Earlier this month, The Columbus Dispatch reported that a Virginia-based conservative group was sending out Yes on 2 mailers:
A secretly funded Republican-friendly group based in Virginia has started spending money in Ohio to urge voters to uphold Senate Bill 5, the new law that would significantly weaken collective bargaining power for public workers.
The story was titled – simply and accurately – “Outside group spending money to save Senate Bill 5.” Several days later, the Dispatch mentioned the mailers again in a story about pro- and anti-Issue 2 spending:
Alliance for America’s Future, a GOP-linked group based in Virginia, is funding a pro-Issue 2 mailing campaign to Ohio voters, according to news reports. The organization is run by Barry Bennett, a former top aide to U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland. Disclosure of its spending on Issue 2 is not required, Redfern said.
Absent from the Dispatch story on We Are Ohio’s 5-to-2 spending advantage for TV ads is any explanation of how We Are Ohio can afford to cram commercial breaks with rhetoric debunked as “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.
Even if We Are Ohio’s overall funding isn’t worth mention, this ought to be:
Check out the return address from the mailer’s reverse side:
Is out-of-state campaign spending the end of democracy as we know it? Of course not… but if it’s news that a “secretly funded Republican-friendly group” is sending mailers from Virginia, it’s absolutely news that a leftist group is sending mailers from D.C. View the full size scan, and you can make out the name of Communities for Quality Education’s treasurer, Robert Bonazzi:
Robert A. Bonazzi was for 16 years Executive Director of the 200,000 member New Jersey Education Association, leading a staff of 350. He held key positions with the NEA and the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
So we’ve got a former New Jersey / D.C. / Massachusetts union boss telling Ohio taxpayers to block government union reform. Newsworthy? History suggests I’m not the best judge…
We Are Ohio isn’t a pro-union Ohio group getting a boost from outside the state: We Are Ohio is a front group for D.C. unions, regardless of how many National Education Association bigwigs send mailers from beyond Ohio’s borders. Note the humorous typo at PolitiFact, listing “We Are Ohio” as “None From Ohio” – it’s nearer the truth than the unions would have you believe.
Don’t be afraid to question the dishonest hysterics of Ohio and D.C. union bosses – even if they smear you as a racist. Get the facts about the sensible government union reforms in Senate Bill 5, and this November 8 vote Yes on Issue 2!
Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart
Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.