Saturday, March 24, 2012

Even in the age of fact-check journalism, the political whopper lives: Analysis

Josh Mandel's already casual relationship with the truth took a turn toward outright estrangement this month.

The Republican state treasurer and aspiring U.S. senator blamed incumbent rival Sherrod Brown for Ohio jobs relocating to China, a transparent attempt to turn Brown's strong position on foreign trade into a weakness.

Mixing audacity with absurdity, the claim earned a Pants on Fire rating from PolitiFact Ohio.

For the Mandel campaign, the rebuke from the fact-checking arm of The Plain Dealer was just another day at the office. Mandel has received three of PolitiFact Ohio's seven most recent Pants on Fire rulings. Of his 14 statements evaluated on the Truth-O-Meter since 2010, six have been deemed Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dennis Kucinich holding back on future plans, but not on criticism for victorious rival Marcy Kaptur

This story was reported and written with Plain Dealer reporter Sabrina Eaton

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich is going away mad after a bruising primary loss to longtime Democratic colleague Marcy Kaptur, the Toledo congresswoman he once called his friend.

As he left town around noon Wednesday to return to work in Washington, D.C., he took parting shots at Kaptur and for the second time since conceding the race 12 hours earlier accused her of running a dirty and dishonest campaign.

"That's not who I am," Kucinich said during a brief news conference near the security checkpoint and ticket counters at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. "Our politics have to be lifted up. They don't belong in the gutter."

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marcy Kaptur scores huge victory against Dennis Kucinich in battle of Democratic heavyweights

TOLEDO, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur clobbered fellow Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday, her solid victory a stunning end to a mean-spirited primary between Democratic heavyweights.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Kaptur led Kucinich 55 percent to 41 percent. Graham Veysey, a Cleveland entrepreneur making his first run for public office, was a distant third with about 4 percent of the vote.

Kaptur, a longtime Toledo congresswoman, appeared to be sewing up the nomination with an overwhelmingly strong performance on her Lucas County turf. With about 85 percent of the votes counted there, she had outpaced Kucinich, an eight-term congressman and former Cleveland mayor, by a lopsided margin of 90 percentage points.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Ballot flub may hurt Rick Santorum in Ohio; race tightens in new poll

This story was written and reported with Plain Dealer Washington Bureau Chief Stephen Koff and reporters Aaron Marshal and Pat Galbincea

A new poll Friday showed the Republican presidential race in Ohio too close to call, but Rick Santorum now stands to lose more than a quarter of the state's delegates -- regardless of how he performs here in Tuesday's primary.

The Ohio GOP has revealed that the former Pennsylvania senator filed incomplete delegate slates in six of Ohio's 16 congressional districts. Santorum already had forfeited delegates in three other districts by not submitting slates there at all.

The blunder, perhaps a sign of the choppy campaign organization Santorum had late last year when he was still a long shot, could be costly for the candidate who since has established himself as a consensus alternative to Mitt Romney. Santorum could be ineligible for up to 18 of Ohio's 66 delegates, 63 of whom are up for grabs next week.

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