The attack comes about a month before the March 4 primary and demonstrates Black will play rough. Here, quoted verbatim, are the four charges he delivered to Democrats who received the mailer:
- The President of the National Council Against Health fraud has requested an investigation of Wulsin by the Ohio State Medical Board on charges that she covered up unethical medical experiments.
- Ohio has lost over 200,00 jobs to places like Mexico and China. Unbelievably, Wulsin supports the Bush free trade expansion plan to places like Armenia.
- She has refused to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
- Wulsin even called for higher taxes on gasoline as a way to solve America's energy crisis. Aren't middle-class families struggling enough?
Wulsin's staff, no doubt, will truth-squad those Black slams. And it may strike back at him for going negative. Already, Wulsin campaign chief Josh Levin has noted the photo of his candidate in Black's hit piece appears lifted from Schmidt. Levin says Schmidt used the same unflattering head shot against the Democrat in the '06 showdown. The Wulsin camp may soon argue that Black -- a former Republican -- is recycling the tactics of the Schmidt campaign. Levin said in an e-mail: "The attacks are right out of the GOP playbook did you notice he used the same photo Schmidt did in '06. The donations thing is funny, given that he's refused to disclose over 10K in small donations himself."
Clearly, the Democratic contest seems to be moving in a new direction -- a turn to the low road.
Black's charge Wulsin wants to raise the gasoline tax originally cropped up in April 2006 -- when Wulsin was campaigning in that year's Democratic primary. Black cites the Cincinnati Enquirer as his source. Although the newspaper story is no longer freely available on its Web site, there is a version still online in the archives of the Buckeye State Blog. It shows she had mused publicly about raising gas taxes. She wanted gas taxes to be progressive, which is how the federal income tax is levied -- the higher your income the more you pay:
"One more thing about gas prices . . . I believe we need some sort of progressive tax on gas prices. The way they work now, again the working class, the middle class, pays more than their fair share than the very wealthy. And I believe that we as a country believe in equality for all, and that means that we who benefit from our society need to contribute."
Inquiring minds are wondering: Does Black's gas tax attack gain him any ground? It appears timely, considering that pump prices have soared over $3 and high fuel costs are blamed as a major factor behind the current economic slowdown. But what about Armenia -- are Ohioans concerned about trade policies with the former Soviet Republic?