Mandel cannot fill Portman’s shoes in DC
With Republicans bemoaning Sen. Rob Portman’s pending retirement, many propose to replace him, including Josh Mandel. Mandel is best known for eight years as Ohio’s treasurer. He also ran twice for U.S. Senate.
When Mandel first ran for treasurer in 2010, he falsely labeled his African-American opponent as a Muslim. He stopped when he was criticized for anti-Muslim rhetoric, but his bias sneaked back in a state party-financed mailer. He won, but it didn’t pass the smell test.
During his 2018 Senate candidacy, Mandel authorized a series of TV ads posing with beloved Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, promoting a program for disabled Ohioans. Each ad evaded scrutiny by costing just below $50,000, with Mandel benefiting from $1.8 million in publicity paid by the state before it triggered the attention of the Ohio Controlling Board.
Mandel is still up to no good. As Americans try to heal and unite, Mandel maintains the 2020 election was fraudulent and stolen from Trump by a “Uniparty,” a so-called cabal of Democrats and non-Trump Republicans. In over 60 court cases, the election was proven to be honestly won by Joe Biden. It hurts Ohioans when Mandel perpetuates harmful election deceit.
In the painful wake of the Jan. 6 riots, Mandel said he would have stood beside Ted Cruz and voted to overturn the election, ignoring the will of the American people. Even those who support Trump administration’s record have decried that day as traumatic and incendiary.
Mandel would perpetuate discord among Ohioans, as exemplified by a letter recently published here. The writer divulged a conversation he overheard while providing services in a local politician’s office. When a visiting constituent advised shooting every rioter from Jan. 6, the writer then ascribed that person’s opinion to all Democrats, without differentiating between words alone versus fists and weapons used to kill people.
Mandel has opposed Gov. DeWine’s handling of COVID-19. While we anxiously await vaccines, we focus on getting back to work, rebuilding the economy and reopening schools. But Mandel may decline the vaccination, thereby refusing to validate the scientific protocols approved by FDA. If he wants to be a leader, he should not simply jump on — or off — the bandwagon so he can pander to the former president.
In 2019, a journalist surmised that Mandel’s opportunism interferes with his intellectual honesty, citing Mandel’s siding with white supremacists over the Anti-Defamation League and promoting the Hillary Clinton / pizza shop rumor. Ultimately, Mandel lacks integrity requisite of a U.S. senator.
LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER