Proposing pledges to limit outside spending is the hot thing right now in Senate races, as we explore in our spotlight today (subscriber).
But in the Ohio Senate race, Sen. Sherrod Brown's campaign proposed a different kind of agreement with Treasurer Josh Mandel's campaign -- on ground rules for tracker behavior. Several weeks ago, a Mandel staffer tried to block a Brown staffer from filming an event.
But like many of the proposed agreements between campaigns, they didn't exactly get the response they were looking for. The Toledo Blade:
Sarah Benzing, manager of the Brown campaign, wrote to her counterpart, Mandel campaign manager Ray Yonkura, on March 21 to suggest they agree that each other's campaign staff can be present at the other's event, except for fund-raising and family events. Both would agree their staff would not interfere at the other's event, nor hinder opposing staff at their own events.
She said her motive was to allow access to the two campaigns so the public can learn more about the candidates.
Her letter brought a response a day later from Mr. Mandel's campaign manager, Ray Yonkura, who started out by saying, "I have no doubt your staff will continue to attend and disrupt as many campaign events as they can, whether we sign this agreement or not."
Mr. Yonkura went on to insist on conditions that, in essence, would make Senator Brown a Republican: Mr. Brown must get the Senate to pass a balanced budget and start paying off the $11 trillion debt, allow drilling for oil in Alaska, and "reverse the unprecedented expansion into the private sector that has slowed the economy."
That response infuriated the Brown campaign, which denied disrupting any Mandel events.
"How unfortunate that you deem it a 'disruption' for the people of Ohio to see and hear what Josh Mandel is saying as he campaigns for U.S. Senate. It's also disappointing that, rather than responding to our request, you chose to rattle off a list of demands full of false and misleading claims made by Josh Mandel -- all of which have been repeatedly debunked by nonpartisan fact check organizations," Ms. Benzing replied.
Suffice it to say these two campaigns won't be coming to an agreement about the tracker issue -- or on their policy differences -- anytime soon.