Longtime Ohio conservative commentator: 'In 2018 I will vote for Democrats'

Longtime Ohio conservative commentator: 'In 2018 I will vote for Democrats'
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A longtime conservative commentator and former Republican politician says he's voting for Democrats in this year's midterm elections. 

Phil Heimlich, the host of conservative talk show "Hard Truths with Phil Heimlich" who served on the Cincinnati City Council from 1993 to 2001 and the Hamilton County Commission from 2003 to 2006, wrote in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday that, despite being a Republican for decades, he's casting his vote for Democrats in November.

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"I’m scared — scared of losing our rights to free speech, fair elections and the rule of law," Heimlich writes. "You see, we’re witnessing a dangerous trend in which dictators come to power in once-promising democracies and crush dissent."

Heimlich says President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE lacks respect for democratic values, and pointed out how Trump admires people like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, two leaders who have cracked down on independent media in their respective countries. 

Heimlich then lays out his objections to many of the things Trump has said about the press in recent years, such as calling for toughening the libel laws and labeling the media the "enemy of the people." 

But his strong criticism isn't pointed just at Trump. He admonishes GOP lawmakers in Congress, saying they're not being patriots, but "partisans willing to sell out the country rather than stand up to the Republican base." 

"I lived through the Watergate era in the 1970s and know that if cowardly Republicans like [Reps.] Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans MORE, Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers House Republican calls on Biden to have plan to counter drug trade in Afghanistan Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid MORE and Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE controlled Congress then, there would have been no investigation into Richard Nixon’s crimes and no threat of impeachment," he writes. 

"That’s why in 2018 I will vote for Democrats in U.S. Senate and House elections."

Democrats hold a 6-point advantage over Republicans on a generic House ballot ahead of November, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday.