Charles Wilson (OH – 06) served in the Ohio State House from 96-04, Ohio State Senate 04-06, and was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2006 with a 62% lead over his opponent, Chuck Blasdel, who's campaign was mired in ethics controversy (Bob Ney contributions, Swift Boat ties, and a 50k property tax check that bounced like a Super Ball). During the race, Wilson raised $1,779,436 (38% from PAC's, 35% individual), and spent $1,719,851. Wilson ran as a write-in candidate, after an early campaign flub aced him out of the primary ballot.
According to the 2000 census, Ohio's 6th district, with a population of 630,730, is 95% white, with an average median household income of $32,888, and a large generational steel worker voting block. More than "trending" Democrat, the 6th district hasn't elected a Republican since the 1990 midterm. In 2004, Wilson ran uncontested. In 2002, and 2000, the district awarded it's seat to a Democrat by a 20% margin, and in 2005, saw it's fair share of state Republican ethics scandals. DCCC.org, Sept 2005:
Governor Taft is under investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission for failure to disclose "50 to 60 golf outings and other events." The ethics investigation stemmed from "questions about the state's investment in rare coins" and "an ongoing scandal involving $300 million in investment losses [and] state and federal investigations into state financial policies." The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation invested funds in Noe's coin collection business and Noe was accused by Attorney General Jim Petro "of stealing about $6 million from the state for personal use." [Columbus Dispatch, 7/20/05; Akron Beacon Journal, 7/21/05; Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/27/05; AP, 7/21/05]The district went for Bush in the 2004 Presidential election, but by a very narrow margin.
Regarding Charles Wilson as a Progressive, ProgressivePunch.org gives him a overall progressive score of 88.64%, with 88.46% in the "war and peace" votes (68th of 432). Wilson however remains an opponent of legalized abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother.
He has shown vote support for clean coal, breaking our dependency on foreign oil, and criminalizing the oil cartels. On free trade, his 2006 campaign website has this to say:
So called "free trade" is not fair to Ohio workers. Our jobs are being shipped to countries where workers are paid pennies on the dollar. We must fight for fair trade agreements that protect Ohio's working families.In the 2007 War Supplemental vote, Wilson voted repeatedly for withdrawal time-lines, but eventually stepped in line with fellow Blue Dogs, giving in to Bush's veto threats and voting yes on the final draft to fund the war without the time-lines.
In August, Wilson voted yes to the FISA "fix" (S. 1927), and issued this statement defending the vote:
“The bill I supported was passed on Friday night. Unfortunately that was not the bill that the Senate passed. The version left on the table was unsatisfactory, but it was better than leaving the American people unprotected for the next few months. The legislation that ultimately passed both the Senate and the House, the version that I voted for, is a temporary solution and I’m confident we’ll revisit this issue when Congress returns in September. Again, this was not my choice of bills but to leave America unprotected was not an option."Wilson, on paper, reads as a progressive, but keeping in mind the favor his district has shown for Democratic representatives, and the popularity of his fiscally conservative voting record, his explanation of his FISA vote falls a bit short considering the risk it poses to civil-liberties. One would be even more hard pressed to believe such a vote was cast for re-elections concerns in Ohio's 6th district.
Wilson sits on the following committees:
Science and Technology
Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology
Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity
Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation
His top six contributors are:
1- Saber Healthcare
2- LKQ Corp
3- United Parcel Service
4- Wilson Funeral & Furniture
5- Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
6- Teramana Enterprises