On the day The Hill reports that Crossroads GPS is making a major Senate race ad buy that doesn’t include Ohio, Josh Mandel’s campaign releases this “game changer” of an ad:

Mandel’s ad makes just four points about him:

  1. Josh Mandel has been hard at work as a State Treasurer… they even have footage of him working so hard.
  2. Mandel “earned” Ohio a AAA rating, the highest rating in the nation.
  3. He’s cut his budget by $2 million
  4. He’s been named “Watchdog of the Treasury.”

Hours later, the ad is already starting to fall apart.

First, the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out that the ad’s footage of Mandel hard at work in the State Treasurer’s office is recycled footage from Mandel’s 2010 State Treasurer campaign.  Mandel has built a reputation as a guy who would only find a way to the office he was elected only if he were told there was a fundraiser there.  And they have no footage, none, of him actually doing his job, so they have to recycle campaign footage before he even had the job.

Second, PolitiFact points out that Mandel’s claim is “mostly true,” but misleading because the word “earned” suggests Mandel has done something unique for a fund that has had the same rating for the 19 years over multiple State Treasurers.  In other words, it’s no achievement at all.

Third, Mandel doesn’t set his budget.  The legislature did.  But Mandel did cut expenses by firing experienced folks in the State Treasurer’s office so he could justify giving his political campaign hacks huge raises by saying they were serving multiple jobs (that they were so unqualified for Mandel then had to spend State money sending them to remedial courses on their jobs).

Fourth, as Talking Points Memo pointed out (before we could even get this post up), Mandel won the “Watchdog of the Treasury” award in 2007, not as State Treasurer.  It was an award from what now appears to be a defunct conservative group that conservative blogger Matt Naugle noted at the time seemed to exist for no other reason that to give Republican state lawmakers this award to use in their campaign literature.

Four layers of absolute #FAIL by Josh Mandel.   Since Mandel loves made up awards so much, we’re proud to bestow him the 2012 Election Facepalm of the Year Award:

Congratulations, Josh! You’ve earned it!