The Koch brothers have launched a $1.4 million ad blitz aimed at taking on former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who hopes to unseat Sen. Rob Portman in 2016.
Americans for Prosperity, the political group backed by billionaire conservatives David and Charles Koch, are running an ad in the state’s major media markets accusing Strickland of having “failed” Ohio’s families.
You can see the ad here.
The 30-second spot features a man named “Bruce,” a former DHL worker from Wilmington who lost his job when the plant moved out of state, complains about Strickland’s time as governor, saying it was a time of job loss and devastation for the state. “I’ve never seen him solve Ohio’s problems,’ the ad says, before urging voters to “vote against Ted Strickland.”
Jennifer Donohue, an Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman, said the ad puts Portman special interest spending against Strickland at up to $9.4 million – a figure that Portman’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss, sharply disputes, and includes a $3 million pro-Republican ad that mentions neither Portman or Strickland, but does speak kindly of the Republican party.
The Koch brothers, said Donohue, “are lining up with other dark-money special interests to buy this race for Rob Portman so they can keep him in the Senate to do their bidding - but even the Koch billions can’t buy Portman a new record.
She criticized Portman’s stances on trade agreements as evidence that it’s he, not Strickland, who is costing the state jobs.
The Koch brothers will be holding their annual summit in Columbus Friday and Saturday, and Portman is expected to speak. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is not.
The Koch brothers’ ad came the same day that Planned Parenthood launched an ad blitz urging Portman and other GOP senators not to shut down the government over the dispute over Planned Parenthood funding.
“Governor Strickland and his allies didn't complain when out-of-state liberal groups spent millions attacking Rob Portman in misleading, false negative ads,” said Bliss. “Unfortunately for them, no amount of money can hide the fact that Ted Strickland was an awful governor and under his leadership, Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs and ranked 48th in job creation.