Ohio Sen 27th: New Coughlin (R) Ad Is Despicable Fabrication
Mud-slinging has reached a new low in the 27th Ohio Senate District race. Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls), whose campaign against Tom Bevin in 2002 was noted for distortions and ugliness, has a new TV ad up that brands opponent Judy Hanna (D-Akron) as a "leader" of the Green Party, who "supports flag burning" and wants to "take take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance."
Leader of the Green Party? Not according to Hanna, who has issued a press release calling the ad a lie:
My opponent's latest claims are both pathetic and pitiful. This is yet another election year tactic by Kevin to divert the attention of the citizens of the 27th District from his own deplorable record. ...So I called Coughlin's campaign office to find out what proof they have that Hanna is a leader of the Green Party. I was transferred to the State Senator himself. His proof? Because of her interest in fair elections, Hanna participated in the recount of the 2004 presidential election on behalf of the Green Party.
I have never been a member of the Green Party nor have I supported their stances. My opponent's assertion that I have worked to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance is a disgusting lie. The People of the 27th District deserve a State Senator who will tell the truth and not fool them with election year deception and dishonesty.
Coughlin said that he has an election recount report filed on the internet, which Hanna signed as "Field Director" for the Green Party Recount. Wait a minute, I said, I was a volunteer for the Green Party in the recount. It was the only way to participate, because only the minor parties had asked for a recount. Yes, he said, they paid for it. When I asked him if he feels that is a reasonable basis to call Hanna a "leader" of the Green Party, he said "Yes, I do."
Now, this is personal. I'm angry. I wore a Green Party Button so I could participate in the 2004 recount (see the picture), and I've never voted for a Green candidate or belonged to the Green Party in my life. I would have worn a Libertarian Party button just as readily. I am a loyal Democrat, but I strongly felt that the 2004 presidential vote needed to be recounted, so when the call went out for volunteers to help the Green Party and the Libertarian Party in the recount process I signed up.
This is a completely unfair distortion, and I think Coughlin knows it perfectly well. I don't think he believes for a minute that Hanna subscribes to the Green Party platform or objects to the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I think he's just found some way to connect Hanna's name to the Green Party and he's going with it, truth and decency be damned.
It's despicable, and Coughlin ought to be ashamed of himself.
UPDATE: I just spoke to Hanna, who confirmed that she has never belonged to the Green Party or voted for a Green candidate. So far as she is aware, she isn't even acquainted with anyone who belongs to the Green Party. She doesn't know what the Green Party platform is, much less whether anything about the Pledge of Allegiance is in it.
Hanna was approached to be a "field coordinator" for the Green/Libertarian recount of the 2004 election because of her prior experience as a volunteer coordinator for the Sierra Club. She was not paid for her work. It had nothing to do with ideology or allegiance to the Green Party. Like me, she was working as an unpaid volunteer in a project for the public good, protecting the integrity of our elections. This is no "leader" of the Green Party.