The Rink Report: 2nd Congressional District GOP Primary

By Collin Rink

In this 2nd Edition of The Rink Report, we are examining the 2nd
Congressional District Republican Primary race, which is just days
away. This race is being fought between Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, and
Bob McEwen. Buckeye Firearms Association has endorsed Congresswoman

Challenger Bob McEwen, a Congressman from the Sixth Congressional
District from 1981 until the start of 1993 seems to be in a lot of
trouble in this boistrous race. According to a Survey USA poll released
recently, McEwen trails Congresswoman Schmidt by 23%. This follows a
generally bad period for McEwen, after the Cincinnati Enquirer raised
questions on Easter Sunday about McEwen's possibly illegal practice of
living in Virginia while voting in Ohio.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

Records showed that McEwen
registered to vote, and voted from homes owned by women with whom he did
not live, all the while living in Fairfax Station, Virginia. McEwen
bought a Second District condominium apartment in Anderson Township
about a year ago. Also coming to light was the fact that McEwen was a
lobbyist for the government of Eritrea. Eritrea, according to the
Cleveland Plain Dealer, has a record of persecuting Christians and
spying on religious services. McEwen, who was paid $15,000 a month for
his lobbying services, claimed that his residence was in Virginia on
Department of Justice documents related to working for a foreign
entity. According to the Plain Dealer, McEwen said that his lobbying
efforts were related to stabilizing the Etiopian-Eritrean border, after
a war.

Challenger McEwen, a former Congressman who turned his connections into
a lucrative career as a Virginia/DC based lobbyist raised $164,860 last
reporting period, and a total of $166,360 for this election cycle. The
McEwen Campaign spent $162,515 during the reporting period, and a total
of $166,517 for the cycle. According to The Rink Report's reading of
the filings, the McEwen campaign's major expenses included $74,085 to
"Strategic Media Group" in Washington. Major McEwen endorsements
include Phil Burress, and Jack Kemp.. McEwen had $52,920 on hand as of
the end of the reporting period.

It is interesting to note the timing of certain expenses. On April 3,
Survey USA and WCPO released a poll that showed Congresswoman Schmidt
leading McEwen by 25% of the vote. The very next day, McEwen paid $7100
to TelOpinion Research, a polling company. The Report has not seen this
poll, and assumes that the McEwen campaign chose not to release it. Two
days later, the McEwen campaign paid $3750 to Zogby, another polling
company. The results of that poll were released, and showed
Congresswoman Schmidt leading Bob McEwen by only a few percentage
points. However, the results are suspect and the poll has largely been
discredited by the fact that nearly 25% of the respondents identified
themselves as not being Republican, among other sampling issues.

Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, who has been endorsed by the Buckeye
Firearms Association, raised $115,663 this past period and a total of
$305,721 this cycle. The Schmidt Campaign spent about $160,000 during
the period and a total of about $287,000 for the election cycle. Major
expenses included $57,422 for TV advertising. Congresswoman Schmidt's
major endorsements include nearly every Pro-Life organization, Speaker
of the House Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner, and the
National Rifle Association. Congresswoman Schmidt had $116,985 on hand.

Conclusion: Despite attacks on and questions about Congresswoman
Schmidt's educational record and endorsement flaps with Congressman
Chabot, it appears that Congresswoman Schmidt will handily defeat the
challenger, Bob McEwen. McEwen will have a tough time making up 20 or
more points in the polls, especially given his funding disadvantage and
the revelations about his residency, voter registration history, and
lobbying efforts. The big question is whether certain McEwen supporters
will urge Republicans to not vote in the general election, like they did
in the Special Election held last year. Buckeye Firearms Association
urges a vote for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.

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