Democrat congressional candidate Theresa Gasper was asked to apologize after her words about an important Ohio military base sparked controversy on the campaign trail.
Theresa Gasper, who is running against Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH-10), was caught on video last week making a dubious comment about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
At a candidate’s forum with the Greater Dayton Real Estate Investors Association, Gasper said “I’d like to comment one more thing on Wright-Patt. It is an enduring base. It’s never going to close. Unless somebody blows it up.”
Gasper says she was trying to make a point about the base’s importance to the Miami Valley economy, WDTN in Dayton reported.
Turner on Monday called for a public apology, saying the families on base should not be subjected to fear tactics.
“It is absolutely irresponsible, uncaring, and certainly unprofessional,” he said, “and does not reflect that she is qualified at all for the position she is running for that she would even make such a statement about the base.”
Gasper released a statement on Sept. 24 walking back her comments but stopping short of an apology.
It said, in part, “I recognize the unfortunate choice of my words in my response to a question about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base last week. Wright-Patt is the economic driver in our region and critical to our national defense.”
Turner is a staunch supporter of the Air Force base. But he wasn’t the only one who was shocked by Gasper’s flippant and confusing statement about the base.
Two of the area’s top law enforcement officials are also calling for Theresa Gasper to apologize for the comment.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer condemned Gasper for what they called an “unprofessional and irresponsible” comment, the Xenia Daily Gazette reported.
“We’re immediately calling on her to recant and apologize to all of the men and women who work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Turner said Sept. 25. “And their families.”
“This is a shocking disregard for the people who work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Turner told the newspaper. “It shows that she’s completely unqualified to serve in any capacity. Certainly not Congress. Every man and woman who works at any base across our country would be offended by such a cavalier statement.”
Roy Colbrunn, a retired firefighter who worked as a first responder on base said he was “shocked” by the statement.
“I worked at the base during 9/11 and being blown up was a real possibility then,” Colbrunn said. “It’s not something I think we should joke about.”
Gasper’s statement comes just a few weeks after an active-shooter scare on base that drew first responders from all over the Miami Valley.
Meanwhile, Gasper continues to win praises from the far left and Democratic-Socialist wing of the Democrat Party.
One of her biggest boosters is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
The people of #OH10 need a representative who will work for THEM – not the wealthy donors & giant corporations. @GasperforOH10 works for the people. Chip in & let’s send Theresa to Congress where she'll fight for good jobs & health care: https://t.co/fuWsTuQx5z https://t.co/jbo2NpTlvL
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 23, 2018
In her latest television ad Gasper focuses on her aversion to corporations and special-interest PAC money.
I am sick of politicians chasing money all the time and doing the bidding of their corporate donors. I don't want their money, and I won't take their money. I want to work for you. #OH10 pic.twitter.com/ditXAHvt5I
— Theresa Gasper (@GasperforOH10) September 7, 2018
Gasper promotes her run for Ohio’s District 10 congressional seat, now held by Republican Rep. Mike Turner, as morally righteous based on her funding choices.
“I am sick of politicians chasing money all the time, and doing the bidding of their corporate donors. If we don’t get money out of politics, nothing else changes. I don’t want their money. And I won’t take their money! Because my only job is to work for you.”
As previously reported by The Ohio Star, it is all about choices, and Gasper has grabbed tens of thousands of dollars from those representing the special-interests she has aligned herself with.
OpenSecrets.org shows Turner has outraised and outspent Gasper as of the latest filing deadline – raising $923,733 to Gasper’s $468,489 and spending $506,335 to Gasper’s $281,379.
Yes, Turner has received more money from corporations, most of it from defense and aerospace industries like BAE Systems, General Electric, Lockheed and Northrop Grumman.
But Gasper also accepts money from PACs pushing single-issue ideological interests, especially abortion.
For the record, here are some of Gasper’s major donors, some of which even appear to be corporations.
- Wright State University, $5,985
- Emily’s List(single-issue PAC that supports candidates in favor of unquestioned abortion rights all the way through the ninth month of pregnancy), $5,500
- AmeriPAC, $5,000
- End Citizens United, $5,000
- 1stFinancial Bank, $3,150
- Cisco Systems, $2,700
- Kroger Co., $2,500
- Morris Furniture, $2,200
- University of Dayton, $2,114
- Avion Partners, $2,000
- Bonbright Distributors, $2,000
- Med-Pass Inc., $2,000
- Optica, $2,000
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.