Debating the candidates

Week two: U.S. Senate



Since 1992, Sherrod Brown has been the congressman from District 13 in Ohio. Prior to his election to Congress, Brown served as the Ohio secretary of state for two terms.

Brown was raised in Mansfield and now lives in Avon. He is married to Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz.

Economy and Jobs

One of Brown’s major criticisms is U.S. companies receive tax benefits for outsourcing jobs. Instead, Brown wants to reward businesses for keeping jobs in the U. S. If elected to the U.S. Senate, he also intends to help small businesses and emphasize the role they play in communities.

While in Congress, Brown opposed the Central America Free Trade Agreement. He is not against free trade, but believes that this agreement was flawed. To Brown, free trade laws should protect not only the workers at home, but foreign workers as well.


Brown supported No Child Left Behind, but says the issue with the act is that it is an unfunded mandate. The resources have not been provided to school systems to ensure that the mandate is carried out to the full extent.

With tuition at Ohio colleges on the rise, Brown wants more money for Pell Grants. Brown supports Head Start programs for low income communities.

Health care

Believing that health care should be available to all Ohioans, Brown has opposed the proposed Congressional Health Plan. He wants to pass a bill that would allow Medicare to sell prescription drugs directly to senior citizens. Brown believes this is an alternative to Medicare Plan D, which he says is confusing.

National Security

Brown has been an opponent of the war in Iraq since its beginning. He urged President Bush to uphold the stance taken by the United Nations.

Brown has also helped get U.S. soldiers better equipment through lobbying. His primary platform on the security front is making sure that the government is held accountable.

Brown believes there are numerous problems with current foreign policy. He notes port security is neglected, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and Iraq has created a distraction for North Korea and Iran.

Other Issues

On Social Security, Brown wants to delay any vote to privatize the plan. He opposes the move, saying it is not best for Ohio seniors.

As for Brown’s stance on the environment, he thinks that drilling for gas and oil in Lake Erie should be banned and companies should be responsible for cleaning up chemicals. He has the support of the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.

Criticism by Opponent

The main point DeWine keeps bringing up is Sherrod Brown’s stance on national security. DeWine says Brown has voted to cut funding for intelligence 10 times.

While Brown says he is for tax cuts, DeWine maintains that Brown voted for large tax increases. According to DeWine, Brown keeps voting to reduce taxes for American families.

DeWine also makes note that since elected to Congress, Brown has only passed four bills in 14 years.



Mike DeWine is seeking his third term as U.S. Senator and has served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. DeWine has served on the allocations committee in Congress. He is a former Ohio State Senator and a former Lieutenant Governor.

DeWine is a graduate of Miami University and Ohio Northern University Law School. He was raised in Yellow Springs and has been married to his wife, Fran, for 39 years.

Economy and Jobs

DeWine believes in tax reform to stimulate economic growth for Ohio. In 2003, he voted for tax cuts to help create new jobs and increase pay. DeWine is opposed to the estate tax and supports its appeal.

He supports free trade and co-sponsored the Trade Promotion Authority bill. He believes in reforming bankruptcy laws and protecting businesses from fraud.

As for small businesses, DeWine says that all businesses, regardless of size, deserve protection.


DeWine introduced the Quality Teacher Act of 2001 and supported No Child Left Behind. DeWine puts most of the responsibility on the teachers. He believes in helping teachers pay off loans they’ve accumulated while getting their education and helping military personnel become teachers.

Health care

DeWine has pushed for better health care for children. He helped to introduce the Better Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, because many drug companies do not test drugs to make sure they are safe for children and young adults. Since children’s hospitals care for many patients who do not have health care, DeWine thinks these hospitals should be compensated by the government.

National Security

DeWine was a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and was responsible for investigating intelligence lapses after Sept. 11, 2001. The committee also looked into the matter of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, before and after the start of the war. He is for maintaining the number of troops in Iraq at their current levels.

DeWine has been part of the push for better benefits for military personnel and providing them with better equipment.

Other Issues

DeWine considers himself one of the toughest advocates for the rights of unborn children. He voted for the partial birth abortion ban and is against embryonic stem cell research.

To lower gas prices, DeWine is against energy dependency on the Middle East. He also blames high gas prices on OPEC and the way it sets its prices.

He has been a part of numerous laws to help protect children from abusive families. He has aided in strengthening neglect laws for foster children.

Criticism by Opponent

Brown believes in middle-class tax cuts and criticizes DeWine for cutting taxes to the upper class. Brown says DeWine is too loyal to President Bush and that he supports many of his policies, even without evidence.

For the war in Iraq, Brown calls for a concrete exit strategy, which is something he claims the Republicans do not have. Brown has said that DeWine has neglected vital intelligence information.

It’s difficult to argue that either candidate in the U.S. Senate election would serve Ohio poorly. Both Sherrod Brown and Mike DeWine have long records of consistently serving their constituencies. Neither would be a disaster if elected.

What this election comes down to is one issue, and it’s the issue that is dividing this country: national security and the war in Iraq. DeWine has supported President Bush and his strategies to fight terrorism; Brown has opposed the current administration and its policies.

If you’re considering this election a referendum on the war, and you are against it as we are, Brown is your only choice. DeWine wants more of the same, which we believe will not ultimately make us safer from terrorism.

DeWine’s commercials repeatedly hammer Brown for his supposed votes to cut intelligence funding. But, a nonpartisan group that looks at accuracy in political ads, examined Brown’s record and found all of those votes occurred prior to Sept. 11. Since that terrible day, Brown has been consistent in his support for intelligence funding.

Because he represents a change from our current foreign policy direction, Sherrod Brown receives our endorsement.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater Editorial Board. One member of the board abstained from this discussion because he covers the election for a class.