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New TV Ad "Sheriff" Exposes Ted Strickland's Record on Addiction

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today, the Portman for Senate campaign released a new statewide television ad, "Sheriff," featuring Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer discussing Ted Strickland's failed record on drug addiction and mental health funding. Following Friday's release of a false ad from Ted Strickland's out-of-state allies attacking Rob's leadership on Ohio's opioid epidemic, the Portman campaign will run "Sheriff" statewide and to targeted audiences online beginning Monday. 

From Sheriff Phil Plummer: "It’s shameful that Ted Strickland and his out of state allies are spending millions of dollars spreading dishonest and discredited attacks against Rob Portman. These false attacks on Rob are particularly concerning considering that when Ted Strickland was governor, he cut funding for mental health and drug addiction services by nearly 30 percent. I’m the Montgomery County Sheriff and see the impact drug abuse has on Ohio families and communities every day. Take it from me: Rob Portman is a leader on this issue."

"Sheriff" will begin airing statewide Monday as part of a six-figure statewide TV ad buy. You may click HERE or on the video below to watch our new TV ad, “Sheriff.”

NOTE: Rob has consistently fought for and voted for more opioid funding and he’s helped secure a 113 percent funding increase over the last two years. Rob has voted for every increase for opioid funding in the last year, except the Omnibus which he voted against for unrelated reasons. Rob actually helped secure the additional opioid funding in that bill but, because it was a 2,000-page bill that no one had a chance to read and because it included extraneous, objectionable provisions, he voted no.

SHERIFF PHIL PLUMMER

Phil Plummer was appointed Sheriff of Montgomery County on July 7, 2008. He joined the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in 1988 where he began his career at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office as a corrections officer assigned to the Jail Division. He was later promoted to the position of deputy sheriff where he worked as a patrol deputy. Upon his promotion to the rank of Sergeant, he held assignments as a supervisor in the Communication Center, and the Road Patrol section, and as the SWAT Team leader.

In November of 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Major and assumed Command of the Operations Division. In January 2004, he was placed in charge of the Personnel Office where he was responsible of human resources and labor relations and in March 2005 he was promoted to the rank of Chief Deputy (Second in Command.)

Sheriff Plummer is a native of Montgomery County. He graduated from Chaminade-Julienne High School, and earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Science in Management (Business) from the University of Phoenix. In 2003 he graduated from the FBI National Academy. 

 

BACKGROUND:

Ted Strickland’s Awful Record on Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services
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 Rob’s 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 Rob’s drug-free communities program. (H.R. 2673, Roll Call 676, 12/8/03, Strickland voted no).

Ted Strickland "slashed mental health spending by 30 percent for fiscal 2011." (Dayton Daily News, March 9, 2011)

In 2010, Strickland’s cuts were blamed, in part, for serious problems in the state’s mental health system. Ohio’s mental-health system, once a national model, is on the verge of collapse as the state careens toward the biggest budget crisis in memory. Thousands have been slashed from the mental-health-care rolls. Others might have to wait months to see a psychiatrist. State funding for mental-health services has been decimated, Medicaid is gobbling up scarce local dollars, and hundreds of small group homes for the mentally ill have closed. Prisons, nursing facilities and homeless shelters are the new homes for thousands of mentally ill Ohioans, advocates say. “Our state leaders have washed their hands of Ohioans who are suffering from mental illness,” said Terry Russell, a veteran of 37 years at the local and state level in Ohio’s mental-health system. “If we are to be judged by how we treat the sickest in our society, we should all be ashamed.” There is no shortage of blame. Some is aimed at Gov. Ted Strickland, a former prison psychologist and Methodist minister. His budget, approved by the legislature, cut funding to mental-health programs by 35% in the past three years as the state grappled with plummeting revenue. . . . The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates 418,000 Ohioans -- including 124,000 children, suffer from serious mental illness. Fewer than 1 in 4 are receiving services. Last month, the advocacy group listed Ohio among the 10 worst states for mental-health budget cuts. . . . County officials struggling to provide care, such as David A. Royer, chief executive officer of the Franklin County Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board, say the state is failing to meet its obligation and undermining the Mental Health Act. In a harshly worded letter to state Mental Health Director Sandra Stephenson this year, Royer wrote: “The governor and you are effectively dismantling the act. This decision is a decision that I believe will be a bitter legacy for years to come for people with mental illness and the system that supports them and their families.” (The Columbus Dispatch, October 24, 2010)


Rob's Record of Results
Rob 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. (WKBN, 1/27/16).

Rob voted for the Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) amendment that would have provided $600 million in emergency spending through CARA. (Senate Roll Call Vote #30, March 2, 2016)

Rob voted for H.R. 3762 that would have included $750 million annually in additional resources to combat opioid addiction. (Senate Roll Call Vote #329, December 3, 2015)

Rob voted for Sen. Shaheen's Motion to Instruct Conferees to include a high level of funding in the final version of CARA. (Senate Roll Call Vote 101, June 16, 2016)

Rob wrote letters on February 29th and March 18th to to Senate Appropriators to ensure that a major increase in funding was included in the upcoming spending bill. These letters resulted in a 90% increase for the Fiscal Year 2017 spending bills.

  • Quote from Roy Blunt, Senator who authored the spending bill, on Rob's efforts to increase funding: "For 20 years, Rob Portman has been working to prevent new drug addictions from starting and get help to those who need it; when he speaks, people listen around here,” said Subcommittee Chairman of jurisdiction Roy Blunt. "Senator Portman’s push for this increased funding has persuaded many fellow Senators that this was an investment we have to make. He has been a leader in the fight against this epidemic, and I look forward to continuing our effort to get this bill signed into law." 

More than 20 years ago, Rob founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. He chaired the coalition for nine years, served on the board, and was even a member of the board when he was elected to the US Senate (The Herald-Tribune, 5/25/16).

Rob is also a former member of the board of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), which is the national membership organization representing over 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free.

Rob 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 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’s Interstate Drug Monitoring Efficiency and Data Sharing Act of 2012 was signed into law. The bill creates an efficient, cost-effective system for states to share information from prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) across state lines. This information sharing makes it easier to track prescription drug abuse. Rob’s legislation resulted in a national standard for PDMPs to facilitate the exchange of information among doctors, pharmacists and in some instances, authorized law enforcement.

Rob’s Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, was also signed into law.  The bill adds drugs like synthetic marijuana, and bath salts to the Controlled Substance Act and was considered an important step in making the drugs illegal and cracking down on individuals who produce and distribute them.