From the Dayton Daily News voters guide
All candidates were asked to answer these same 2 questions:
Sharen Swartz Neuhardt
Bio: Life-long Ohioan, daughter of a Dayton policeman, granddaughter of a city firefighter. Grew up in Northwest Dayton, attended Dayton public schools, graduated from Northwestern University and Georgetown law school, and returned to Dayton to practice business law at Thompson Hine LLP.
Question 1: How will you deal with the continuing costs of military actions and the costs of domestic needs?
Answer 1: The federal government needs to get its house in order. We need to raise revenues by growing our economy and by reforming our income tax system. We need to cut our national debt. If we spend everyone’s tax dollars more wisely and efficiently, there is no reason why we can’t have a strong defense and attend to our domestic needs as well. Our troops and tax dollars should be committed to military actions only as a last resort and only when the objectives are well-defined.
Question 2: What are the most important issues in this race?
Answer 2: This race will be about jobs, restoring our economic security, and protecting and strengthening Miami Valley workers and families. We also need new voices to break the stalemate in Washington, and this election gives voters the opportunity to replace their current representatives who have been putting politics ahead of country. We deserve much more from our representatives in Congress than what we’ve been getting.
The OH-10 district covers Montgomery and Greene counties and part of Fayette County. It is the district that has defaulted to Mike Turner, since Steve Austria who shared part of this district dropped out on the second filing deadline. This brought the entry of his first opposition in 2008, Sharen Neuhardt who didn’t file on the first deadline.
Ms. Neuhardt raises a lot of money from anyone and anywhere. She hires professional fundraisers out of DC- also known as bundlers. Her first action on the campaign trail wasn’t to print literature or put up a real website- but to hire a campaign manager.
When asked about where the money came from, early in the campaign, she shifted the conversation to her integrity instead of answering the question. I wrote about it in “Sharen Neuhardt has friends in Strange Places” Here is the video:
Her first piece of printed campaign literature showed up at the League of Women Voters candidates night on March 1sthttp://esrati.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8290&action=edit, even though she didn’t attend. About 70% of it is about her. 10% is about “the issues.” I have the pdf posted at right.
While the Democratic parties in Greene and Fayette county try to run fair and honest primaries to let the voters decide who to endorse, the Montgomery County Democratic Party has a select screening committee that meets behind closed doors– and chose to endorse Ms. Neuhardt based on her “proven ability to raise money” and that they “Believe she can beat Mike Turner.”
This is despite the fact that she got trounced by Steve Austria, getting only 3% more of the vote than Bill Connor who ran in 2006, spending 48x less money running against the mighty incumbent Dave Hobson who spent twice what Austria did. We put together a video of Ms. Neuhardt complaining about gerrymandering and then showed the facts in this post: It wasn’t gerrymandering that sank Sharen Neuhardt
Candidate Ryan Steele pushed the question of why she didn’t file the first time, and why she blames gerrymandering and does she want to be a congressman and represent him- or is she just in it to win at the Fayette County Democratic Party Dinner. She declined to respond. Here is the video:
So far the Montgomery Democratic Party has batted 0-5 against Mike Turner, sending a series of boring candidates to run against him. Sharen Neuhardt fits that description to a T.
Here is a compiled video of her campaign speeches:
Her entire speech is:
- I was born in Dayton
- My father was a Dayton Policeman
- I went to Fairview high school
- I went to Northwestern
- I went to Georgetown law
- I’m a business attorney
- My husband and I bought a farm in Greene County
- I learned from my 2008 campaign that a Democrat shouldn’t run in a gerrymandered district.
You can watch the speeches one after another here.
In her Dayton Daily News interview, she was given a chance to expand her vocabulary and go in depth, instead of initiatives and concrete solutions, it’s generic politi-speak:
Neuhardt, 60, lives on a farm near Yellow Springs and practices business law for the firm Thompson Hine. She won the 2008 Democratic primary for the 7th U.S. House District, but lost the general election race to Steve Austria. She has been endorsed this year by the Montgomery County Democratic Party.
Neuhardt said one way the government can help the economy is by avoiding the near-shutdowns of the past two years over the debt ceiling and tax decisions. She said government contractors have had to start and stop work because of political gamesmanship, and all businesses struggle to prepare for last-minute changes in tax withholding rates because of temporary fixes rather than long-term solutions.
She said her career as a business lawyer would help her create compromise in Washington, as she has brokered deals between companies where “neither side gets 100 percent of what they want.”
Neuhardt said America needs more tax revenue, and it needs to come from the wealthy. She would support an increased rate on the top tax bracket, saying most in that bracket don’t object to paying more, but object to “the government wasting their money.” She said America’s tax code needs to be simplified.
Neuhardt said giving the president a line-item veto on budget items would be a good way to reduce our debt, because giant spending bills come before Congress, containing a multitude of provisions that wouldn’t pass if considered on their own. She said efforts to improve the local economy need to be broad based.
“We have to …make sure the Air Force base is strong and flourishing,” Neuhardt said. “But not everybody can work at the base. We have to do a good job of reaching out to businesses that are already located in the Miami Valley and asking them to invest more here. What will it take for you to put that next factory here instead of Indiana?”
She begins her campaign with a $92,000+ debt from her last run. Her largest contributor were the other lawyers in her firm.
Neuhardt is facing 5 other Democrats in the 2012 Primary, David Esrati, Olivia Freemen, Tom McMasters, Ryan Steeele and Mack Van Allen.
Typically, I try to be unbiased in my reporting on my opposition, however, of all the candidates I’ve ever run against she seems the most disconnected from the general public, the most arrogant and the least prepared of any candidate I’ve seen that’s been taken seriously. She has also been endorsed by the Ohio AFL-CIO who didn’t bother to contact me. She recently sent a mailer to some households with a photo of Sherrod Brown and quote that may have come from her 2008 run. It was paid for and mailed by the Ohio Democratic Party- a group of which, despite being a precinct captain, I’ve never had a call from.
In my opinion a vote for Neuhardt is a vote for Mike Turner, because she has demonstrated zero ability on the campaign trail to challenge or respond to any other candidates. As a person, she’s absolutely charming and nice. I’m sure she’s a competent business attorney.
If you don’t want her to win, please consider a donation to my campaign, or that of any of the others in the field. It’s also not too late to make calls for my campaign: www.5ivepoints.com/electesrati all you need is a phone and a computer.