With the July 2013 semiannual campaign finance report in the rearview mirror, a lot of attention is turning to the 2014 elections. And as with any election, the rumor mill is heating up and two unlikely Democrats have emerged as prime targets.
And not by Republicans.
According to Statehouse news reports (subscription required), Democrat lawmakers Rep. John Barnes Jr. and Rep. Bill Patmon are being targeted by potential Democrat primary challengers. Which prompts the question, why? When measured against their Democrat counterparts, their voting records match or best many of their colleagues:
- Ohio Federation of Teachers: Barnes & Patmon score the same 75% as Democrat leaders Rep. Armond Budish, Rep. Connie Pillich and Sen. Nina Turner. They score higher than Sen. Tom Sawyer (50%) and Rep. Barbara Boyd (25%).
- American Conservative Union: Barnes & Patmon (33%) rank lower in this ranking of conservative credentials than Democrat Rep. Kevin Boyce (38%) and, again, Rep. Boyd and Rep. Pillich (50%).
- National Rifle Association: Barnes (17%) and Patmon (0%) rank lower in this ranking of gun-rights supporters than Democrats than (again) Rep. Pillich (33%), and even the chief Democrat Pirate himself, Rep. Chris Redfern (67%).
- Ohio Chamber of Commerce: Barnes (53%) and Patmon (42%) rank lower in this ranking of business-friendly legislators than Democrat Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney (70%) and (again!) Rep. Pillich (64%).
Based on these four surveys, one might wonder why it’s not Rep. Connie Pillich that’s on the chopping block, given she consistently ranks as a more conservative legislator than both Barnes and Patmon. Instead, she’s being tauted as a Democrat rising-star in her run for Treasurer of State.
So what is the reason that Democrats are threatening to eat their own?
Would you believe it was spurred by a study conducted by one of the most liberal think tanks in the state? According to Innovation Ohio, Barnes & Patmon voted for the “Kasich Agenda” 79% and 77% of the time, respectively. Without diving into just how ludicrous it is to develop a voting record on an “agenda,” one has to wonder how they came up with such a frivolous scoring system, when other organizational voting records contradict the results.
But apparently that’s the test to be a Democrat in Ohio these days: if you vote for anything supported by Governor John Kasich, you need not apply. It’s no wonder liberals were recently protesting a bipartisan education bill championed by former Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.
It’s not even about ideological purity anymore—no it’s solely about opposing Kasich, as the examples keep piling up.
At this point, Governor Kasich could cure cancer, solve world hunger and buy everyone on earth a puppy, and there would be nothing but crying and gnashing of teeth among Ohio Democrats. It’s no longer about doing what’s best for Ohio and its citizens; no, it’s about scoring cheap political points, no matter the cost.
And God help anyone—even fellow Democrats—if they stand in the way of the political rhetoric.