Democrats and their lefty blog supporters have been trying to pin whatever negative association they can find on Rob Portman. The primary one being that he worked for George W. Bush (in one giggle inducing stunt they called him the "architect" of the Bush economy which was news to Portman and Bush I am sure).
They must be getting tired of that particular tune because now they are branching out in ever greater desperation [$ sub req]. They are now combing through the cases of the law firm Squire Sanders, & Dempsey and associating anything that might be seen as negative with Portman.
The firm is involved in a trade dispute? Blame Portman. Connected with the government bailout? Blame Portman.
Now this is pretty much deceptive campaign tactics 101. Anyone familiar with the workings of a large law firm knows that mere employment does not mean approval of every case handled or client represented.
And Portman didn't even work in the department that handles the issues sited and played no role in the cases or policies he is being accused of supporting.:
Portman works in the firm's economic regulations department and "has nothing to do with that client work," said Drez Jennings, a spokeswoman for the law firm. She added that he also had no role in the firm's work in guiding funds released in the bank bailout last year.
Again, pretty basic stuff. This isn't policy disagreement but a smear attempt. (Notice too how the left goes after Portman for something they support - the bailouts - simply in hopes that they might sow dissent with conservatives.)
But put that aside for a moment. Here is my question for the lefties pushing this story: Do you really want to follow this path?
Are you saying that if you work for a firm then any and all cases handled by that firm reflect on you? That this guilt by association should be equally applied to Democratic elected officials and candidates? Are you saying, for example, that anyone Barack Obama worked with or whose issues his firm supported are fair game? Joe Biden? Hillary Clinton? You get the idea.
No, I am pretty sure this is in fact a giant case of hypocrisy. Given that there are a great many law firms and companies that handle cases that cross ideological and party affiliation. Lobbying, consulting and law firms in particular often represent a wide variety of clients and issues; some who are likely on different sides of any given issue.
No one who has experience in government and the law is going to buy the argument that what a large law firm does is reflective of everyone who works there. Heck, lawyers don't even agree with their individual clients all the time. This is how the legal system works.
No, what is really going on here is that Democrats are afraid the Rob Portman is exactly the type of center-right experienced and appealing politician that Ohio voters support. They know there is no real scandal in his squeaky clean background and they can feel the political ground shifting under their feet.
So they are simply throwing whatever slime they can find at him in hopes that some of it sticks. Portman = Bush must not have been working so now they are trying to find some other distraction.
Portman campaign manager Bob Paduchik understands this:
This attack is flat-out false, and they know it. It's unfortunate that the Democrats are choosing to run a no-holds-barred negative campaign, manufacturing false accusations like these at a time when the many challenges we face demand a thoughtful discussion of the issues. Ohio voters are tired of politics as usual, the Democrats' YouTube attack ads, constant barrage of negative e-mails, and fake Web site are all acts of desperation from a party that must be really afraid of Rob Portman's candidacy.
But again, I have to ask if the left wants to declare this sort of guilt by association fair game. Because if they do then I think there are an awful lot of Democrats with some explaining to do.