Plain Dealer – “Mandel also continued his policy of refusing to weigh in on active congressional legislation”

Mandel also continued his policy of refusing to weigh in on active congressional legislation. A reporter asked where he stood on a bill from Brown and other Senate Democrats that would keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling and saddling graduates — including young entrepreneurs — with more debt.

Mandel said he was glad “politicians in Washington” were discussing the issue but said he was not involved in the debate and would not “cast imaginary votes.”

Brown’s campaign criticized Mandel for not taking a position.

“The 382,000 students in Ohio who rely on federal Stafford loans to make college a reality deserve a simple yes or no answer from Josh Mandel on whether he would support Sherrod’s bill to make college more affordable or vote to let their interest rates double,” Brown press secretary Sadie Weiner said in an email. “After months of ducking and dodging, it is time for Mandel to come clean and own up to the fact that he cares more about following partisan orders from Washington, D.C., than he does about Ohio’s students and middle class families.”

After the news conference, Mandel also was unable to clarify his position on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which recently passed the Senate with GOP support. Mandel told The Plain Dealer through his campaign press secretary last month that he favored a “clean reauthorization” of the bill, which contains money for protection programs and domestic violence shelters.

What does “clean” mean? What, specifically, in the bill bothered Mandel?

“I’d have to read it and get back to you,” Mandel replied.

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