Ohio anti-union ad features teacher who’s also ‘wannabe political operative’
In the ad, Farmer extolls the virtues of the legislation that would strip Ohio’s public employees of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights. But Farmer is no ordinary teacher.
According to the Columbus Dispatch:
Farmer is the chairman of the Fairfield County Republican Party. On his Twitter page, he calls himself a “wannabe political operative,” and he is a member of Republican Gov. John Kasich’s steering committee of teachers assembled to help him determine how merit pay (a provision of Senate Bill 5 and the state budget) should be implemented.
On his Twitter account, Farmer’s dislike of the teachers’ union is evident. In more than one instance, he refers to the Ohio Education Association (OEA) “stealing” money from him – most likely in the form of union dues. He calls the OEA “thugs.”
He also appears to have a cozy relationship with Kasich, posting a picture of himself at the governor’s mansion.
And this is not the first time that he has appeared in a political ad supporting Kasich or one of his causes. Per the Columbus Dispatch:
Last year, during Kasich’s successful gubernatorial campaign, Farmer co-starred…in an Internet commercial touting “Teachers for Kasich.”
Farmer also has political ambitions of his own. In 2006, he ran for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, losing in the Republican primary election. He is rumored to be mulling another run for office, according to We Are Ohio, a citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition that has come together to repeal SB5.
Farmer’s undisclosed ties to Kasich and his resentment of labor unions is not the only deception in the ad. The ad also features footage of a woman teaching a classroom full of young children. The scene is a stock clip, however, and has been used in similar anti-union efforts in Wisconsin, the Dispatch reports:
The ad also includes a clip of a female teacher standing in front of a whiteboard — the same clip that previously was used in ads produced by the Republican State Leadership Committee in Wisconsin and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.