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Citizens United joins other outside groups spending on ad buys to support Ohio anti-labor law

The same group that helped open the door for a Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections is now trying to slam the door shut on the collective bargaining rights of hundreds of thousands of Ohio’s public employees.

According to Politico, Citizens United, an out-of-state conservative organization, plans to spend $101,070 on television ad buys leading up to Nov. 8 referendum on Senate Bill 5, legislation that strips virtually all collective bargaining power from Ohio’s public employees. Ohio voters can repeal the law by voting ‘no’ on Issue 2.

Overall, right-wing groups are set to spend over $2 million on advertising in the final days of the campaign, according to The Washington Post.

“National conservative groups view the showdown over Issue 2 — a referendum on Governor John Kasich’s law rolling back bargaining rights — as the central front in their drive to break labor’s back in the middle of the industrial heartland,” Greg Sargent reports on the Post’s Plum Line blog.

Building a Better Ohio, which is backed by a host of corporate interests, plans to flood Ohio’s airwaves leading up to election day with pro-Issue 2 ad buys totaling $1.8 million.

Another outside group hoping to influence Ohio voters is Restoring America. The organization is financed by a single donor, the father-in-law of Kentucky’s Republican gubernatorial candidate. Earlier this year, it was temporarily barred from televising ads in Kentucky after it was found to have violated the state’s campaign finance laws.

“It’s clear that Issue 2 supporters are losing their attack on our everyday heroes in Ohio,” said Melissa Fazekas, We Are Ohio spokeswoman. “This is a desperate attempt by shadowy out-of-state groups that refuse to disclose the source of their money. We have seen Restore America and Citizens United dropping untraceable money into Ohio. Restore America was taken off the air in Kentucky just last month for their deceptive practices.”

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