Today the SCPR adds a widget in the blog sidebar from PoliFact.com.
According to Wikipedia:
PolitiFact.com is a project operated by the Tampa Bay Times, in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups...." They publish original statements and their evaluations on the PolitiFact.com website, and assign each a "Truth-O-Meter" rating. The ratings range from "True" for completely accurate statements to "Pants on Fire" (from the taunt "Liar, liar, pants on fire") for outright lies.Stark Countians who will continue to be a part of the 16th congressional district should keep abreast on who is telling the truth and who is not in the square off between incumbent Congresspersons Jim Renacci and Betty Sutton.
At the conclusion of this blog, the SCPR shares a PoliFact report showing that the National Republican Congressional Caucus ("NRCC" - which, of course, Congressman Renacci is a part of) has started the campaign with a "mostly false" political allegation against Sutton.
FIRST, WHY ARE RENACCI AND SUTTON RUNNING AGAINST ONE ANOTHER?
Sutton was forced into the race against Renacci because her seat was eliminated in terms of being moved from where she lives (Copley in Summit County).
Sutton could have run again in the 13th because the U.S. Constitution does not require a congressperson to live in the district they run in. But as a practical matter it is unlikely that the "new" 13th (population centered in Mahoning, Trumbull and Portage Counties and Youngstown) is going to elect a Summit County resident congressperson.
WHY THE POLITICAL MUD IS FLYING ALREADY?
A recent poll shows Renacci and Sutton pretty much in a "dead heat" with, perhaps, a little bit of an edge to Sutton.
This development was unexpected by the Republicans. The Ohio Legislature is required (as are all 50 state legislatures) by the U.S. Constitution to redraw congressional districts every ten years to adjust for populations shifts.
Ohio lost population in the 2010 census and therefore is losing two congressional seats. The Ohio Legislature is controlled by the Republicans and accordingly they have Ohio's lines to favor Republican candidates (a process call "gerrymandering").
So the Renacci/Sutton poll has to be a big concern to the likes of Republican U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine to say nothing of Stark GOP Chairman Jeff Matthews whose wife Heidi has a high paying job on the Renacci congressional office staff.
Start defining Betty Sutton in a false way.
The only truth to the allegation was that Sutton along with 12 Republicans voted against a Republican bill called the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act because it contained - along with a prohibition of welfare recipients accessing their banked welfare funds from ATMs possibly located at "casinos, strip clubs and liquor stores" - provisions such as:
- requiring an accelerated review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (from Canada to Texas),
- restrictions on unemployment compensation benefits,
- TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) reform,
- a federal worker pay freeze (including congresspersons),
- defunding of certain aspects of the Affordable Health Care Act, and
- the imposition of restrictions on the EPA.
As far the SCPR is concerned, Renacci's participation in the slam on Sutton by virtue of his being a member of the NRCC and not having disassociated himself since its publication on December 13th suggests that he is engaging in political sleaze and ought to be held accountable by Stark County voters living - in the main - in Jackson, Lake and Lawrence Township.
In a close election, Stark Countians can be a difference maker.
To be fair, Stark Countians should be on the lookout for Sutton appearances (as the SCPR will be and be reporting and commenting upon - yours truly lives in the 16th) on PoliFact.com to determine whether or not she stoops to the disappointingly low level that Renacci has.