Tax Raising Ted Strickland
Why is Ted Strickland working so hard to make sure any sizeable tax increase won’t happen until 2011? Because even though tax-raising is in his DNA, he voted for the largest tax increase in American history, and knows raising taxes would be the central issue of the campaign:
In 1993, when Strickland was a congressman representing Appalachia, he favored the federal tax increase to pay for President Clinton’s ill-fated health care reforms. The vote came back to haunt him politically.
During the 1994 campaign, Strickland offered an argument while debating opponent Frank Cremeans for why he might support a federal tax increase. The footage and quotes were widely used against him in attack ads and direct mail.
Cremeans made taxes a central theme in the election, and Strickland lost.
Voters in southeastern Ohio returned Strickland to Congress in 1996, but that wasn’t the end of the issue for him.
In 1998, his Republican opponent, Nancy Hollister, and the national Republicans launched TV and radio attacks against Strickland for being a big-government, tax-and-spend liberal. They pointed to additional budget and tax votes in Washington.
Strickland retained his seat that year, fighting $400,000-plus in GOP advertising by with claims that Hollister’s record of raising taxes was even worse than his.