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Published: Friday, 10/12/2007

Latta tells foe his family is off-limits in campaign


BOWLING GREEN In a congressional race rife with negativity, a visibly shaken State Rep. Bob Latta yesterday asked that rival campaigns respect his family s privacy.

Mr. Latta denounced a request from the campaign of opponent State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R., Delta) for his wife s employment records. Marcia Latta is a development officer who raises funds for Bowling Green State University.

Mr. Buehrer, I am only going to tell you this once: Stay away from my wife, said Mr. Latta (R., Bowling Green), reading from a script.

And let me add this too. Stay away from my kids. I had better add Maci, our Boston terrier, to the list too.

Jim Banks, Mr. Buehrer s campaign manager, said he submitted the verbal request to BGSU yesterday morning as part of an information-gathering process.

We agree with Bob Latta that spouses and family are off-limits, Mr. Banks said. The election is about Bob Latta and Steve Buehrer, and who would make the better congressman.

With a Nov. 6 primary, the shortened schedule of the 5th District election caused by Paul Gillmor s death last month has unleashed intense vitriol between the Republican frontrunners.

A television ad by the Club for Growth, a Washington-based political-action committee that endorsed Mr. Buehrer, portrays Mr. Latta as a tax-and-spend politician, even though Mr. Latta is a critic of the estate tax.

Mr. Latta has filed a complaint against the PAC with the Ohio Elections Commission, which will hold a hearing Thursday.

His complaint protests an e-mail and statement by the committee that Mr. Latta favored raising taxes by voting in 1998 to put a ballot issue before voters about increasing the state sales tax. The ballot issue failed.

Mr. Buehrer, meanwhile, claims to be maligned by a TV ad by Mr. Latta. The ad notes that Mr. Buehrer received $7,979 from Tom Noe, who was convicted last year for stealing from the $50 million rare coin investment he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

That ad neglects to mention that Mr. Latta also received money from Noe: $1,060.

Contact Joshua Boak at: jboak@theblade.com or 419-724-6728.

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