Ohio2006 Blog

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Wednesday, October 25

Ohio House 92: Stewart (R) Falsely Accuses Phillips (D) of a Crime

The internal polling must be truly awful for Republican candidates for the General Assembly, because they are sinking to new lows of calumny in their desperate attempts to sink Democratic challengers. The latest outrage lie is from the 92nd Ohio House District, where an ad for incumbent Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) accuses city council member Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) of breaking the law -- based on a disagreement among council members about how to revise a collective bargaining agreement! Phillips has written to television stations to call for the slanderous ad to be pulled:
I am contacting you to urge you to cease broadcasting false advertising purchased on your cable system by either the Jimmy Stewart for state representative campaign or the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee.

The ad now airing on your cable system falsely claims that “Phillips also broke the law playing politics with a union contract.”

The words “also broke the law,” in the context of the full ad, leads your viewers to a single, unmistakable – and absolutely false – conclusion: That my recent work along with other Athens City Council members on a collective bargaining agreement somehow constituted illegal activity.

This is absolutely untrue. No one – not even the fiercest critics of the way city council handled our collective bargaining agreement with city employees – could remotely argue this is a criminal matter of any kind. At best, the matter the ad refers to was a healthy disagreement among elected officials about the proper way to go about revising a collective bargaining agreement. There is not even a civil action associated with this matter, nor even a suggestion of an investigation.

Your company needs to consider whether it is exposing itself legally by continuing to broadcast this absolutely false negative attack ad. You should know that I have retained legal counsel and I continue to weigh the options available to me.
In a press release, Phillips explained that, at most, the city council dispute amounted to a disagreement about the process to make the change. “Jimmy Stewart is desperate,” Phillips said. “It’s obvious he will do or say anything to get re-elected – including falsely accusing me of a crime. In addition to the ad, he has mailed at least three pieces of mail on this topic in the last week, calling the city employees a ‘special interest group.’”

“It’s easy to see why Jimmy Stewart doesn’t want to talk about the issues. Just look at his record. The Jimmy Stewart/Bob Taft track record is lost jobs, higher taxes and scandals that have given the Buckeye State a black eye,” Phillips said. “Jimmy Stewart knows voters have had enough. He knows voters desperately want a state representative willing to work with Ted Strickland to turn around OhioStewart knows Ted Strickland has endorsed my campaign, and that’s why he’s mudslinging right now. He doesn’t want voters to know the truth.”

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