioans, and Schmidt is so far beating him financially, but last week Hackett got a profile boost when former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland campaigned with him. By bringing in Cleland and highlighting his military service, Hackett hopes to neutralize any criticism Schmidt could levy concerning his stance on the war.
Schmidt commends Hackett for his service, but believes Hackett should "stand with the president" by "supporting the Iraqi war effort and our troops that are over there," her campaign manager Joe Braun said. (Through Braun, Schmidt declined to speak with Salon.) When asked to answer that charge, Hackett is blunt: "The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there." He doesn't hesitate to criticize Schmidt's support of the war: "All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."
You may contribute directly to Hackett's campaign through his website: http://www.hackettforcongress.com/
The Republican, Jean Schmidt, was already involved in scandals before the race got off the ground and has accepted $10,000 dollars from Tom Delay's PAC, so you've seen this type of candidate before. Naturally she's blessed with more money.
No one knows how the race is going. Hackett doesn't have enough money to commission a poll, and Schmidt is not releasing the data she's collected (which is rather encouraging when you think about it).
Apparently the Democratic National Committee is being less than forthcoming in its support for Hackett, so internet contributors may make a big difference.
Loved James Dao's description of candidate Schmidt in the NY Times—
Ms. Schmidt is the daughter of a well-known local banker who owned Indianapolis race car teams on the side. Small, wiry and intense, she exudes seriousness and is given to long pauses before answering questions. She is married to an investment counselor, Peter, and they have a 27-year-old daughter.
I just emphasized that one sentence so you wouldn't think I was trying to point to the banking and investment connections. If there is one thing I won't abide it's discrimination against the rich.