The selective morality—or the lack thereof—of Republican politicians these days is always a trait to behold.
Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican candidate for Senate who currently serves Ohio’s 16th congressional district, is under fire for flying earlier this week on a strip-club owner’s private plane to meet with what he described as “faith leaders.”
Local media previously had reported that Renacci also used the plane to attend other campaign events across the state.
According to Cleveland.com:
Flight records show a plane registered to an address shared with the Peek-a-Boo Club in Cleveland, which is owned by [Don] Ksiezyk, flew from the Wooster area to Portsmouth around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Later that evening, Renacci tweeted about meeting with the “faith leaders” before he attended a Scioto County Republican Party event.
When confronted about it, Renacci, one of 17 Republican lawmakers who nominated Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize, told the newspaper he was only traveling “with a volunteer.”
“Again, it’s so sad that we’re worried about my travel, which is legal, but you won’t report on Sherrod Brown’s multiple abuses over the years,” he said.
He was referring to his Democratic opponent, two-term Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is up for reelection in November.
Renacci’s campaign strategy has largely focused on attacking Brown over the senator’s 1986 divorce, in which Brown’s former wife, Larke Recchie, said in court filings that he had been “physically rough” with her. She has since spoken out against efforts to politicize those allegations, in 1992, 2012, and again this year, according to Cleveland.com.
That hasn’t stopped Renacci from repeatedly bringing it up. Speaking to Fox News in September, the Ohio congressman criticized Brown’s opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and accused the Democrats of being hypocritical.
“I keep getting back to this hypocrisy of what’s going on here,” Renacci said at the time. “It’s about a standard of conduct. They [Democrats] want to say that this individual [Kavanaugh] doesn’t meet a standard of conduct to be able to sit on the Supreme Court.”
He urged Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to investigate Brown.
Regarding his friend, the strip-club owner, Renacci told the newspaper, “I’m not going to vet volunteers, and I’m not going to vet the press’s looking at volunteers.”
According to polls published last week, Brown has a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger. Last April, Trump gave Renacci one of his copy/paste Twitter endorsements, saying, “I need Jim very badly to help our agenda and to keep MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”