Op-Ed: No Vote for DeWine

By Jim Irvine

I have received several comments since I was quoted in the Toledo Blade calling Senator Mike DeWine (RINO) “one of the few politicians who I can’t respect as a man.” Some fellow Republicans are upset that I have proclaimed that I will not vote for him, but many more are echoing my concerns.

The story is about the Governors' race, where both Ken Blackwell (R) and Ted Strickland (D) strongly support your right to own and shoot guns, and the U.S. Senate race where neither DeWine nor Sherrod Brown (D) acknowledge your right to self-defense or the tools needed to survive a criminal attack. This is a shameful stand on its own, but particularly hypocritical for DeWine, who claims to be “pro-life.” This is a well-written article and I encourage you to click here to read Jim Tankersley’s story.

From the Republican Party’s perspective, which is concerned with retaining control of the U.S. Senate, the “R” beside DeWine’s name on the ballot is all a Republican voter should need. The party, like the Democratic Party, cares about power and control, but the voter’s tend to care about things like issues and principles, and even values. There are some good reasons to vote for DeWine, but from my perspective, there are more compelling reasons not to.

In a 2000 letter to me, DeWine stated:

    I consistently have supported measures that would not impede a law-abiding citizen’s ability to acquire and own a firearm, while weighing the concerns of law enforcement officers and others who deal with gun violence.

I’ve got news for DeWine; those who are robbed, beaten, raped or murdered by a criminal are forced to “deal with gun violence.” So are the family members left trying to pick up the pieces. DeWine has been working hard to render these people helpless victims. I’ve been working hard to enable them to be survivors. And I want every survivor to be a winner in a deadly confrontation. Survivors go to the hospital after the attack; winners go home to their families, or perhaps to jail if DeWine had his way. Clearly, DeWine and I have differing agendas, but we also have different core values.

Last year, DeWine voted against S397, the protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

From the Library of Congress:

    Title: A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others.

From the National Association of Manufacturers:

    Preventing Regulation Through Litigation (S. 397) Vote on S. 397, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Approved 65-31 on July 29, 2005 (Roll No. 219). The NAM supported the bill, which would forestall lawsuits brought with the intent of shutting down a legitimate and legal industry, while allowing those with merit to proceed. Signed into law (P.L. 109-92) on Oct. 26, 2005. NAM POSITION: Yes.

Suing a manufacturer out of business because a criminal stole a properly working product, and then used it to kill someone, makes no sense. Shutting down Ford and GM because someone stole a car out of your driveway and killed someone in a drunk driving accident makes no sense. Stopping such nonsense against firearms manufactures is what S.397 accomplished. DeWine sides with nonsense.

DeWine tried to justify his vote by saying it would prevent people who were injured by defective products from suing the manufacturer. S.397 does no such thing. He said it would prevent prosecution of people who knowingly sold guns to be used in crimes. S.397 does no such thing.

The Senator is involved in the fight against the very tools our military uses to secure freedom around the world, while claiming to support our troops. Last month he earned the first endorsement by the Brady Campaign, the crusaders against the right to defend ones life with guns, but claims to be pro-life. He talks about 9/11 and terror on his web site, but has yet to work to improve the armed airline pilots program. He is a hypocrite.

Knowing the Senator has twisted the truth on such simple concepts, I wonder how many other issues he misleads his constituents about because he knows that he has failed the people in Ohio in so many ways, that even a nut case like Sherrod Brown could beat him this year.

I vote “for” good candidates, not “against” bad ones. I find little to respect in DeWine, either as a candidate, or as a man. The Republican Party’s cries to support him to “maintain control of the Senate” are as misguided now as they were in supporting Jim Jeffords in 2000.

We all agree a child being abused every night is unacceptable. If that same child is then abused three times a week, we can see it’s “better” but still wholly unacceptable. Cries that DeWine is “better than the alternative” may be true in some cosmic sense, but that does not make him an acceptable candidate.

I voted for Senator DeWine six years ago, but he will never get a vote from me again.

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