The journey from Josh Mandel, hard-working Student Council President to Josh Mandel, racist Islamaphobe has been a pretty short one.

In 1999 Josh was a Junior at OSU and he was just getting started in politics. He was elected to his second term as OSU Student President that year. At the time he had no idea what he wanted the be when he grew up, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t a politician.

“I don’t enjoy the political part of the job. I enjoy the Ohio State part and the service part, but I don’t enjoy the political part,” he said. “I know what I want to do. I don’t know what I want to be. Maybe it would be helping others with problems.”

Oh how quickly things change.

Somewhere between student council meetings and the race for State Treasurer, Josh Mandel lost his way. He’s gone from “I just want to help people with their problems” to “vote for me because my opponent is a scary, Muslim, black man!” in a few short years.

I am, of course, talking about Mandel’s latest ad. And so is everyone else (and not in a good way)…

Joe Hallett says that Mandel’s ad “sticks out as the scummiest so far” this election cycle. “Mandel apparently wants Boyce’s job so badly that he is willing to resort to bigotry to get it.”

The Toledo Blade editors went so far as to threaten to pull back their endorsement. “Campaigning by innuendo is distasteful and irresponsible” they said, insisting that Josh “should cancel his offensive campaign ad immediately” while reminding him that “political support is not written in stone.”

Even has picked up on the fact that Josh Mandel “falsely suggests in a new ad that his black (and Christian) Democratic opponent is Muslim.”

I haven’t seen any polling on this race but even if Mandel was really behind (which I doubt he is) there is NEVER a reason to run crap like this. Not only is it not true, but it makes this relatively likable candidate look like a completely racist asshole.