Schmidt's new SUV fires readers up
Thursday's Enquirer ran this story about Rep. Jean Schmidt's new red SUV (pictured at right) that runs on E85, a blend of ethanol and gas. According to Schmidt, she bought the car because she doesn't want to send any more of her money to the Persian Gulf.
The story started after Schmidt e-mailed this weekly column to reporters late Wednesday. (Scroll to the bottom to read the last paragraph.)
Since running in the paper, we've received more than two dozen e-mails about the story. Many wondered what good it did for Schmidt to buy a car that runs on E85 when there aren't any ethanol stations anywhere near her district. That's a good point. But, actually, Milford-based Lykins Oil plans to open a new ethanol station near Schmidt's home in Miami Township later this month or in early September. (This detail was edited out of the story.)
Here are some other comments about the story:
Columbus: "It’s ironic that Schmidt is glorifying her SUV. The gas consumption of SUV’s are a main reason why fuel prices are so high. It’s the demand that drive prices. "
Undated: "You've got to be kidding! 'She has struck her own blow on the war on terrorism.' How much were you paid to write this piece of junk? ... I guess Schmidt buying a nice big SUV puts her right up there with all of our troops fighting and dying around the world truly fighting terrorism. "
Anderson Township: "What a pathetic piece of showmanship on the part of corrupt Republicans and their partisan media! Who cares about this moronic politician's choice of cars? With the Republican record on environmental concerns, this doesn't even come close to making amends!"
West Chester: "Jean Schmidt's new Tahoe is one of the biggest fuel hogs in GM's entire fleet. If it is a 4WD running on E85, the estimated mileage is 11 city and 14 highway mpg. And that requires a light foot and not exceeding 65 mpg on the highway. I am not impressed with her 'sacrifice' for the country."
Cincinnati: "I can't help myself here. I just read your article about Jean Schmitt in the Cincinnati Enquirer, and that was thiry seconds of my life I'll never get back. Frankly the most shocking part about this story, is that she doesn't drive a broom where ever she goes!! Here is a idea for your next story, write a story telling us how much she cares about our enviroment."
Undated II: "It takes an incredibly inept politician to stage a photo-op claiming she is going to use less 'Persian Gulf Oil' by purchasing a vehicle that gets 13 mpg on gasoline and even less on ethanol; but we’ve seen Jean Schmidt with her foot in her mouth before when she had to retract her statements on the House floor so maybe this is the norm."
Cincinnati II: "Victoria Wulsin's remarks, 'Schmidt's purchase smacks of insincerity,' do not seem to indicate Ms. Wulsin understands ethanol any more than Congresswoman Schmidt understands it. Indeed, if anything Schmidt's Chevy Tahoe purchase (and intention) is very sincere yet perhaps very ignorant. ... Frankly, I think her purchase and her reasons why make her seem somewhat 'out of touch.'"
What do you think?
To add fuel to this vehicle of a story... Here is a press release sent out by the Wulsin campaign the day the story about Schmidt's new SUV ran:
SCHMIDT CONTINUES POSTURING, DOES NOTHING FOR OHIO
Congresswoman buys luxury ethanol car, but voting record is 100% pro-Big Oil
Cincinnati, Ohio – Continuing her record of political grandstanding, Rep. Jean Schmidt touted her purchase of a luxury ethanol 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe yesterday after having spent a year as Big Oil's handmaiden. Schmidt has received a 0 % rating from the League of Conservation Voters and has voted for oil subsidies that even President Bush opposed.
On Wednesday, Schmidt sent out a taxpayer-financed email to her constituents that said "I recently purchased a new ethanol powered vehicle as my daily driver…We have had decades of talk. It is now time to act in the best interests of our country."
"Schmidt talks about her car, but her votes have been pro-Big Oil and anti-farmer" said Wulsin campaign manager Mary Huttlinger. "Voters don't care what kind of car Schmidt drives, they care about how she votes."
On May 24, Schmidt voted for $50 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies for big oil companies to perform deep-sea drilling. Even President Bush opposed those subsidies, saying that "With oil at more than $50 a barrel...energy companies do not need taxpayers'-funded incentives to explore for oil and gas." The Administration sought to strip the subsidies from its FY 2007 budget. (HR 5427, Vote #201, /24/2006).
On October 7, 2005, Schmidt voted against clamping down on price gouging by oil companies, even as her constituents were paying huge prices at the pump and for their home heating bills. (HR 3893 , Vote #517).
On October 7, 2005, Schmidt voted for an energy bill that limited the use of cleaner fuels and hampered the production of less-polluting low sulfur diesel fuel (H.R. 3893, Roll Call 519).