Clown Cars In Ohio

This year’s Senate race in Ohio could be pivotal to who controls that body in 2025. Incumbent Sherrod Brown, while not unpopular, should be beatable by a strong candidate in increasingly-red Ohio. But here, as so often happens, the question is whether the GOP can come up with a good nominee.

The principal candidates in the Republican primary, which is tomorrow, are Trump-endorsed Bernie Moreno and state senator Matt Dolan. As of today, Moreno holds a nine-point lead in at least one poll.

Four days ago the Associated Press, presumably pursuant to its anti-MAGA mania, released a story accusing Moreno of having created a gay account on the Adult Friend Finder web site in 2008:

Moreno — who has shifted from a public supporter of LGBTQ rights to a hardline opponent — is confronting questions about the existence of a 2008 profile seeking “Men for 1-on-1 sex” on a casual sexual encounters website called Adult Friend Finder.
The AP review confirmed that someone with access to Moreno’s email account created the profile, though the AP could not definitively confirm whether it was created by Moreno himself.

A man named Dan Ricci, who was working as an intern for Moreno in 2008, has said publicly that he created the account, using Moreno’s email address as a joke:

On Thursday evening, two days after the AP first asked Moreno’s campaign about the account, the candidate’s lawyer said a former intern created the account as a prank. The lawyer provided a statement from the intern, Dan Ricci, who said he created the account as “part of a juvenile prank.”

“I am thoroughly embarrassed by an aborted prank I pulled on my friend, and former boss, Bernie Moreno, nearly two decades ago,” Ricci said.

You might wonder whether this is all worth an 11th-hour Associated Press story, but the AP tried to shore up the claim that Moreno created the profile with a scientific-sounding claim:

Beyond the work email, the profile lists Moreno’s correct date of birth, while geolocation data indicates that the account was set up for use in a part of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where property records show Moreno’s parents owned a home at the time.

The AP has now admitted, however, that its claim about “geolocation data” is false; all it means is that the person who created the profile entered a Fort Lauderdale zip code.

Enter Andrew Conru, the founder of Adult Friend Finder, who brought a little sanity to the story:

That is the world we live in: the founder of an adult dating site brings more coherence and integrity to the story than the Associated Press.

But that still leaves the question, how good a candidate is Bernie Moreno? Check this out:

Moreno is being abused for thinking that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington signed the Declaration. Actually, none of the people he mentioned were signers. I think he meant that if you go to Heaven, you will get to meet the 55 signers of the Declaration, and also men like Lincoln et al. I hope that is what he meant, anyway. I still yearn for the day when the Republicans can nominate candidates about whom we don’t have to discuss things like Adult Friend Finder and whether Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration of Independence.

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