Remove Democrat and Republican for a second. Assume there are two candidates outside of partisan labels. Candidate A is the current sitting senator. He has a clear record and policies to run on. Candidate B is the challenger. He has little record and policies, and he’s been caught being dishonest time and time again — to the extent that one major newspaper gave him an award for lying so much.
Candidate A is Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown. Candidate B is Republican challenger Josh Mandel.
Mandel has been anything but honest. His campaign, which has been funded mostly by conservative groups outside of Ohio, has earned so many “Pants on Fire” ratings from PolitiFact Ohio that Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer felt the need to award Mandel the “Pants on Fire” crown.
And even when he isn’t dishonest, he’s dodgy and misleading. In one encounter with a WDTN reporter, Mandel refused to answer a question about whether he supported the auto bailout; instead, he smiled and said, “Great seeing you.” A similar encounter with the Youngstown Vindicator editorial board found Mandel dodging the bailout question for five straight minutes. Mandel never gave an answer.
On the other hand, there’s Brown. He supported the auto bailout and stimulus package, which helped lead to Ohio’s solid unemployment numbers. Due partly to the auto rescue and stimulus efforts, Ohio was ahead of the nation’s 7.9 percent in September with its own 7 percent unemployment rate. Brown has also repeatedly pushed clean energy initiatives, and the senator has proudly touted his support for clean energy programs that created manufacturing jobs in Ohio.
And while doing all that work, Brown was mostly honest. He only has one “Pants on Fire” rating from PolitiFact Ohio — a stark contrast to Mandel’s six. In total, 74 percent of Brown’s statements reviewed by PolitiFact have been marked “True,” “Mostly True” or “Half True” — another stark contrast to Mandel’s abysmal 47 percent.
Beyond party politics, Brown is the clear choice for Ohio.