Mandel avoids tough questions, runs on his record as Ohio Treasurer

As Americans, we have come to expect heated political battles and this year’s U.S. Senate race in Ohio is no exception. Political opponents engage in smear campaigns, distort the truth, target weak links and attempt to shake self-confidence in their rivals. With polls showing only a small gap between the two candidates, it is no wonder truths get stretched to the max and claims of lies seem to grow in number.

Fact-checking political advertising is big business these days and has some politicians earning “pants on fire” designations for outright falsehoods. For Josh Mandel, a driven young man with an honest face and warm smile, it is a designation he prefers to forget on the campaign trail.

Stemming from the deep concern about the direction of our country, a number of Ohioans from across the political spectrum — Republicans, Democrats and independents — asked Mandel, a Republican, to run for the U.S. Senate against the Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown, according to Mandel. But it seems that in the race between Brown and Mandel, many Ohioans are having a hard time believing Mandel. The Plain Dealer claimed in a story on July 29 that he is continually making statements and airing ads that stretch the truth or are patently untrue. Six of the most extreme designations in fact-checking articles have given Mandel the Ohio “pants on fire” crown, according to the website.

In an email interview, Mandel was also asked about the criticisms from Democrats that his Senate campaign conflicts with his job as Ohio’s treasurer, from which they claim he has been absent on many occasions.

It was clear Mandel was not interested in rehashing all the negative campaign publicity. Instead, he stated his successes, noted key opportunities for improvements and reiterated his plan to help Ohio thrive.

“As Ohio Treasurer, I have focused my time and energy on making our office the most efficient, fiscally responsible, well-run treasurer’s office in the nation. As treasurer, I have served as a watchdog of Ohio’s taxpayer dollars. As America’s federal credit rating was downgraded, I earned the highest rating possible on the investment funds I manage and recently earned an upgrade in the credit rating for the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund, making the first time in nearly 10 years that program has been upgraded.”

As a U.S. Senator, Mandel said he will work to strengthen the economy and create jobs. His plans would make Ohio a world leader in manufacturing and energy development, he said.

“Expanded energy development will mean jobs across Ohio. It will mean more tax revenue for our schools, roads, and to pay down the debt. It will lower gas prices. And it will lead to energy independence. My jobs plan would create a fairer, flatter tax code, ending loopholes for giant corporations,” said Mandel.

Danny Olson, president of the John Carroll University Conservatives Club, said he agrees with Mandel’s plan and believes it is logical to pursue more energy in America and create more job opportunities. 

“This plan is logical because the people we get our oil from also do business with the enemies of the United States. This would create tons of jobs. Drilling in Alaska is also efficient and effective. Gas prices are too high and dependence on foreign oil needs to decrease.”

Mandel discussed his opponent Sherrod Brown and his plan of action for Ohio. “Our country is at a serious crossroads, and many are concerned that we may not have another six years to wait before getting it back on track. In order to carry on the American Dream and ensure America’s best days are still ahead, we must elect leaders with the backbone to fix the problems that ultra-partisan politicians like Sherrod Brown have created over decades in Washington. This is the call that I am stepping forward to accept.”

Before his political career, Mandel served in Iraq. He says his military experience has shaped his political career. During his time in the Marines as an enlisted officer, he said he had the privilege to work with amazing individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds.

As Ohio’s next U.S, Senator, he says, “I will be a voice for all 11.5 million residents of our great state.” Olson concurs with this, saying, “Josh is a proven leader. He has served his country in Iraq and brings his leadership and authority to Washington.”

Erinn O'Rourke

Erinn O'Rourke is a communication student at John Carroll University. 

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 12:52 PM, 10.29.2012