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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Ooh la LaTourette 

    It hasn't been a great few days for Congressman Steve LaTourette, R-Madison Village, who represents the northeast corner of a badly sliced up Summit County (Democrats Sherrod Brown and Tim Ryan serve the remainder of the county.)

    LaTourette is the guy, you may remember, who stiffed the Akron Press Club when it had arranged a debate between the LaTourette and his Democratic challenger, Capri Cafaro. He's also the guy whom the Hill newspaper exposed in 2003 as having an affair with a former staffer who is now a lobbyist. (LaTourette, by the way, voted to impeach President Clinton for what amounts to the same behavior.) But hey, no one's perfect, as might be inferred from the ``No Alter Boy'' award that Washingtonian magazine has bestowed on LaTourette.

    All of this is detailed in a story by Cliff Schecter. The worst of it is this allegation from the story: ``...two sources close to Susan LaTourette, the congressman's (ex-)wife, have told Salon that the lobbyist is Steve LaTourette's former chief of staff, Jennifer Laptook, whose work as a vice president for the firm Van Scoyoc Associates consists of pushing the interests of various Ohio-based clients before the staff of the House Transportation and Infrasctructure Committee, on which LaTourette sits.''

    No one has accused LaTourette of wrongdoing. But appearance can be enough in these instances to undercut a politician's credibility, University of Akron political scientist John Green told The Plain Dealer. Now divorced, LaTourette was endorsed for a sixth term by the PD before the potential conflict of interest became public. The newspaper's editorial board, however, is standing by its man, though warning him that his relationship with a staffer-turned-lobbyist looks bad.

    As Woody Allen once explained when he was chasing after Soon-Yi Previn: The heart wants what the heart wants. Now the question becomes, does Ohio's 14th Congressional District want LaTourette, warts, experience and all?

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 11:02 AM

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