Politics & Policy

Strickland’s Ad Agony

The by-this-point infamously counterproductive “Nilda” ad has become a widespread source of grief for the Strickland campaign in Ohio. And ironically, the ad was originally supposed to be killed, if this pair of cached articles are any guide:

[Posted at 5:14 PM Friday]

CLEVELAND — Another ad for Governor Ted Strickland bashing challenger John Kasich has been pulled before it even saw the light of day.

The message was set to start running on TV stations Friday afternoon.

A Strickland campaign spokeswoman now says it will not run.

The message blasted John Kasich for being on the board of directors for Invacare. The Elyria-based company makes wheelchairs and medical equipment and has operations in China.

The ad featured the wife of an Invacare employee talking about the economic impact of outsourcing jobs.

Invacare still has a large work force in Ohio and Strickland has talked about it favorably as an important business success story in Ohio.

[Posted at 6: 55 PM Friday, emphasis added]

CLEVELAND — Governor Ted Strickland’s latest TV ad once again targets John Kasich. But by implication, it’s also critical of Invacare. The wheelchair and medical equipment company is one of Lorain County’s biggest employers. The ad features Nilda Ramos, represented as the wife of a former Invacare worker who had his job shipped to China. Invacare has shifted jobs to Mexico and China. She criticizes Republican Governor candidate John Kasich for being on the company’s board that approved outsourcing the jobs. “I believe they sent these jobs overseas so they can make more profit,” Nilda says. “I don’t think John Kasich values hard-working people.” The ad is part of a volley of ads between Strickland and Kasich on their records as Congressmen on issues involving outsourcing jobs.A Strickland campaign spokesperson first said the ad was being killed and would not run. Several hours later, the campaign decided to release the ad and said it would, in fact, air on television stations.

The current version of the article substitutes the much more mild “delayed” for the word “killed.” However, as several sources in a position to know told Battle ’10, the original phrasing (“killed”) was more accurate, as the Strickland campaign had gone so far as to order stations to cancel the ad, fearing potential fallout from targeting Invacare, a company that is evidently one of Ohio’s more beloved corporate citizens.

The reason for the Strickland campaign’s decision to reinstate the ad after having already cancelled it is not clear. However, these sources suggested two reasons: firstly, as sources close to the Kasich campaign suggested, that the ad was already in the hands of reporters and that its existence was common knowledge, even with the Kasich campaign, thus the ad would have leaked even if the Strickland campaign had pulled it. The fact that reporters were well aware of the ad is confirmed by another source who follows these matters closely. This source suggested a second explanation – that because the Strickland campaign was ambivalent about its own ad, they temporarily canceled the ad simply to avoid media scrutiny prior to its airdate.

Whatever the reason, the flap over this ad provides a fascinating look into the disarray afflicting the Strickland campaign.

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