Brown’s budget commentary sparks criticism

Democrat said Senate passage of budget is not ‘all that meaningful.’

“But the fact is that we’ve had a Budget Act where we have that plan set out,” he said, referring to the Budget Control Act passed by Congress last August. “The budget’s only for a year or two. The Budget Act is for 5 and 10 years down the road, so I think that’s a good sound bite to use but I don’t think it’s all that meaningful.”

Republicans leaped on the statement, saying that passing a budget is the most basic form of government and that Brown, in the past, has endorsed President Barack Obama’s budgets.

“It’s remarkable that Sherrod Brown would tell Ohioans that passing a budget is not that meaningful because not only did he tout Obama’s 2012 budget, but he even campaigned on a balanced budget,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox.

But Meghan Dubyak, a spokesperson for Brown, said the recent Budget Control Act sets spending caps similar to a budget resolution that would bar Congress from spending too much. Brown is running for re-election this year.

“The Budget Control Act is even stronger than a traditional budget because it was enacted into law, unlike budget resolutions,” she said, adding that that measure cuts spending and reduces the deficit by more than $2 trillion, sets 10 years of spending caps and protects entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.

Former Clinton adviser speaks at Mandel event

In the “where are they now” files, famed former political consultant Dick Morris – the man who advised former President Bill Clinton in the days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke – is now speaking at fundraisers for Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

Mandel paid $10,000 to Triangulation Strategies for a speaking fee at an Oct. 12, 2011 event for Mandel, according to research by American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC.

Mandel spokesman Travis Considine confirmed that the campaign paid the fee to Morris, saying Morris spoke at a fundraiser for Mandel in Ohio.