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The Case Against Congressman Steve Chabot

“Between his repeated votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act to his vast and unending legal and ethical troubles, it’s clear Congressman Steve Chabot has forgotten his job is to represent Ohioans, not Washington special interests,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos said. “In this majority suburban district, voters are looking for a change and they’ll find it with Kate Schroder. A cancer survivor, Kate knows all too well the real impact on everyday people that comes when Washington insiders like Steve Chabot work for years to take coverage away from those with pre-existing conditions, raising costs for hardworking families. Her health care experiences and her career as a health care advocate make her perfect to retire Chabot, someone who has become everything that’s wrong with Washington after 20 years in office.”

To:         Interested Parties

From:     Sarah Guggenheimer, DCCC Regional Press Secretary

Date:      April 29, 2020

Subject: Case Against Congressman Steve Chabot

Steve Chabot embodies everything that is broken in Washington: from his self-serving views on his FEC violations to his self-dealings in Washington that help himself and his family, all the way to his repeated votes to take health care away from his constituents.

This decades-long career politician, who has, when it was convenient, claimed to support term limits, has used his time in office to cater to the Washington establishment and his lobbyist pals at the expense of southwestern Ohio. Throughout his time in office, his record is filled to the brim with votes and stances that have made life harder for the people he was elected to represent.

And while Chabot has done nothing but serve himself, while leaving everyday Ohioans behind, Kate’s entire career has been dedicated to improving the lives of those around her. As a cancer survivor, Kate knows what it’s like to worry about health care coverage. That’s why she’s spent her career as a health care advocate, working on behalf of others and prioritizing what matters most – seeing a doctor when we’re sick, providing our kids with a good education, and having jobs that allow us to take care of our families. Kate has fought to make sure her neighbors can afford their prescription drugs and afford to see their doctor, even if they have a pre-existing condition, and she’ll do the same in Congress. As a lifelong Cincinnatian, she’ll always put her neighbors first – not the partisan bickering that so often consumes Washington.

Kate Schroder is the polar opposite of Chabot whose shining accomplishment in Congress is his 20-year membership card to the Washington swamp. His record of putting the interests of the Washington establishment over Ohioans in a blue-trending district running against Schroder makes this race the one that might end Chabot’s long career in Washington.


Columbus Dispatch Headline: 2020 might be longtime Ohio GOP congressman Steve Chabot’s last election [Columbus Dispatch, 1/7/20]

Cincinnati Enquirer Headline: Scott Wartman: Steve Chabot A Victim? Hardly. But Campaign Finance Quandary Shows Republican Congressman Is Checked Out. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/6/19]

Cincinnati Enquirer Column: “He’s playing the victim role in all of this, that he had no idea there were problems…And therein lies his biggest problem: He’s way out of touch. He has been for a long time, too caught up in the Beltway Bubble to be aware about what’s going on around him.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/6/19]

Cincinnati Enquirer: “Schroder’s experience as a cancer survivor helped her see the health-care system from a different perspective. She had grown up around the field…Health care is expected to be a top issue in the presidential and congressional races next year. It’s a big reason why Schroder has decided to fulfill a goal she had as a child to run for elected office, fearing President Donald Trump, Chabot and many Republicans’ ongoing desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/5/19]

Fox19: “Congressman Steve Chabot has filed for re-election, and it comes as FOX19 NOW has learned there is a federal investigation going into money missing from his campaign with a grand jury convened in Cincinnati.” [Fox19, 12/11/19]

Chabot is everything that’s wrong with Washington


Given his abysmal record on the most important issues impacting everyday Ohioans, Steve Chabot should be terrified that voters consistently rate health care as the most important issue for them this election.

Chabot voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act 16 times in Congress. He also voted for Washington Republican’s failed 2017 health care repeal bill, which put access to health insurance in danger for more than 300,000 Ohioans in the first district.

He’s also joined the crusade to remove protections for pre-existing conditions that continues today. Chabot has actively supported the Republicans’ latest assault on the Affordable Care Act, threatening the coverage of more than 50,000 of his constituents.

This never-ending assault on his constituents’ health care will play a huge role in the election, particularly with Congressman Chabot running against Kate whose personal experiences with our health care system make this fight personal. After defeating Chabot in November, she will work overtime to lower health care costs and improve coverage in Congress.


In 2018, Chabot said when there are issues in a campaign, “it starts at the top of the ticket.” But now his campaign is facing a grand jury investigation into his own campaign’s legal troubles, and Chabot is desperately pointing fingers at anyone but himself.

Unfortunately for Chabot, as more information comes out about his campaign’s machinations, the worse things look for the embattled Congressman. In the months since Chabot first claimed $100,000 had been stolen from his campaign, it turns out that his treasurer didn’t know he was the treasurer, that at least $57,000 had been spent by his campaign for “unknown” purposes, and to add insult to injury the same week he announced his re-election campaign it was also reported that a grand jury had been convened to investigate the missing money.

As Chabot himself said, these types of issues “start at the top of the ticket,” but now that the shoe is on the other foot, Chabot has not only avoided any blame but has gone on to hide behind his attorney.

SoutHwest Ohio deserves a Representative who will stand by their words instead of one whose only motivation is political survival.


It’s all in the family for Steve Chabot, who has used his Congressional office and campaigns to feather his families’ nest whenever possible. Right after Chabot’s son-in-law started Right Turn Design, Chabot became their primary client. In fact, Chabot’s campaign and Leadership PAC paid his son-in-law’s company $175,000 which was responsible for 100% of federal business since 2012.

This coordination was so egregious it led good government advocates to say this deal smacks of nepotism and self-dealing.

To be fair, Chabot doesn’t just use his office to prop up his family. He prioritizes special interests and his high-dollar donors ahead of Ohioans as well.

After accepting over $3 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors, Steve Chabot has voted to deregulate big banks and weaken consumer protections.  When it came time to vote on GOP Tax Scam that gave the wealthiest 1% of Americans 83% of the benefits, while increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion, Steve Chabot was completely on board.


This district is 62% suburban and has trended increasingly blue in recent years with Democrats making gains cycle after cycle and putting this district within reach. In 2016 Democrats won 40.8% of the vote. In 2018, the Democratic candidate won 47.8% of the vote while Sherrod Brown improved on his 2012 performance to win 50.7% of the district.

This district is moving quickly towards Democrats as voters flee from a Trump-led Republican party that has worked to remove protections for pre-existing conditions, given tax cuts to special interests at the expense of middle-class families, and opposed lowering prescription drug costs.

In every one of these instances, Steve Chabot has marched in lockstep with the Washington establishment just as he has over the past 20 years, embodying everything people think is wrong with Washington.

But while Chabot has spent decades working only for himself, family, and high-dollar donors, Kate has been working to help people, spending her career working to give everyone access to health care.

In 2018, Democrats gave Chabot his toughest challenge yet. In 2020, with Kate leading the charge, Democrats are poised to finally throw Chabot his retirement party.

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