Josh Mandel has a peculiar problem.  On one hand he needs as much publicity (earned media) as possible to try to beat a guy named Brown in Ohio.  He has to get on as many shows, radio and television alike, to get his message out.

Now, the problem.  Those shows typically like to ask you questions. and oddly enough they expect to get answers.

Josh Mandel doesn’t like answering questions.  He just likes reading campaign talking points (“noun, verb, Marine in Iraq”  rinse – repeat).

We’ve already covered recent events where Josh lost his cool with a tracker from American Bridge (and then lied about it).  Apparently the pressure is still getting to young Josh.  Not only will he not answer very simple questions from a radio show host, he loses his cool when pressed to do so.

Canton’s Ron Ponder had Josh on his 1480 WHBC show yesterday and asked a very simple question about cronyism and hiring his college buddies who were less than qualified for the positions (to put it charitably).  We’ve covered the story of how young Josh got his frat boy buddies hook ups with phat jobs in the Treasurers office.  It’s not a new story, but Ron was right to press Josh on it given how he hammered his opponent Kevin Boyce for the very same thing.

Josh accuses Ron of shilling for Sherrod Brown and frustrates Ron to the point of having to end the interview.  Here is the audio and transcript of the call:


Ponder:  Your college buddy was paid $150,000 in the Treasurer’s Office and Joe Aquilino – I believe you pronounce his name – 26 year old former campaign aide, was named Director of Debt Management, paid $90,000, had no experience in finance and you sent him to a beginner’s course in the subject. How do you answer those charges?

Mandel:  Well first of all Ron, I thought I was going on the Ron Ponder show, not the Sherrod Brown campaign show.

Ron Ponder:  Now wait a minute Josh.  No no no no.  Wait Josh.  Wait Josh.  JOSH.  No Josh.  Josh, you can’t out talk me on my show.  Now listen to me, OK?  I”m non-partisan in this.  I’m asking you questions that people have asked you, and I’m just trying to get answers. I’ll do the same thing with Senator Sherrod Brown so don’t accuse me of being a lackey for Sherrod Brown. I’m just asking you questions that my listeners want to know.

Mandel:  Hey, I’m not accusing you Ron, I’m just telling you it’s what it sounds like.  We’re proud to stand up on the record in our Treasurers Office.  We’ve earned the highest ratings on our bonds.  The highest ratings on our investments.  Our portfolio is up over $2 billion since the day I took office.  For the first time in almost a decade, we’ve earned an upgrade in the Ohio Enterprise…

Ron Ponder:  OK Josh but let’s go back to my question…Josh.  JOSH.  Let’s go back…

Mandel:  I’m answering the question Ron.   We voluntarily cut our budget 2 years in a row including $900,000 in cuts in personnel alone. And so when you wanna talk about someone who’s served himself it’s Sherrod Brown.  This guy went to Washington – and voted himself 6 pay raises.  He voted 36 times to raise our taxes but didn’t pay his own taxes.  And he’s taken tax payer funded trips to Italy, to Mexico, to Hawaii.  On top of that, his staff…

Ron Ponder:  OK Josh.  The question Josh.  We don’t have much time, Josh.  We don’t have much time.  The question is – now it’s a pretty simple question.  When you were running against Kevin Boyce, you accused him of filling the Treasurers Office with his friends and cronies. Now the Democrats are accusing you of the same thing, and I’m just asking you to answer the question about the salaries and the folks you’ve hired. I’m just asking you that question.

Mandel:  Bunch of hogwash Ron, it’s a bunch of hogwash. It’s Sherrod Brown trying to distract from the record.

Ron Ponder:  Josh, is Michael Lord, is Michael Lord your former campaign manager, getting $100,000 from your office, is it yes or no?

Mandel:  Ron we have qualified financial professionals in our office –

Ron Ponder:  Josh is it yes or no?

Mandel:  Sherrod Brown’s the only candidate, the only candidate in this race, his transition director –

Ron Ponder:  Josh just answer the question.  Thanks for the conversation Josh.  I appreciate the time.  The next time you wanna come on and anser some questions, we’ll ask you some questions.  But don’t come on and just use this radio program as a foil to get out your campaign material.  All we wanna do is ask you questions and get some answers, OK?

Mandel:  Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for tuning in to Sherrod Brown for US Senate radio.

Ron Ponder:  Appreciate it Josh.  Hang up on this dude, man.

It’s not surprising to us.  Mandel supporters and the candidate himself have been known to lose their cool in this campaign.  You’ll remember Mandel volunteer and FreedomWorks State Director David Zupan shouting to a camera operated by an American Bridge tracker “Hey Sherrod, F*&k yourself.”

Josh is more than an empty suit.  He’s a loaded weapon of cronyism, corporate shilling, and is completely beholden to special interest money.  He’s been completely Tea Party Palinized™ and is a sad, hollow, lying, poor excuse of a candidate for public office with only personal gain in mind and deserves to get his ass handed to him on November 6th.  Who’s in?

  • Donald

    Sherrod Brown has my vote

  • Man Josh, what are you, 12? That ad about you hiring your buds looks pretty bad for you and it’s been all over the TV and the internet for weeks.

    Didn’t you think that maybe you might get asked about it? And maybe you should have a semi-plausible explanation?

    ‘Cause otherwise you just look like a petulant schmuck who isn’t fit for command, as it were.

    Dude, your best bet now is to try to get out of this fiasco with a shadow of dignity and the possibility that the Sherrod Brown supporters who make up your wife’s family will pass you the green beans at Thanksgiving.

    Just start saying random stuff about how great Ohio is, how much you love it, how wonderful the people are, how beautiful the landscape is, what a rich history it has. Keep doing that until December and maybe you might have a chance at being allowed back inside.

    Otherwise you’ll for sure go down in history as The Liar Mandel, the biggest Putz to ever run for Senate.

  • Think.

    This is the problem with the current Republican Party: Most of their candidates and elected officials are empty-headed puppets who’ve been trained to repeat standard talking points- they are not allowed to share any independent thoughts with the public. They are extremely devoted to their party and its initiatives- to act otherwise would absolutely lead to political self-destruction.
    The thought, that some voters will continue to support them, is just as terrifying as “The Stepford Wives…”

  • JLM452

    I’ve listened to Ron Ponder’s radio program for years. I’ve never heard him to be anything but, in the words of FauxNews, fair and balanced. He’s been tolerant of guests and callers that NEED to be hung up on, so his loss of patience with Young Joshie is something that has to be justified. By the way, Mr. Ponder identifies himself as a Republican so partisanism cannot be charged.

  • kmo

    Just a little background on this radio show. Ron Ponder’s show, in the Canton area, is one of the most open and fair minded talk shows out there. The host Ron Ponder describes himself as a Republican but most importantly gives all sides a forum to present their cases. As shown in this clip, the host does a very good job of trying to get a straight answer to no avail. Ron Ponder also asks the pertinent and timely questions to any candidate to give him or her the opportunity to clear or clarify any given charge or criticism. Josh Mandel not only blew his chance to answer his critics- he showed his temperamental, childish character.


    I don’t understand Josh Mandel. He could be a moderate Republican or principled Conservative like Mr. Republican Robert A. Taft who I have disagreements with but I respect. Instead, he becomes a Tea Party hack who thinks Koch money can help him win elections.

  • Thanks for the context, kmo! I love our readers.

  • BT

    One of the worst political ads I’ve heard has been Josh Mandel’s (ok, some org ‘not endorsed by…) where the voice over actually says ‘Sherrod Brown is the most liberal… in the world.” I thought it was a farce on terrible political ads, but I’m afraid it was really intended to be persuasive rather than humorous.

  • Mr. Spanky

    The problem with Ron Ponder is that he is a black. So Josh probably couldn’t imagine him being a Republican, much less having a brain in his body. You should probably look at his campaign contributors (law firms, investment bankers, financial advisers) to see who does business with the Treasurer’s office. While they may not be able to contribute to the Treasurer because of legal restrictions, they can contribute to a Senate race. I would not be surprised to learn that Josh is shaking down everyone he can.

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