June 2, 2005

As the 2nd District (OH) Turns: Bob McEwen Poses as the Incumbent (Time for a GOP 12th Commandment)

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 4:01 pm

In a sign that the local media is finally warming up to the 2nd District race beyond reading campaign press releases (HT: Ohio 2nd Blog), Cincinnati’s Channel 5 has reported on the impropriety and illegality of the McEwen campaign’s frequent reference to him as “congressman” (not “former congressman”).

For examples:

  • See the TV report video at the Channel 5 link.
  • Listen to the two radio ads and the single TV ad posted on the McEwen Campaign’s home page (about 1/3 of the way down, on the right).

I noted this a week ago, but chose to try to research the issue from an etiquette standpoint, and still lack an answer. Channel 5 went to Ohio election law and scooped BizzyBlog (grrr), but they didn’t give their readers a link to that law (they need a blogger on staff):

McEwen hasn’t been a congressman for 12 years, but some wonder if a person is once a congressman, is he always a congressman? News 5 wanted to know. According to officials at the Ohio Elections Commission, the law says no candidate:

    “Shall knowingly and with intent to affect the outcome of a campaign … use the title of an office not currently held by a candidate in a manner that implies that the candidate does currently hold the office.”

While no one has filed a complaint, Burke said there are rules for a reason, Roy reported.

“It ought to be a level playing field. That’s what these rules are intended to establish. Giving the voters a chance to fairly evaluate each candidate,” Burke said.

Now why, in light of everything else that has occurred and has been revealed during the campaign so far, would anyone be surprised that Bob McEwen is playing deceptive games with his title?

“Burke” above is Tim Burke, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman.

I guess no other Republican candidate wanted to go on the record about this because of The GOP’s 11th commandment (“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”). Guys and gals–If you’re interested in your party’s long-term viability and the short-term results of this election, I suggest a 12th commandment: “Thou shalt suspend The 11th Commandment when your fellow Republican commits illegal acts in an attempt to gain electoral advantage.”


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