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The Dayton Daily News demonstrated the vital role of the media during campaign ad season as the paper debunked a new ad produced by Freedom Partners Action fund, a super PAC funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. The ad in question attacked former Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who is currently seeking to replace Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
With billions of dollars expected to fund a torrent of political ads in 2016, media outlets play a crucial role in fact-checking claims made by candidates and the super PACs running ads on their behalf. In states with highly contested Senate races such as Ohio, outside funders like the Koch brothers have begun spending millions to reserve ad space through groups like Freedom Partners.
The Daily News’ May 20 article took a closer look at Freedom Partners’ latest ad, which featured a local businessman claiming the former governor “had to be doing something wrong” as “Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs under Ted Strickland.”
However, the Daily News found that the same businessman had praised the economic shape of the state in the newspaper in 2011 when Strickland was governor. From the Daily News:
A Tipp City businessman is featured in a new political action committee ad criticizing former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democrat running to unseat U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Keith Kingrey, vice president of SK Mold & Tool Co., a Tipp City company owned by his family, says that Ohio lost 350,000 jobs during Strickland’s time as Ohio governor.
“Ted Strickland had to be doing something wrong for all these jobs to leave Ohio,” Kingrey said in the ad.
Strickland was governor from 2007-2010 and oversaw the state during the U.S. Great Recession. He was unseated after one term by John Kasich in a 2010 campaign that focused on laying the blame for Ohio’s lost jobs on Strickland. Kasich took office in January 2011.
In a June 2011 Dayton Daily News article Kingrey said positive things about his company’s economic outlook, saying that business had been picking up. The company had expanded in 2008 with the purchase of Sun Machine and Tool Corp. in Troy, according to a Dayton Daily News article.
“It started picking up in 2010 pretty good. Last year was a pretty decent year,” Kingrey said. “This year every quarter, it continues to get better and better.”
Freedom Partners Action Fund is a conservative PAC. Federal Elections Commission documents show one of its chief contributors is conservative Charles G. Koch, a businessmen who, with his brother, David H. Koch, is major contributor to conservative causes.
“Even the person used by the Koch Brothers in this ad previously praised the economy under Ted Strickland and said what newspapers and fact checkers have confirmed: Ohio’s economic recovery began under Ted,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten. “It’s no surprise that wealthy, shadowy special interests like the Kochs are propping up their puppet Rob Portman — because at every turn, Portman is pushing their agenda at the expense of Ohio’s working families.”
h/t Daily Kos