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Sunday, January 15, 2006

OH-18: Ney Resigns Cmte. Chairmanship; Other Shoe in Mid-Drop

Posted by DavidNYC

As expected, today Rep. Bob Ney stepped down (allegedly temporarily) as chairman of the House Administration Committee. Pretty embarrassing that the head of the committee responsible for House governance and oversight is so wickedly corrupt, but that's the modern GOP for ya. This says to me that it can't be long before Ney gets indicted. With Abramoff singing like Maria Callas at karaoke night, Ney's gonna wanna cooperate, too, lest he face an actual jail sentence - that is, if there's even anyone for him to give up. Sometimes it's lonely indeed at the top.

Anyhow, I haven't focused much on the electoral fallout of all this, but nothing could be better for a potential Democratic challenger than a badly wounded, criminally indicted incumbent - OH-18 could be the Rust Belt version of TX-22. The big difference is that this district, while strongly GOP, is nowhere near as Republican as DeLay's: It went 57-43 for Bush. A tough margin to overcome, but within the realm of imagination. (Democrat Tim Holden's PA-17, for instance, was 58-42.)

According to the DCCC website, three people have filed to take on Ney: Zack Space, Joe Sulzer, and Jeff Woollard. What have you heard about these folks?

Posted at 08:45 PM in 2006 Elections - House | Technorati

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As I've pointed out elsewhere, Dan Rostenkowski was busted for a much tamer scandal and managed to lose a northern Chicago Congressional district much more Democrat than Ney's is Republican. I can't imagine that the voters of Chillicothe, Zanesville and New Philadelphia, Ohio, are so married to the Republican Party that they would re-elect this guy. My only fear is that he isn't coming to the same conclusion and decides to retire.

And by my arithmatic that area that makes up Ney's current district narrowly went for Bill Clinton in 1996. It can be done....

I don't know anything about the Dem candidates, but most people seem to believe that Joe Sulzer is the frontrunner. And Superribbie's House race analysis made it sound like he was probably the strongest Dem running for a GOP-held seat in Ohio.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 15, 2006 10:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A couple things about the Rostenkowski comparison (which I've also written about previously): His district was indeed more Dem than OH-18 is GOP, but not terribly much more (Clinton over Bush by 18% in 1992). And the guy who beat him lost the very next election. And, of course, IOKIYAR.

But, all that said, as you note, the check-kiting "scandal," while it looked bad, was utter bullshit compared to the Abramoff stuff. Ney should definitely go down for this crap. And also, I think Dems are generally better at holding GOP-leaning seats than the other way around.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 15, 2006 11:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Keep in mind though that Clinton beat Bush by 18 points in 1992 when there were three candidates pulling in good numbers. Any information on what Kerry beat Bush by there in 2004 (or even what Dukakis beat Bush-41 by for a more time-appropriate comparison)?

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 03:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry beat Bush by 67-33 in IL-05 (and I believe the district is still pretty much the same as it was, even after the 2000 round of redistricting). Don't have Dukakis-Bush pere numbers. What are you trying to get at, though?

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 01:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Clinton beat Dole by a 63/30 margin in IL-5 in 1996, Gore beat Bush by a 63/33 margin.

The 51/33 margin in 1992 appears to be an aberration, probably due to a lot of Democrats voting for Perot.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 02:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, basically I'm saying what RBH just did....that Perot's strong numbers in 1992 diluted Clinton's margin. The 18-point margin Clinton pulled off in 1992 was much softer than any Democrat has scored in the three elections since, thus making Rostenkowski's defeat there all the more striking compared to Ney's less partisan district.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 03:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Indeed. The 1992 numbers are a bit hard to use because of Perot. I keep forgetting that while national exit polls showed an even split between Perot voters (ie, a third would have voted for Clinton, a third for Bush, and a third other or stay home), in any given district, that split it not likely to hold up.

The 1992 results were 51-33-16. What do you think is the best way to filter out the Perot "noise"? If you apply the Clinton-Bush split to the Perot number, you wind up with about a 21- or 22-point difference. Big, but not quite as big as subsequent margins.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 03:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, there's probably no good way to simply erase the Perot factor from 1992 calculations, but what usually do when crunching partisan numbers is simply ignore it, putting Clinton and Bush on 50-50 footing. While their vote totals are the same, the loss of Perot's 16% from the overall equation would make Clinton's margin grow (to about 21% if my assumption is correct)...to the point that it better reflects traditional partisan allegiance than 51-33-16.

Perot almost certainly took away more Clinton voters than Bush since IL-05 is so Democratic, meaning that this methodology is still likely to lowball Democratic strength in the district. Furthermore, IL-05 may simply be more Democratic now than it was in 1992. Most urban districts have become more Democratic over the course of the 1990's and early 2000's, not to mention more racially diverse, which is also probably the case in IL-05.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 04:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Regarding the Democrats, first Jeff Woollard is not a factor. The two prime candidates are Zack Space and Joe Sulzer. The Republicans want Joe Sulzer to win the primary because he has a lot of baggage from being a State Represenative. He lost reelection because of his votes and Clintonlike behavor. Zack Space is not as experienced but is a well established Law Director in the district's largest county. His wife is a very popular judge that was recently reelected by more than 25 points.

Zack Space is going to win the primary because he lives in the northern part of the district and that is where 1.) all the population lives and 2.) where all the Democrats live. He should win the primary by at least 10 points. He has also done an impressive job of using the Internet. Several Democratic organizations have been sending out emails urging people to sign a petition on his site, he had ran google ads, he is raising money online, and he has a dang good web site. Being a web guy like me, I like to see that!

Posted by: comalog [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 04:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Candidate Jeff Woollard (D) is the only candidate of the three democratic contenders for Ney's seat to offer anything more than typical business as usual rhetoric.

The thrust of his campaign does not center on the ethical disgrace engulfing Congressman Ney - but rather on trying to head off the coming financial meltdown in the Federal Government should prudent corrective action fail to materialize.

I see no sign of slowing momentum here.

Recent local press:



Posted by: Fiscal Responsibility [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 16, 2006 07:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment