TV stations drop misleading ad by group pushing Ohio anti-union bill
Building a Better Ohio, a group formed to support anti-collective bargaining legislation that will go before voters in November via a veto referendum known as Issue 2, is up with a new television ad featuring Marlene Quinn, a 78-year-old Cincinnati woman, extolling the virtues of the union-busting legislation.
The problem is, Quinn is not a supporter of Senate Bill 5. In fact, she is adamantly opposed to the anti-union legislation, and made that clear in an anti-SB5 ad that aired prior to the Building a Better Ohio ad.
Building a Better Ohio took footage of that previous ad and manipulated it, adding in its own narration to make it seem as though Quinn supports SB5 in order to avoid layoffs of firefighters.
“I think it’s dishonest and downright deceitful that they would use footage of me to try to play tricks and fool voters,” Quinn said in a statement.
Watch the Building a Better Ohio ad:
In the original, anti-SB5 ad produced by We Are Ohio, Quinn speaks about her great-granddaughter Zoey being saved by firefighters from a potentially deadly fire. SB5 is dangerous, she said, because it could result in fewer firefighters to save lives.
“It’s insulting to the brave firefighters that saved the lives of my grandson and my great-granddaughter Zoey,” she said. “I’m outraged. They did not ask my permission.”
A cease and desist order was sent by We Are Ohio to all stations airing the ad, asking them pull it off air. We Are Ohio argues it “intentionally distorts information,” according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Given the legal questions surrounding the ad, 30 Ohio television stations stopped airing the ad as of Thursday morning, according to We Are Ohio, a citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition that has come together to repeal SB 5 by voting NO on Issue 2.
“Issue 2 supporters have sunk to a new low by stealing the words of a great-grandmother,” said Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio. “This ad raises serious questions about the motives of their campaign and the personnel behind making the decisions to air this type of underhanded campaign commercial. Who is funding these attacks? Who approved this ad? Did Governor Kasich and legislative leaders know about it and/or approve it?”
For his part, Kasich (R) told the Columbus Dispatch he is not responsible for the misleading ad. However, he also added that “what they’re doing is fine.”
“I applaud the decision by the stations to pull down this deeply offensive and misleading ad,” Paul Weber, one of the Cincinnati firefighters who responded to the call which saved Marlene Quinn’s family, said in a statement. “Marlene Quinn is deeply hurt by the deceptive use of her words. My fellow firefighters and I are outraged that anti-worker politicians have taken advantage of a senior citizen for speaking out in support of her great-granddaughter.”
This is just the most recent example of the deceptive tactics used by Building a Better Ohio. Recently, the organization obtained the email addresses of an unknown number of Ohio teachers and has inundated them with emails asking them to support the anti-union legislation that will drastically limit the rights of teachers to bargain collectively.
In another instance, the group produced an ad entitled “Teachers.” In it, they attempted to pass a Republican political operative off as an ordinary teacher supporting Issue 2.