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ICYMI: Portman for Senate Launches First TV Ads

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Yesterday, the Portman for Senate Campaign launched its first three television ads of the campaign detailing Rob Portman’s fight to combat the prescription drug and heroin epidemic gripping families across Ohio. The ads, “Wildfire," "Tyler," and "Gina," begin running statewide today and are part of the campaign's $15 million ad buy.

Here is what they are saying:
Morning Consult: Portman Is No Newcomer to Battling Drug Abuse

…On Tuesday, the Portman campaign released its first television ads. All three are centered on Portman’s work to address the opioid epidemic, touting his decades-long record on the issue.

It may look like election-year pandering, but that’s not how members of Congress see it. No elected official interviewed for this story, Republican or Democrat, questioned Portman’s sincerity when it comes to tackling opioid abuse. Nor did they question whether the opioid epidemic is a problem that needs addressing now…

Portman’s passion on the issue dates back to 1993, when one of his constituents visited him. Her son had just died from a drug overdose. At the time, drug overdoses were uncommon, but Portman still thought he had some answers about drug interdiction and eradication. They were not the answers she was looking for…

From that moment, Portman became convinced of the power of community coalitions. He founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati (now PreventionFIRST!). He served as the chairman of the board while simultaneously serving in the House.

Washington Post: In tough reelection fight, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s first TV ads focus on efforts to combat heroin epidemic

In one of the new spots, Portman explains his effort to combat drug addiction through legislation. In the other two, people who say they have been deeply affected by heroin addiction praise Portman's work…

In March, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill co-sponsored by Portman that was designed to reduce the number of deaths from heroin use. The legislation authorized Congress to spend $725 million to intensify drug treatment programs, including for people in prison, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Portman's work on the issue spans as far back as the 1990s, when he was a member of the House. In 1997, he sponsored a bill to set up long-term plans to fight and treat youth substance abuse, among other things. The bill became a law that year...

The ads are part of a previously announced $15 million reservation. The campaign declined to say how much was being spent on the first three spots. It said they would air statewide.

Washington Examiner: Portman focuses on drug addiction in trio of new ads

Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is set to release a trio of new ads Tuesday focusing almost solely on prescription drug and heroin addiction as he makes his first splash on the airwaves in his highly-contested re-election bid.

The three ads focus on Portman's work on the issue, which includes the passing of a bipartisan anti-heroin bill, called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, through the Senate on a 94-1 vote in early March…

The new ads, which are being released Tuesday online and will run statewide on Wednesday on TV, are the first part of a $15 million ad buy that Portman's campaign has reserved through election day in an effort to show its muscle as it looks to fight off a challenge from Strickland. Portman's campaign has significantly outraised its Democratic challenger thus far, having $13.4 million through early April compared to Strickland's $2.7 million.

Toledo Blade: Sen. Portman's re-election ads to begin airing in Toledo

Columbus Dispatch: Portman launches first three TV ads of his Senate bid

AP Ohio: GOP's Portman releases 1st TV ads in US Senate race in Ohio 

Politico Pro: Portman's first ads focus on combating drug abuse

The Hill: Portman focuses on heroin fight in new ads

Cincinnati Enquirer: Portman ad blitz focuses on his work to combat heroin epidemic

Washington Times: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman touts opioids work in first re-election ads

Youngstown Vindicator: Portman launches $15M re-election ad campaign

You may click the videos below to watch “Wildfire," "Tyler," and "Gina."

Background:
More than 25 Ohioans die every week of drug overdoses (Ohio Department of Health, 3/22/16).

“On average, approximately five people die each day in Ohio due to drug overdose” (Ohio Department of Health3/22/16).

"In 2012, five Ohioans died every day from unintentional drug overdose, or one every five hours” (Journal-News4/18/14).

More than 20 years ago, Rob Portman founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati (The Herald-Tribune, 5/25/16).

Rob Portman authored the Drug Free Communities Act, which became law on June 27, 1997. The legislation provided and continues to provide over a billion dollars in grants to local agencies and non-profits to help prevent drug addiction.

Rob Portman authored the Drug Demand Reduction Act, which passed the House on September 16, 1998. The legislation provided funding for programs to facilitate a significant reduction in the incidence and prevalence of substance abuse through reducing the demand for illegal drugs and the inappropriate use of legal drugs.

Rob Portman co-authored the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which tackles the prescription drug and heroin epidemic head on by expanding education and prevention efforts, helping law enforcement reverse overdoses to save lives, and expanding treatment and recovery programs. Rob began this legislative effort in 2014. The Senate passed his bipartisan measure by a vote of 94-1 on March 10th. He and other members of the House and Senate are working to reach an agreement on a final measure in the coming weeks (WKBN, 1/27/16; Columbus Dispatch, 3/10/16). 

Currently, the Portman for Senate Campaign has two web ads running related to the prescription drug and heroin epidemic. You may click on the images below to watch "There is Hope" and "Addicted."



Ted Strickland’s Awful Record on Drug Addiction:
When Ted Strickland was Governor, he faced “hordes of angry activists” when he wrote, fought for, and implemented a budget that cut drug addiction services by nearly 30 percent (The Associated Press, 6/24/09).

In Congress, Ted Strickland voted against legislation that included more than $1 billion in substance abuse and mental health funding. Of the more than $1 billion, $226.35 million was provided to stop drug trafficking, $145 million was provided for an anti-drug media campaign, over $700 million was provided for anti-drug efforts in South America to stop production of drugs, and $70 million was provided for drug-free communities support (H.R. 2673, Roll Call 676, 12/8/03, Strickland voted no).

The Portman for Senate campaign is running an aggressive, 21st Century tech-savvy campaign, which includes these highlights:
Earlier this month, the Portman for Senate Campaign was the first Senate campaign in the country to reserve airtime through Election Day, placing more than $14 million in statewide television airtime and $1 million in YouTube inventory through Google's advertising network. The effort will use highly sophisticated targeting methods to deliver community specific content across Ohio.

In 2015, the Portman for Senate campaign launched an aggressive volunteer grassroots program that recently surpassed 2,000,000 voter contacts through its door-to-door and phone programs. This summer, the campaign will have 500 full-time summer interns to power the field program.

The campaign also launched five coalitions: the African American Leadership Council, the Veterans Leadership Council, Women for Portman, Sportsmen for Portman, and the Students for Portman Coalition which has college chairs on over 30 campuses across Ohio. Portman has been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee, over 500 key Ohio Republican leaders, and by over 15,000 grassroots leaders across the state. 

The campaign raised $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2016 and has nearly 5 times more cash on hand than Ted Strickland's campaign. The campaign now has more than 14,000 individual donors from Ohio, representing more than 80 percent of the campaign's donors. Last year, the campaign raised a record-setting total of $9.8 million, a record for an off-year in Ohio and the most of any targeted Senate campaign in 2015.

Since the Primary, the Portman campaign has purchased numerous Snapchat "geofilters." The filters showed support for Rob Portman, and reminded users of Ted Strickland’s awful record as Governor when Ohio lost more than 350,000 jobs, support for the Obama-Biden failed foreign policy agenda, and awful record on China.

The Portman for Senate campaign was the first Senate campaign in the country to sponsor an ad on Instagram. The ad microtargeted students at The Ohio State University during OSU's first home football game. Other Instagram ads were targeted to different Ohio universities.

The Portman for Senate campaign web videos, Bad Judgment and Dangerous received over one million views.

The Portman for Senate campaign is also using locally targeted online banner ads highlighting Ted Strickland’s failed record. You can click below for examples of each:

  • Collection one of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
  • Collection two of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
  • Collection three of former Ohio employers who moved jobs away from the state during Ted Strickland's term as governor.
  • Banner ad highlighting former governor Ted Strickland’s awful record on standing up to China.