How radioactive is SB 5?  It’s so radioactive that Josh Mandel feels more comfortable putting himself at the right of the Ohio Right-to-Life in endorsing HB 125, the so-called “heartbeat” abortion ban bill, even though he’s taken no public stand on SB 5.  Mandel has all but announced that he is the likely GOP candidate to take on Sherrod Brown’s Senate seat next year reveals as his first public policy as a candidate a bill so extreme on abortion that the Ohio Right to Life says they cannot endorse it because it is so patently unconstitutional.

This shows you what impact a misreading of the PPP poll showing Ken Blackwell with a statistically insignificant lead in the GOP primary of all candidates tested has had on Mandel.  He’s gone even further right to avoid being flanked by Ken Blackwell, who very well may not even run.  As a result, Mandel can be painted as an out-of-touch social conservative extremists right out of the gate.  It’s amateurish for Mandel’s first policy position since all but announcing a Senate bid is the public embrace of a bill that has gotten so controversial the reason Mandel and others are even being asked to embrace it publicly is to try to put pressure on Speaker Batchelder to bring it to a floor vote (who has indicated publicly not to expect any such vote as it may not even have the votes to pass the House now).

WSYX in Columbus’s story shows how Lynn Watchman and his pro-life zealots are trying to suggest there’s a wave of public opinion clamoring for this bill:

“I don’t think there’s a bill before the legislature with more support than the Heartbeat Bill,” said Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action. 

I think that tells you all you need to know about the popularity of the Republican’s legislative agenda in Ohio, if HB 125 is their most POPULAR piece of legislation.  SB 5 clearly isn’t more popular.  If it were, then wouldn’t Josh Mandel come out publicly for it before this piece of legislation?

Mandel ran to the right afraid of the shadow Ken Blackwell and his rather unimpressive showing in a PPP poll.  So much that Mandel would willingly put himself seen as to the right of Ohio Right to Life on extreme social issues rather than framing himself as a candidate for positive economic change.  Enjoy sharing the stage with Ken Blackwell, Josh.  He’ll drag you down like he did the entire Ohio Republican Party in 2006.