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Monday, March 03, 2008

Meanwhile, on the west side...

The Kentucky Enquirer's own Patrick Crowley did this preview for National Journal, a respected Washington magazine:

West Side Story: Chabot, Driehaus Talk Up Local Roots

CINCINNATI -- Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, doesn't get passes.

Since winning southern Ohio's 1st Congressional District seat in 1994, Chabot, a former city and county official, has been targeted time after time and beaten back every challenge.

Some of the wins were big, such as a 65-35 victory over Democrat Greg Harris in 2002, but often they are squeakers, such as his 53-47 percent victory over Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls in 1998 or his 52-48 percent win over Cincinnati City Council member John Cranley in 2006.

But this year, with state Rep. Steve Driehaus as their candidate, Democrats believe they have their best chance to take Chabot out.

"We've thrown some good people at Chabot over the years," said Tim Burke, Democratic Party chairman in Hamilton County, which the district takes in along with parts of neighboring Butler County. "And he's managed to survive every one of them.

"Steve is the strongest candidate we've ever thrown out there," Burke said.

Democrats are optimistic that their popular governor, Ted Strickland; a strong presidential candidate in either Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and a viable contender will provide the tailwind to finally topple Chabot.

The district includes urban sections of Cincinnati, heavily Roman Catholic neighborhoods on the city's west side, older suburbs and booming communities that typify sprawl.

President Bush carried it 51-49 percent over Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in 2004 and 51-46 percent over former Vice President Al Gore in 2000.

Julie Shutley, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Democrats had their chance in the district in 2006.

"If a Democrat wouldn't win [in 2006], a Democrat can't win this time," Shutley said.

Median household and per capita incomes for the district are slightly lower than the national average. It has one of the largest percentages of blacks -- 27 percent -- of any district in the country represented by a Republican, Burke said.

Driehaus is in his fourth term in the Ohio House. He says he provides something new against Chabot in that he can appeal to the old-line Democrats who have lived in the district for years along with the more conservative voters who have favored Chabot and Republicans in the past.
"My strength is that I cross over," Driehaus said. "In my statehouse races, I've won the city and the west side suburban voters. Combine that with the high Democratic turnout we'll have in the presidential election and it will be the time for a Democrat to win this district."

Chabot said voters know him and where he stands from his years of representing the community in Congress, a member of the Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Commission.

"People know I've always put the families of this district first," said Chabot. "I've consistently voted to lower taxes. I'm one of the most fiscally prudent members of Congress.

"And I know the people of this district from having grown up here, from playing high school football here, from having my law office here and from being this community's representative in city, county and the federal government," he said.

Chabot's comment about his connections to the district is one of the major themes in the campaign. Both candidates tout their roots and often refer to the district as "the west side."
Chabot is known for campaigning at the district's many church festivals by handing out plastic drinking cups bearing his name. When asked if he knows Driehaus well, Chabot said, "I know who he is; I've seen him at festivals."

The Driehaus name is well known on the west side and in local politics.

"I have a large, extended family," Driehaus said. "We go back generations. We've always given back to the community and people know us for that."

Chabot's campaign points out that Driehaus' district makes up just 15 percent of the population of the 1st District.

The candidates are also quick to say where they went to high school. Chabot graduated from LaSalle in the district's suburbs; Driehaus went to Elder, a sports powerhouse with legions of fans and alumni throughout the district.

While that might not matter in some places, it does in the Cincinnati area, Burke said.
"There's a big difference between going to LaSalle and going to Elder, and that's definitely part of this race," Burke said.

Driehaus was recruited to run by the DCCC in 2006, but begged off. Chabot is vulnerable this year, he believes, because voters are generally unhappy with the direction of the country, the economy and the perceived mishandling and mismanagement of the war in Iraq by the Bush administration.

The mortgage crisis has become an issue in the race.

Driehaus, the statehouse minority whip, is serving on a state foreclosure prevention task force. Foreclosures in Hamilton County increased 18 percent last year. He chides the federal government for waiting too long to recognize and react to the problem.

"Too little, too late," he says.

Chabot responds by talking about a bill he co-sponsored with Judiciary Chairman Conyers to give bankruptcy judges more discretion in dealing with foreclosures. He says he is one of the few Republicans supporting the bill.

Chabot is enjoying the incumbent advantage in raising money. According to the most recent federal campaign finance reports, Chabot raised $1.2 million and had just over $1 million in the bank compared to Driehaus, who raised $517,000 and had $430,000 in the bank.

By Patrick Crowley


at 2:32 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly-I live in the district but have never heard of Driehaus...

At least I knew Cranley-he was a stronger candidate.

at 3:15 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Chabot still has my vote. Driehaus is just another tax n spend liberal.

at 3:22 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranley accomplished things while he was on Council. What has Driehaus ever done since he's been elected? He says he's given back to the community? What has he given back? I don't know of anything he's done.

at 3:28 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Deniac said...

It's a shame that Crowley cites the 2002 race when Harris was plucked from obscurity and asked to run as a write-in when the original Dem candidate abruptly dropped out. In fact, Harris' surprising 41% showing in 2004 proved ot be a real difference-maker. It helped convince the DNC & DCCC to start targeting the district again. After the 2000 gerrymandering, the DPI was thought to be 36%. But as Dean himself said in 2005 in his visit here, when Harris got 41% with a low-budget grassroots campaign, and Kerry got 48%, they realized that long-term investment in the district was worthwhile. In many ways, it's the Dean strategy that will be responsible for democratic success in district one. (Dean, via Democracy for America, actually targeted district one when he named Harris to his "Dean dozen" a couple weeks before the 04election. Too bad the national Party did not.) Driehaus is going to win, but his ability to win is largely due to Democrat's decision after 2004 to start targeting district one.

Cranley almost pulled it off. Driehaus will.

at 3:42 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because Driehaus went to Elder
does not give him some kind of built in advantage. There are plenty of Elder grads on the west side that continue to support Steve

at 4:05 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chabot's got what it takes to beat this Driehaus (who?) guy. Chabot has represented west siders well in Congress and he's a good conservative.

at 4:47 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're from the West Side and you don't know Driehaus? Where have you been? They are one of the most community involved families in the greater Cincinnati area. Driehaus can out campaign Chabot in a heartbeat.

at 4:48 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elder grads unite behind chabot! Tim Burke doesn't understand that most Elder alumns won't support a guy (Driehaus) who supports amnesty for illegal aliens and who wants to raise our taxes.

at 4:58 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Driehaus is going to get crushed like a tin can that is 10,000 leagues under the sea. The fact of the matter is that cash is your only god as a candidate in a federal race and Driehaus blows at fund-raising. Look at the event he had with Strickland, he only raised $12,000. This is with a hugely popular governor (approval rating approaching 70% at the time) and you only convinced 6 people to max out (maybe 3 if they contributed for the primary and general). That is positively abysmal and then Driehaus has the temerity to put out a press release touting those numbers! If I'm the DCCC or DNC I'm not dumping resources into a race where the candidate cannot pull the in the bucks. Driehaus' only hope is Obama at the top of the ticket and absolutely epic african-american turnout.

at 5:09 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again w/ the community involvement. What has he done? I'm sick of these so called "community activists" (Driehaus, Obama, etc.)claiming they have these great records of accomplishments. Put up or shut up.

at 5:10 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Driphaus will end up losing just like all the democRATS who came before him. Congressman Steve Chabot will win yet again this November.

at 5:17 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like many uniformed voters - get informed about the candidates and their positions. Driehaus will win. Good conservative so is Willie.

at 5:58 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Driehaus is the strongest candidate yet then why didn't they run him last time? Way to throw Cranley under the bus Burke! You bum!

at 8:27 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing Driehaus has going for him is that he is related to half of the West Side and judging by his fund raising he has tapped out most of those resources. Chabot is continually re-elected because he works hard for his district and people trust him. The DCCC will have to do better than Driehaus to unseat Chabot.

at 8:44 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm...this sounds familiar. The Democrats target Chabot, recruit a "credible" challenger, dump millions of $$$ into Ohio 1 that distort Chabot's record saying "this time it's going to be different." The local Democrats get excited. And then Chabot wins. Again and again. Ever seen Groundhog's Day? Isn't the definition of stupidity doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result?

at 8:47 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over 30 Repugs lost last time and the Democrats will prevail by even bigger margins this time. The Repugs have just gotten more kids killed in the illegal war, sent more jobs overseas and given those companies tax breaks for doing it, and their effective de-regulation of the banking industry is causing the current housing and foreclosure crises. Chabot and Scmidt will both lose this time.

at 8:54 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Driehaus? Seriously? Not Cranley, Mallory, Pepper, Portune or anybody with any name id at all? Against Steve Chabot? Is it too late to put somebody else on the Primary ballot? We've got a few hours.

at 11:26 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Driehaus, like his buddy, Bedbug Dale Mallory was a total embarrasment at the Neighborhood Summit last month. A voter asked him about enforcing laws on the nursing home dumps that are paid extensively well for services to the sick & aged thru private dollars & the taxpayer dime, & Steve-O didn't have the first idea of what he was getting himself into.

Steve thinks Grandma & Grandpa can live in their own home & get PASSPORT program services, since the Gov has thrown more money into that service.

Steve-O, you're wrong. PASSPORT is only for those who have been syphoning off the public purse all their lives. Those eligible might have a small Social Security check arriving monthly, but they've lived in public housing, enjoyed food cards & all the gifts of the taxpayer bounty.

It's Chabot again who's getting my vote. Steve can stay under the covers with Bedbug.

at 4:06 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Tim's daughter wasn't available to run for Congress !

at 7:45 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in Green Township for my entire life (50 years) and never heard of the Driehauses. I'd heard of the Cranleys before John Cranley ran for City Council and I knew who Steve Chabot was when he ran for Congress. I have no idea to Steve Driehaus (or his family?) is.

at 8:32 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve "Small Hands" Driehaus is an arrogant little do-nothing.

Chabot will cream him. All he has done in Columbus is what the Party tells him to do. Wait until voters get a look at his liberal record!

at 9:37 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Chabot will win! Congratulations Congressman, in advance!

at 10:51 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Elder in the 1980s and don't remember the Driehaus family-is that weird for some reason? The media keeps saying it is a big deal...?

at 11:16 AM, March 04, 2008 Blogger Harry and Jack said...

Local blog following the race....


at 11:43 AM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same troll is posting the "I live n the westside and never heard of Dreihaus" comments over and over. You can tell bu the hack's writing skills (or lack thereof).

Heavy Dem turnout (the Dems have had a 2:1 turnout over Repub voters nationwide this year), the enormous fund raising gap that the DCCC has over the RCCC and the anti-republican will put the old Buick driving Congressman Combover out of office.

Old Steve will either have to get a paying job in the private sector, or go on the Wingnut Welfare Roll.

at 12:02 PM, March 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether you have heard of a candidate or not at this point should not be the basis of your vote in November. Neither should a candidate's alma mater. Research both candidates and decide who will best represent you.

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