Last week, Ohio Republican and contender for OH-16 Jim Renacci got into something of a flap with respect to race relations. Asked about civil rights by a long-winded questioner, Renacci replied:
A lot of the problems you’re talking about are local issues. And I’m also a firm believer that the federal government and our Constitution was based on freedom, and was based on the freedoms that our number one goal of our military is freedom. We need to get our federal government out of the way and we need to allow our local governments to become more involved in many of the issues you’re talking about. I don’t believe that these are federal issues to come down on.
His answer, in a word, was Federalism. Yet his opponent John Boccieri was among the crowd and engaged Renacci in an informal “debate” immediately afterwards. The fallout was severe, with Keith Olbermann savaging Renacci on his show. There was just one problem: Mr. Renacci had been set up by the campaign of his opponent, who had planted infiltrators in the crowd with questions deliberately designed to produce answers that could be misrepresented.
Boccieri has denied this, calling such accusations “unbelievable” in a radio interview with Ron Ponder of WHBC on September 9th. Unfortunately for Boccieri, there’s a problem — there’s proof.
Battle ‘10 recently came into possession of a video showing John Green, a former volunteer with the John Boccieri campaign and self-proclaimed “lifelong Democrat,” telling an offscreen questioner how he and other volunteers were explicitly instructed to pick questions they could “identify with” to lure Renacci into giving an answer that could be twisted for political purposes. The videos have been uploaded to Youtube and are viewable in two parts.
Renacci campaign spokesman James Slepian told Battle ‘10: “It’s bad enough that John Boccieri and his allies have grown so desperate about his failing re-election campaign that they will say and do anything to distort the truth about Jim Renacci, but what’s even more troubling is Mr. Boccieri’s apparent comfort with lying to his constituents about his own record and his own campaign’s conduct.”