Friday, February 18, 2005

Ohio Republicans, Round 2

Less than two years before Ohio's 2006 gubernatorial race and the Republican candidates are at it again.

At a 2005 Associated Press forum, the three Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidates took potshots at each other. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell started it off.
"My constitutional amendment has been maligned by people who haven't read it," he said in response to a question about Taft's budget calling for a cut to local government aid.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro responded.
Of the 20 states with some sort of restraints in place, Petro said, "This one (Blackwell's) is probably the most gimmicky of all."
And not to be left out, State Auditor Betty Montgomery made sure to get her point in too.

Later, as Montgomery started answering the day's last question, on the state's Third Frontier technology investment program, she realized she hadn't brought up the issue of collecting on Medicaid overpayments.

"I'm going to do a Ken Blackwell for a moment and divert," she said, before making her point.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Michael Coleman was in northern Ohio talking about the importance of lower taxes and decrying a proposed introduction of parking fees at state parks.

UPDATE: The Cincinnati Enquirer has more fun quotes.
Montgomery managed to jab both of her opponents at once - noting that her office is more productive today than when Petro ran it three years ago, while also criticizing Blackwell's plan as "doing government by autopilot."

Blackwell called Montgomery's autopilot statement "foolish."

"Wait a minute, this sounds like a Jerry Springer show," Montgomery interjected.
Ohio Republicans better get the act together quickly or they will be the sideshow even after Springer enters the race.

Not a good sign, and no reason to believe the rhetoric will tone down.