Democratic challenger Ben Konop, hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley, offered a stern critique of his opponent's record on job outsourcing.
Mr. Konop, an attorney from Ada, Ohio, held a news conference yesterday and charged Mr. Oxley (R., Findlay) with serving the interests of big business rather than residents of Ohio's 4th Congressional District.
"Working families in Ohio are being hurt directly by the policies that my opponent is in favor of - like the outsourcing of jobs," said Mr. Konop, adding that his opponent has opposed policies designed to address outsourcing American jobs elsewhere.
Mr. Oxley, an 11-term congressman, responded yesterday with a statement denying allegations that he is out-of-touch with the economic concerns of his district. He also fired back at Mr. Konop, characterizing his opponent as "ultraliberal."
"My liberal opponent wants economic isolationism for the Fourth Congressional District," Mr. Oxley said in a prepared statement. The congressman, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said 242,000 jobs in Ohio can be tied to foreign investment, including 22,000 in the district.
Mr. Konop claimed 29 of the nation's top 50 job outsourcing companies have made contributions during the past four years to Mr. Oxley's campaign fund.
"It shows how bought and paid for he is by the corporate special interests," Mr. Konop said. "The vast majority of his contributions come from inside the beltway or Wall Street firms."
Mr. Oxley said many of his contributors, including Ford, General Motors, and Marathon, are global companies with local presence.
"These are successful companies who are preserving jobs in the U.S. by expanding into new markets," Mr. Oxley wrote.
With two weeks left before the Nov. 2 election, both candidates say there is a clear choice for voters.
"My opponent is living in some fantasy world where the economy is going great, people have a lot of jobs, and everything is going well," Mr. Konop said. "He's not aware of what is going on. He's lost touch with the community."
"I'm learning that my opponent has come in from Toledo as the most liberal candidate I've ever run against, and makes for a quite a contrast with my experienced conservative credentials," Mr. Oxley wrote.
Mr. Oxley and Mr. Konop will face off in a debate tomorrow in Urbana in west central Ohio, and again next week in Lima.