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.


"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 John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election 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 NunesFive takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony White House releases rough transcript of early Trump-Ukraine call minutes before impeachment hearing Live coverage: Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in public impeachment hearing MORE, Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSix memorable moments from Ex-Ukraine ambassador Yovanovitch's public testimony Democrats say Trump tweet is 'witness intimidation,' fuels impeachment push Live coverage: Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in public impeachment hearing MORE and Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll 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.