The Mandel campaign’s permanent aversion to the truth flared up again this month and it looks like some people noticed this time. Not once, not twice, but three times Josh Mandel and his friends were called out for airing attack ads that were called “ridiculous” to “inaccurate” by non-partisan, third-party fact checking organizations. Three times in one month! In hockey we call that a hat trick.
In one particular mind numbing example Josh Mandel took to the airwaves and claimed that Senator Sherrod Brown was “egging on” the Occupy Wall Street protesters to spit on police officers and defecate on police cars. This statement was so outlandish that the Plain Dealer’s own Politifact gave him a “Pants on Fire” rating and concluded that the Mandel had no evidence to support this claim and that it was “ridiculous”.
I’m not a lawyer but I’m going to say that Mandel’s comments were a deliberate attempt to deviate from telling the truth. Also known as lying. This wasn’t an instance where Mandel kind of got his facts wrong. No, he simply made up facts to attack and smear Sen. Brown because he clearly will say anything to score political points.
Politifact wasn’t done with Josh Mandel yet though. The fact-checking organization found serious flaws in an ad run by the 60 Plus Association attacking Sen. Brown’s record of protecting Medicare. The ad featured Republican stooge Pat Boone, of Issue 2 fame, falsely claiming that the health care reform measures of 2010 would cut Medicare and lead to rationing. A claim that Politifact found to be “inaccurate” and “ridiculous”.
To round it out, the fact checking site Factcheck.org also found “problematic” claims in an ad attacking Sen. Brown from the Chamber of Commerce this month. The secretly funded group aired an ad falsely claiming that Sen. Brown had voted to raise taxes, when in reality he voted to end tax breaks for 5 of the largest oil companies. Or to put it another way, Sen. Brown ended tax loopholes specific to oil companies who are currently making billions in profits on the backs of Ohioans at the pumps. Only in the fantasy world that the Chamber of Commerce lives in is that a vote to raise taxes on Ohioans.
In a world where we have grown accustomed to politicians saying anything to get noticed these acts are still outrageously false and misleading. For too long Josh Mandel has gotten a free pass from the press for his boyish, ‘ahh shucks’ demeanor. With these three scathing rebuttals of claims made by him and his supporters hopefully the picture of Josh Mandel will start to come into focus. Hopefully Ohioans will start to see him for the politican he is – a man who will say anything, no matter how questionable, to score political points.