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Ohio


Mandel promises he'll quit after 12 years; Brown scoffs
U.S. Senate challenger says he has three fixes for problems caused by Washington insiders
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


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Karen Kasler
 
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The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate has taken some heat for not being specific about his plans if he’s elected. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports today, he released some ideas – and immediately was blasted by the incumbent.

Mandel vs. Brown fight continues

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Abridged: Mandel vs. Brown fight continues

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State Treasurer Josh Mandel has been running on a “Washington outsider” theme, and now has put forth three ideas that he says will reform Congress: Requiring 12-year term limits for Congress, ceasing Congressional pay at the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 if lawmakers don’t pass a federal budget, and forcing them to forfeit their pensions if they leave the House or Senate to become lobbyists. 

“These are three proposals that we believe will help solve the problem of hyper-partisanship in Washington, also solve the problem of career politicians thinking they can live by a different set of rules: term limits, no budget/no pay, and eliminating pensions for those politicians who decide they’re going to be lobbyists.”

Mandel says the term limits proposal in particular was inspired by his opponent, Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, but that he’s only part of the problem.

Brown was in the U.S. House for seven two-year terms before he was elected to the Senate in 2006.

Brown: Mandel should focus on jobs
Brown, meanwhile, was in Columbus to announce a proposal that would prohibit federal loans and grants to go to companies that send call center jobs out of the U.S., and would require companies to notify customers if they send service calls overseas. And while Brown once endorsed 12-year term limits for members of Congress, he says none of Mandel’s proposals will create a single job. 

“You can talk about distractions, you can talk about all the things that my opponent has talked about. But the fact is, I get up every day and do my job and fight for Americans’ jobs. He wakes up every day thinking about the next office he’s going to run for.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that states can’t impose term limits on their federal lawmakers, and a U.S. constitutional amendment limiting terms for members of Congress that same year was rejected. So for now, Mandel has this proposal, and his pledge that he’ll hold himself to it.

Brown points out that Mandel has run for four offices in seven years. 
“I look at his promises as pretty empty. He made a promise that he would serve out his term as state treasurer when he ran, and within a few weeks he was running for the U.S. Senate. He’s clearly shown … that he can’t be trusted.”

Mandel: You have my word
Asked about that, Mandel, who notes Brown has spent 38 years in state and federal office, insists he’ll stick to his own term limit proposal. 

“You have my word; I will uphold it. I believe in Washington right now there’s a serious, serious problem with career politicians there.”

Mandel says his term-limits plan would be similar to the one Ohio voters approved for state lawmakers. That means a representative who’s served 12 years can still run for the U.S. Senate, and then run for the House again when that Senate term limit is maxed.

As for Mandel’s other proposals, Brown says the Budget Control Act that lawmakers passed last year is stronger than an actual  budget. It raised the debt ceiling and created $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that will hit at the end of the year unless changes are made.

And he says he has no interest in becoming a lobbyist once he leaves Congress.

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