Portman for Senate Releases New "Coal Miner" TV Ad
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Yesterday, in an in-depth analysis on the race in Southeast Ohio from Cleveland.com, Ted Strickland’s fellow Democrats in coal country are readily admitting that the former Governor is not doing so hot saying that Democrats in the region “have soured on Strickland,” and that "Hillary is doing better than Ted is doing at the moment around here.”
The report came the same day as the Portman for Senate Campaign released its newest TV ad highlighting how Ted Strickland turned his back on his former congressional district and southeast Ohio by moving to D.C. to take his "Dream Job" making $250,000 a year to lobby for Hillary Clinton and President Obama's war on coal. The ad is playing across southeast Ohio, will run through Election Day, and is part of the Portman for Senate Campaign's $14 million TV reservation.
As a reminder, the United Mine Workers of America endorsed Rob in June. The union has a long history of supporting Democrats, including Ted Strickland in 2006 and 2010.
Rob Portman eyes gains in Southeast Ohio, Ted Strickland's home turf
For years, the forest-covered hills of Southeast Ohio have been Ted Strickland territory. But in this year's U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Rob Portman is trying to horn in on Strickland's turf.
Strickland, a Democrat and native of rural Scioto County who now lives in Columbus, has made his Appalachian Ohio roots a big part of his personal and political identity. And for years, Southeast Ohio has supported him, electing him to six terms in Congress and backing him during his two runs for governor of Ohio.
But a number of Republicans, Democrats, and political analysts alike agree that the U.S. Senate race will likely be close this year in Southeast Ohio, with Strickland at risk of losing some areas that until now have been a redoubt of support for him.
Portman's campaign and outside groups backing him have spent millions on ads claiming Strickland has "sold out" his native region on key issues such as coal and gun control. Strickland, meanwhile, is counting on voters in the area to remember him and his political accomplishments.
Southeast Ohio, a sparsely populated, economically stagnant area of Appalachian foothills stretching roughly from Portsmouth to Youngstown, is not likely to decide the election unless it's really close.
But Portman's campaign sees an opportunity to win votes in a historically Democratic area that is already gradually shifting toward the Republicans. Strickland's campaign, meanwhile, hopes to secure enough support there that it gives him some leeway in other parts of the state….
But, DeCarlantonio said, a wave of anti-Strickland attack ads are eating into his support among young voters and independent voters who don't know much about his work as a congressman and governor.
"Hillary is doing better than I see Ted doing at the moment around here," he said.
And even many Democrats in Steubenville have soured on Strickland, said Thomas Wilson, an attorney and associate professor of business at Franciscan University in Steubenville. That's because of local controversies involving the state while Strickland was governor, including an attempt by the state to turn Jefferson Lake State Park into a wildlife area and the expansion of the local community college to serve neighboring counties.
"There were a lot of people who looked at him as someone who didn't really care about us," Wilson said.
Chris Gagin, who chairs the Belmont County Republican Party, agreed that Strickland has been hurt by the early and constant wave of attack ads from Portman's camp.
"Portman is doing to Strickland what [John] Kasich did to him in 2010," said Gagin, referring to the Republican who was elected governor, denying Strickland a second term. "Portman's been able to define Strickland quite a bit."
Portman, of course, represents all of Ohio -- including the southeastern part -- in the U.S. Senate. The Cincinnati-area Republican also represented parts of Southern Ohio while serving in the U.S. House between 1993 and 2005.
But Portman, like in the rest of the state, isn't particularly well-known in Southeast Ohio. If Portman scores victories in the southeast part of the state, it will be because of discontent with Strickland, said Tom Sutton, who chairs the political science department at Baldwin Wallace University.
Sutton predicted "very close returns" in Southeast Ohio on Election Day, adding that several counties "are probably going to tip slightly toward Portman."
Portman campaign spokeswoman Michawn Rich voiced even greater confidence about her candidate's chances.
"Rob is going to win Southeast Ohio," Rich said in a statement. "By November 8th, when the people of Southeast Ohio learn that the Ted Strickland of 2016 isn't the Ted Strickland of 1996, we'd be shocked if anyone in Appalachia supports him other than his relatives and campaign staff."
…Doug Davis, the mayor of the village of Trimble in Athens County, said he's talked to many residents who have seen the anti-Strickland ads on TV. Davis said Strickland might suffer from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's comment that clean energy policies will "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business," and he noted that the United Mine Workers have endorsed Portman…
ICYMI: Portman for Senate’s New TV Ad "Coal Miner" Highlights How Strickland Turned His Back on Ohio
Here is what they had to say:
Cleveland.com: Portman pounces, too: His campaign's latest ad, part of a $14 million buy reserved through Election Day, targets Southeast Ohio's coal country by portraying Strickland as a "sellout" for joining a liberal advocacy group in Washington after leaving the governor's office. "Rob Portman has our backs as coal miners," says Jerry, a miner featured in the minute-long spot. "He'll fight for us. He'll fight for coal."
Washington Examiner: A mine worker called Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland a "turncoat" in a new ad for Sen. Rob Portman that focuses on Strickland's work for an anti-coal group in Washington, D.C.
Roll Call: The minute-long television ad will go on the air in southeast Ohio from now until Election Day, according to Portman's campaign. The ad is part of a $14 million statewide ad reservation that the Ohio Republican's campaign announced in May.
The Hill: A new television ad released Tuesday, calls former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) a “turncoat” who worked with President Obama and Clinton during his time running a think tank in Washington… The spot is designed to appeal to coal miners and their allies in Ohio, where companies operate dozens of mines near the state’s eastern border.
Politico: It’s a 60-second spot that ties Strickland to Hillary Clinton and accuses him of shirking the needs to coal miners. “Ted Strickland siding with Hillary Clinton. It's a slap to the face. They want to put us good working, hard working coal miners out of jobs,” an Ohio coal miner, Jerry Murphy Jr., says in the ad. “You can't turn your back on Ohio and then come back here and say 'I'm here for you.' It just don't work like that. Rob Portman is on the side of the coal miners,” another coal miner, P.J. DeLuca, says.
E&E News: Portman has hit Strickland repeatedly during the campaign as an opponent of the state's coal industry, criticizing Strickland's former post at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C. Portman has also touted the endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America's political action committee, which backed the Republican in June in a break from its typical support for Democrats.
In June, Ted received a major “political blow” after the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) endorsed Rob. In response, Strickland launched a two-day Appalachian Apology Tour as he desperately tried to convince voters that the 2016 Ted Strickland from Washington, D.C. is the same as the 1996 Ted Strickland from southeast Ohio. Unfortunately for him what followed was a poll showing Ted Strickland down in his former Congressional district by double digits to Rob and scathing editorials from the Wheeling Intelligencer detailing how Ted Strickland is "not a friend to East Ohio" and from Belmont County's Times Leader declaring "No thanks, Mr. Strickland. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice – shame on us."
Ted Strickland was endorsed by the UMWA in 2006 and 2010 while running for Governor and they endorsed all of the Ohio Democrats running for office in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
The UMWA endorsed these prominent Senate Democrats in 2012:
- Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
- Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
- Joe Manchin (D-WV)
- Tim Kaine (D-VA)
- Bob Casey (D-PA)
And in 2014, the UMWA endorsed these prominent Democrats running for Senate:
- Dick Durbin (D-IL)
- Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY)
- Mark Udall (D-CO)
- Mark Warner (D-VA)
The Portman for Senate Campaign has also released three radio ads, "Changed," "Mine Workers," and "No Friend," detailing Rob's support for coal workers and Ted's record of turning his back on Southeast Ohio.
Earlier this year, Rob secured the commitment from Finance Committee Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to mark up his legislation, the Miners Protection Act, which honors the promises made to Ohio's mine workers, retirees, and their dependents by protecting their hard-earned pensions and health benefits.
Roll Call: As Portman Launches Ad Touting Miner Endorsement, Pension Proponents See Progress
Capito and Portman had been among the group of senators opposing the bill to address the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, which the Senate cleared Wednesday, due to the unresolved issue of the mine worker pensions. Now, there's some light at the end of the tunnel for the issue...
Coal Country does not have a friend in Ted Strickland:
Ted Strickland has refused to denounce Hillary Clinton’s comments attacking coal workers when she said that, if elected, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” In a press release, Rob Portman condemned Clinton’s remarks and called on Ted Strickland to denounce them.
On April 1, 2014, former Governor Ted Strickland started his first day as President of the anti-gun, anti-coal, pro-tax, pro-Obamacare Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund – a liberal special interest group.
Ohio Coal Association: Strickland Is “Bad For Ohio Coal” (Ohio Coal Association, 2/8/15) "Moving from Ohio to Washington, DC has a tendency to change people. So it’s no surprise that for the past couple years, former Governor Ted Strickland has been advocating for the Obama Administration’s radical anti-coal policies that could kill 53,000 Ohio jobs, lower access to affordable energy, and threaten grid reliability... Ted Strickland has always liked to claim that he supports Ohio’s coal industry, but he has done just the opposite. Rumors are that Ted Strickland is considering moving back to Ohio to get back into politics and run for the U.S. Senate against Senator Rob Portman in 2016. If he does, Strickland will have a lot to answer to Ohio's coal voters on why he betrayed the people he used to represent in Congress and why he has been getting paid by a liberal Washington think tank for the past few years to advocate policies that are bad for Ohio coal, as well as anyone who turns on a light switch."
The Buckeye Firearms Association says Strickland "completely and totally lost his way in Washington, D.C. (Buckeye Firearms Association, 2/11/15) "...In short, former Governor Ted Strickland, despite the good he did for gun owners when he lived in Ohio, has completely and totally lost his way in Washington D.C... And gun owners aren't the only ones who are concerned about his abandonment of Ohioans' values. This week, Cleveland Plain Dealer is quoting Christian Palich, interim president of the Ohio Coal Association, as saying Strickland has also turned his back on Ohio's coal workers and electricity consumers, just as he has Ohio gun owners."
Center for American Progress: “There is no war on coal.” (Center for American Progress, 5/30/14)
CAP Calls Obama’s Anti-Coal Rule ‘Most Important Federal Effort To Cut Carbon’ “…the Obama administration proposed the Clean Power Plan, a landmark policy to establish the first-ever carbon-pollution standards for power plants, the largest industrial source of carbon pollution in the United States… the most important federal effort to cut carbon...” (Center for American Progress, 3/9/15)
Think Progress Said President Obama's EPA Regulations On Power Plants ‘Will Be The Most Significant Thing America Has Ever Done To Combat Climate Change.’ "Regulating carbon emissions from coal plants will be the most significant thing America has ever done to combat climate change. The electricity sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions here, and dropping those 25 percent in 6 years amounts to a reduction of roughly 300 million tons of CO2 each year." (Think Progress, 7/2/14)