Jean Schmidt

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a profile of a U.S. Representative. (See the Ohio portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
Ohio state flag.png

Things you can do:

Jean Schmidt currently serves the Second Congressional district of State

Jeannette "Jean" Marie Hoffman Schmidt, a Republican, has represented the Second Congressional District of of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005. (map).

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Jean Schmidt voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Rep. John Murtha / "Coward" controversy

On November 18, 2005 the House debated a Republican-sponsored resolution, H. Res. 572, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. It was prompted by the call of John Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, for the redeployment of American forces as soon as possible. During debate on adopting the rule for debating the resolution, H. Res. 563, Schmidt said this:

Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young Marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the Ohio House. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body—that we will see this through. [1]

Schmidt's "coward" remark threw the House into an uproar. Many Democrats saw it as an unwarranted "cheap shot" against Murtha, a 38-year Marine Corps veteran. Angry Democrats led by Vic Snyder of Arkansas demanded that the remarks be "taken down," i.e. that the House consider whether they were unparliamentary. Martin Meehan of Massachusetts screamed "You guys are pathetic! Pathetic!" Harold Ford of Tennessee charged to the Republican side, waving his finger at Schmidt and other Republicans, yelling "Say it to Murtha!" or "Say Murtha's name!" and had to be restrained by David R. Obey of Wisconsin. After ten minutes, Schmidt asked for and received permission from the House to withdraw her remarks and apologized to Murtha. Had she not done so, she risked being sanctioned for violating House rules against disparaging other members. [2]

The next day, Saturday Night Live lampooned Schmidt's apology.

A spokeswoman for Bubp said that the state representative "did not mention Congressman Murtha by name nor did he mean to disparage Congressman Murtha" and that he felt "the words that Congresswoman Schmidt chose did not represent their conversation." [3] The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Bubp said "he never mentioned. . . Murtha . . . by name when talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward." Bubp told the Enquirer "I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish she never used my name." [4]

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Campaign Controversy

Schmidt was criticized in ads paid for by the Club for Growth, the Washington, D.C.-based group associated with Grover Norquist which actively works for the defeat of Republicans it considers insufficiently conservative, such as Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The Club compared her unfavorably to rival Tom Brinkman, who was hailed in the ad as "Honest. Conservative. Leader." The Ohio Taxpayers Association disputed the Club's ad. Its president told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Schmidt had "a pretty good record" in Columbus and that the OTA's political action committee had endorsed her. [5]

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes [6], a Cincinnati-based group founded by Tom Brinkman (who lost the GOP primary to Schmidt), began running ads in the last week of July urging voters to skip the election. COAST's president, Jim Urling, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that this might help elect Hackett, but "we think it will be easier to remove a Democrat next year than an incumbent Republican posing as a conservative."

A month before the election the inspector general of the Ohio General Assembly announced he was investigating three legislators for accepting gifts and failing to report them. Schmidt was implicated in this, but could not be investigated because she was no longer a member of the Ohio house. On October 24, 2004, the legislators had accepted dinner at Nicola's Ristorante on Sycamore Street in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and Cincinnati Bengals tickets from a lobbyist for pharmaceutical company Chiron, Richard B. Colby. Schmidt said she thought her $644 gift was from former Bengals player Boomer Esiason, who was, like Chiron, interested in cystic fibrosis. A month later Schmidt cosponsored enabling legislation (HB 549) with an estimated maximum cost to the state of approximately $74,930 [7].

Schmidt repaid the lobbyist for the cost of the entertainment. Her spokesman told The Columbus Dispatch "Jean specifically asked if this was a reportable gift. We immediately corrected it by paying the full price of the tickets." Her former colleague Raussen blamed Colby. "Here we have a lobbyist who was extremely sloppy."

Her opponent, Paul Hackett hammered on Schmidt's ethics. When she denied she knew or ever met Thomas Noe, at the center of the Coingate investment scandal at the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, Hackett produced minutes from a meeting of the Ohio Board of Regents that showed Schmidt had indeed met with Noe, once a regent. On July 29, the Toledo Blade reported on a 2001 e-mail from Governor Taft's assistant Jon Allison complaining Schmidt was "bugging" him about setting up an Internet lottery for Cincinnati businessman Roger Ach, who gave her a $1,000 contribution the next year. Schmidt spokesman Fritz Wenzel said the candidate did not recall any conversations with the governor about Ach's business.

Marathon controversy

In August 2006, Schmidt was accused of lying on her re-election campaign website regarding her time in the 1993 Columbus Marathon. Nathan Noy, a candidate running as a write-in candidate against Schmidt, argued that the 03:19:06 time listed was false. He cited that the time would have placed Schmidt among the race’s top finishers, while a newspaper article of the top runners does not include her. Joseph Braun, an attorney representing Schmidt, asserted that the photograph is authentic . He produced what he said was an official race results book, listing Schmidt as the fifth-place finisher in her age group with a time of 3:19:09, three seconds slower than the time depicted in the photograph. Noy said he believes the photo may be a fake and suggested that Schmidt never even participated in the event. He notes that in the photo, Schmidt does not cast a shadow while other runners do.

State law prohibits candidates from publishing false statements designed to help win an election. On August 24, 2006, a four-member commission panel ruled that there was enough evidence to look into the complaint. [8]



Schmidt was born November 29, 1951. She is a lifelong resident of Miami Township, Ohio —the area along the eastern shore of the Little Miami River near Milford and Loveland.

She holds two bachelor's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, one in political science, earned in 1974, and one in secondary education for social studies, earned in 1986. Schmidt worked in her father's bank, the Midwestern Savings Association, as a branch manager from 1971 to 1978. She was a fitness instructor from 1984 to 1986, when she began a four year career as a schoolteacher. Schmidt was elected as a Miami Township trustee in 1989, launching her political career.

In 2000 she ran for the Ohio House of Representatives seat being vacated by Sam Bateman, who was prevented by term limits from running again. As a state lawmaker, The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote she introduced and passed bills "remarkable in number and quality for a neophyte lawmaker." She sponsored legislation on the Clermont County courts [9], limiting the ability of public employees to collect a pension and a salary ("double dipping") [10], urban townships, and protecting townships from annexations of their territory by cities, all of which were passed into law. She also pushed legislation on the health of women, suicide prevention, sexual abstinence education, and to "lock killers away for good" by making it easier for judges to sentence murderers to life terms. Schmidt also supported Ohio's concealed carry law. [11]

In 2004, she ran for the 14th District seat in the Ohio Senate to replace Senate President Doug White, who was retiring. After a recount, Schmidt ultimately lost by just twenty-two votes. [12]

Congressional Career


Schmidt launched her campaign for Congress in Montgomery on April 11. She ran on a conservative platform of reducing taxes and promoting family values. Schmidt's campaign literature noted her pro-life voting record, her opposition to gay marriage, her high ratings from the National Rifle Association, and that she "opposes an activist court system that acts against our conservative values."

Campaign literature also featured her endorsement by Phil Fulton, the pastor who fought the court ordered removal of tablets containing the Ten Commandments from the grounds of schools in Adams County.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the official Republican Party body that helps candidates for the United States House of Representatives, announced on July 28 it was spending $265,000 for television ads in the Cincinnati market, covering the western part of the district, and $250,000 for ads in the Huntington, West Virginia, market, covering the eastern half.

Carl Forti told The Cincinnati Enquirer "we decided to bury [Paul Hacket]" after Hackett told USA Today, in a story published that morning, "I don't like the son-of-a-bitch that lives in the White House but I'd put my life on the line for him." Forti said the NRCC had "no concern that she will lose. She will not lose."

Schmidt won by a narrow margin, 3.5 %, the worst showing of any Republican in the district since 1974, but which made her the second Republican woman elected to Congress from Ohio in her own right (behind Deborah Pryce) and the first woman to represent southwestern Ohio in Congress.

Campaign Finance

The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a front page story on July 2 reporting on the candidates financial disclosure statements that revealed both were millionaires. Schmidt was worth between $1,700,000 and $6,800,000, most of her wealth in the form of a real estate company owned with her three siblings, RTJJ, LLC. Hackett was worth between $650,000 and $1,600,000. (These figures did not include the value of either's home. The Clermont County Auditor valued Schmidt's home on two-thirds of an acre at $138,510 and the Hamilton County Auditor valued Hackett's home on five acres at $552,800.) The paper noted the median household income in the district was $46,813.

Schmidt also used her own money in the campaign. She told The Cincinnati Post the week before the election she put $200,000 of her money in the campaign that she had planned to use to buy a condominium in Florida.


Schmidt won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, which frustrated her opponent, a long-time NRA member. Schmidt also won the endorsements of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Southern Ohio Board of Realtors, the Ohio Taxpayers Association, the Ohio Small Business PAC, the Ohio Farm Bureau, the National Homebuilders Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police Queen City Lodge #69.

Both parties claim victory

Following the election, many Democrats hailed the election as showing the weakness of Ohio's Republican party, which has been in control of Ohio state government for a decade, and public unhappiness with President Bush's policies. Hamilton County Democratic chairman Timothy Burke was delighted. "Paul was very critical of this president in a district that Bush carried easily last November, yet she barely hung on to win. There's a clear signal in that," he told The Cincinnati Post on election night. The Clermont County Democratic chairman, Dave Lane, told the Dayton Daily News "Here we are in the reddest of red districts and it was very, very close."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee claimed in a press release Hackett's strong showing meant trouble for Mike Dewine's reelection campaign in 2006, especially since his son Pat had lost the Republican primary for the seat. "If Ohio is a bellwether state for next year's midterm elections, things don't look too good for the Republicans", claimed the DSCC. Republicans said the election meant nothing of the sort. "There is no correlation between what happens in a special election, where turnout is very low and you have circumstances that just aren't comparable to an election that happens on an Election Day in an election year," Brian Nick of the National Republican Senatorial Committee told The Cincinnati Post.

The Columbus Dispatch referred to "the trauma of barely winning a Congressional district long dominated by Republicans" and quoted an anonymous source in the Republican party claiming "there is not a tougher environment in the country than Ohio right now. There is kind of a meltdown happening." Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report told the Dispatch "Ohio becomes the microcosm for the debate Democrats are trying to have nationally" and Democrats would argue in future campaigns "'See what happens when one party rules too long, see what happens with corruption and insider influence.'"

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Victoria Wells Wulsin to face Schmidt in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [13] The race was very close, as Schmidt held a 2,323 vote lead after an initial count. The count did not, however, include all of the district's provisional ballots. [14]

Positions and Views

In Congress, Schmidt sponsored non-binding resolutions that states hit by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita should adopt a uniform statewide building code (H. Con. Res. 285); that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance were not an unconstitutional endorsement of religion (H. Res. 453); and supporting Gold Star Mothers (H. J. Res. 61). As of 2005, she was the original sponsor of one bill, H.R. 4180, a campaign finance reform. She co-sponsored bills to provide ultrasounds to pregnant mothers (H.R. 216); to require women having abortions be "fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child" (H.R. 356); to require the Food and Drug Administration withdraw its approval of the drug RU-486 because of safety concerns (H.R. 1079); the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act", which would repeal District of Columbia law forbidding residents from owning guns (H.R. 1288); to ban human cloning (H.R. 1357); to repeal the excise tax on telephones (H.R. 1898); to forbid Federal courts from hearing cases on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance (H.R. 2389); and to limit the use of eminent domain by the states, a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. New London (H.R. 4128).

Campaign Issues and Promises

  • Energy and Environment Schmidt called for reducing America's dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of ethanol and drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Hackett opposed. Schmidt told The Cincinnati Post
  • Taxes and spending Schmidt supported the tax cuts championed by President George W. Bush. She called for additional changes to the Internal Revenue Code, such as adopting a flat tax and repealing the estate and capital gains taxes. The New York Times wrote, however, that Schmidt "offers no plans for closing the federal deficit other than trimming 'unnecessary pork' and bureaucratic inefficiency."
  • Abortion Schmidt is so strongly pro-life that when she launched her candidacy, she was president of Right-to-Life of Greater Cincinnati. At the Chatfield College debate, Schmidt said Roe v. Wade was "a flawed law made by activist judges" and would "love to see" it reversed.
  • Iraq War Schmidt declared on WCET-TV's Forum that "9/11 was a wakeup call. We lost our innocence" and praised the Bush foreign policy. At the Chatfield College debate on July 7, she said of Iraq and Saddam Hussein "We have toppled a terrorist regime, a terrorist madman who now sits in a prison cell. This country has gone to the ballot box and made its decision to become a democratic regime."

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00027526&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Jean Schmidt
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Member, Clermont County 2001 Committee
  • Member, Clermont County Agricultural Society
  • Member, Clermont County Central Committee
  • Member, Clermont County Executive Committee
  • Member, Clermont County Library Board of Trustees.
  • Member, Clermont County League of Women Voters
  • Member, Clermont County Mercy Hospital Foundation Board
  • Member, Clermont County and Milford Miami Township Chambers of Commerce
  • Member, Clermont County and Southwest Township Associations
  • Member, Clermont and Hamilton Counties Republican Clubs
  • Member, Clermont Northwest Rotary
  • Member, Chair and Founder of the Sauls Foundation 5K Race
  • Member, Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships
  • Member, Economic Development Committee
  • Leukemia Society Team in Training
  • Member, Milford-Miami Township Coalition on Aging
  • Member, Ohio Township Association
  • Member, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Jean Schmidt. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
238 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3502
Web Email

District Office- Batavia:
175 East Main Street
Batavia, OH 45103
Phone: 513-732-2948

District Office- Cincinnati:
8044 Montgomery Road, Suite 540
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Phone: 513-791-0381
TollFree: 800-784-6366
Fax: 513-791-1696

District Office- Portsmouth:
601 Chillicothe Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662
Phone: 740-354-1440
Fax: 202-225-1992

Articles and Resources


Local blogs and discussion sites

SourceWatch/Congresspedia Articles

External links

The External Links page includes an extensive listing of links to articles on Jean Schmidt.Media:Example.ogg

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Agriculture, House Committee on Agriculture/Subcommittee on Conservation Credit Energy and Research, House Committee on Agriculture/Subcommittee on Livestock Dairy and Poultry, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
August 2, 2005
First Took Current Office:
September 6, 2005
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Ohio House of Representatives, Trustee for Miami Township, Clermont County,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 175 East Main Street, Batavia, OH 45103
Phone: 513-732-2948 / Fax:
2. 8044 Montgomery Road, Suite 540, Cincinnati, OH 45236
Phone: 513-791-0381 / Fax: 513-791-1696
3. 601 Chillicothe Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662
Phone: 740-354-1440 / Fax: 202-225-1992

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: November 29, 1951