Negative campaigning and the use of ads to undermine an opponent is nothing new.
Today, however, some campaigns just make things up. Literally.
“Steve Stivers has finally taken things too far. His campaign of lies and deceit is now running a blatantly false television advertisement in a desperate attempt to win an election. In response to his attempt to deceive central Ohioans, Mary Jo Kilroy’s campaign has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission demanding the ad be taken off the air.”
According to the Kilroy campaign, the ad in question revolves around a series of lies about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claiming that Kilroy has created jobs in China. Kilroy’s campaign has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission demanding the ad be taken off the air.
“Too bad for Corporate Lobbyist Stivers,” says the press release from Kilroy’s campaign. “His case isn’t backed up by the facts. According to the nonpartisan Politifact, no jobs have been created in China as a result of Kilroy’s vote for President Obama’s stimulus plan.”
“There is an enormous difference between talking about policy differences and out and out lying to the voters,” said Brad Bauman, Communications Director for Mary Jo Kilroy.
“This ad falls so far on the latter side that it’s mind-boggling the Stivers campaign ever thought this was within the realm of social acceptability. This ad should be taken down immediately and we will fight to make sure that is exactly what happens.”
The Kilroy campaign is not alone in charging falsehoods against an opponent or against outside groups funding advertisements in hotly contested races.
In fact, writes Amie Newman, a U.S. District Court ruled against the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) in the case of advertising supported by SBAL targeting certain anti-choice candidates who supported health care reform, claiming they voted for “taxpayer funded abortion” by doing so. Also in Ohio, they paid for a billboard targeting Rep. Steve Driehaus stating, “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR Taxpayer Funded Abortion!” Driehaus complained to the OEC, which ruled that the claim was in fact false and ordered the group to take the billboard down. Now, SBAL is bringing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s “false statement in political advertising” law.
There is no provision for “tax payer-funded abortion” in the health reform bill. This is a blatant lie being used across the country by anti-choice forces to defeat candidates. But they’ve got enormous sums of money from Tea-Party backers such as the Koch brothers, from corporations and from other anonymous sources to tell their tale.
Another example is the now-infamous Amendment 62 video being run on YouTube, which is not only replete with lies, it references Nazi Germany, and makes President Obama out to be the Angel of Death.
Clearly, the Ohio Elections Commission and other such bodies have a lot of work these days as more and more money from outside groups pours into close races, they are seeking to use negative advertising to their advantage.
This really does come down to values, and whether you stick to them even when the going gets difficult.
“Central Ohioans deserve better than someone who will blatantly lie just to win an election. This ad is patently false and just another example of how Lobbyist Steve Stivers will say and do anything, with an astounding disregard for the truth.”