Mike DeWine has been in the public eye since his days as a Greene County prosecutor. As part of a high-profile and wealthy family, DeWine is now seeking election as Attorney General of Ohio. Fortunately, he has been out of the public eye for a while and many Ohioans have likely forgotten what he stands for – which is exactly what he’s counting on.
Richard Michael DeWine was born in Springfield, grew up in Yellow Springs and now lives in Cedarville – reportedly on inherited land. DeWine worked as a Greene County prosecuting attorney during the late 1970’s and was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1980. Since that time he has been in politics as Ohio’s lieutenant governor and spent two terms in the United States Senate from 1995 until 2007.
DeWine’s voting record from his time in congress shows that he believes in curtailing the individual rights of private citizens, particularly their right to own a firearm. Being so vocally against the right to bear arms is an odd position to take considering that gun control is such a hot button topic in Ohio, especially for a Republican.
Given his background, it is almost a sure bet that, as attorney general, Mike DeWine will work to repeal Ohio’s concealed carry law and help to criminalize anyone who uses a gun to secure the safety of home and family. He also wants firearm manufacturers to be held accountable for crimes committed using their products.
If elected as the state’s highest ranking prosecutor, DeWine would also be charged with protecting the public against fraud and discriminatory activities. In 1997, however, the former senator voted to end special funding for minority and women-owned businesses, offering a suggestion as to how well these groups would fare when required to seek the services of the AG’s office for help.
DeWine also seems to have no regard to privacy rights. While in Washington, he voted in favor of loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping and in opposition to a law preventing employers from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation. Any individual who is so obviously unopposed to deliberate discriminatory action has no business being attorney general.
One of the most confusing positions DeWine has taken revolves around immigration. DeWine, who represented a senatorial district where migrant workers are common, voted for building a fence along the United States / Mexico border, while at the same time choosing in favor of giving guest workers an easier path to citizenship. Conveniently, during the incomprehensible process of naturalization, the latter would probably allow greedy, corporate-owned farms to continue paying pennies to immigrant workers while helping to fill DeWine’s campaign coffers.
The record also reveals that DeWine would prefer that people stay as ignorant as possible and that the financially underprivileged are undeserving of a college education. In 2001, he voted against increasing tax deductions for college students. With Ohio’s staggeringly high unemployment rate, one would think that the government would do everything possible to make it easier for people to improve their skills, not limit their potential through nickel and diming beaurocracy.
In addition, any out of work Republicans in Ohio who vote across the party, regardless of the candidate’s qualifications or platform, should remember that Mike DeWine is a trust fund beneficiary. According to financial statements from the 2004 fiscal year, his assets through DeWine Enterprises, Inc. were valued in the range of $1to$5 million and earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year in capital gains.
That would certainly explain why, in February of 2006, DeWine voted in favor of retaining reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends. The former senator is certainly one of very few people in the state who can sit around collecting this kind of “unearned” income. Everyone else has to work for a living – at least those who still have a job.
DeWine was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and, like most career politicians, he spends a great deal of time talking out of both sides of it. He cares only about his thirst for publicity and political glory. It’s time for Mike DeWine to retire. Ohio has had enough of him.
Congressional voting records are available at www.ontheissues.org. More from columnist Gery L. Deer at www.gerydeer.com