You mean the guy who (1.) can’t do his job, (2.) is never around to do his job anyway, and (3.) hired a bunch of people as incompetent as he is to be his underlings isn’t wildly popular in Ohio?

Apparently not. Except for among Rushpubliscums, of course, who love stupidity the way Ted Nugent loves a girl who just hit puberty.

 

Ringmaster P.T. Barnum’s famous quote — “I don’t care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right” — isn’t working for Josh Mandel.

Mandel, 34, has endured wince-inducing publicity in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, dinged by various media outlets for everything from handing plum state treasurer’s-office jobs to campaign aides to skipping 14 consecutive meetings of a state board he chairs as treasurer.

But if it’s been a rough start for Mandel’s Senate campaign in terms of newspaper ink, other aspects have been smoother.

A fundraising phenom, Mandel raised about $5.8 million from April 2011 through Feb. 15. Brown raised $6.5 million but had a three-month head start and the advantage of being the incumbent.

Outside groups already have spent about $5 million in negative ads against Brown, eroding his lead in polls. A Quinnipiac University poll late last month showed Brown up 10 points on Mandel, down from 13 points in February. Another poll showed the race neck and neck.

The financial and polling numbers suggest that Mandel will give Brown a fight for his political life, even though the first-term state treasurer from Lyndhurst has endured a spate of negative headlines that could be fodder for TV spots this fall.

“Josh Mandel has gotten off to a little bit of a rocky start after he won the nomination,” said John Green, a University of Akron political scientist. “Part of that has to do with greater press scrutiny that comes in a Senate race.”

Among stories Mandel might have preferred not to read:

• After criticizing his Democratic predecessor, Kevin Boyce, for hiring politically connected people for key slots, Mandel put six of his young campaign workers into important and well-paid positions in the treasurer’s office.

• Of 15 Mandel statements evaluated by The Plain Dealer’s fact-checking arm, “PolitiFact,” seven have been deemed mostly false, false or “pants on fire” false. After Mandel received a “pants on fire” for blaming Brown for Ohio jobs relocating to China, Mandel told the newspaper that he intended to repeat the assertion “again and again” and said he sees no downside to doing so.

• Mandel missed the first 14 meetings of the Ohio Board of Deposit, the board he chairs that oversees how the state invests billions of taxpayer dollars. He sent a surrogate to run those meetings but attended the March meeting himself.

Democrats, who have had a paid staff member devoted to blasting Mandel since March 2011, also have made hay out of Mandel’s fundraising trips to the Bahamas, New York, Hawaii and elsewhere.

 

And yet, the knuckle-dragging Rushpubliscum asshats here will completely ignore that their golden idiot has to go to the Koch brothers on his knees for money because he’s absolutely useless, and vote for him anyway.

They always vote for the most stupid one in the bunch, after all.

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