THE AD: "Failing Us Again," a 30-second TV commercial from the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Mike DeWine.
WHERE TO SEE IT: TV stations statewide. The campaign did not disclose the cost of the buy.
VIDEO: Images of Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate for governor, superimposed over photos of "untested" rape kits, drug "dealers," a small bag of "drugs," and a "dealer" with a gun held behind his back. It then transitions to video of DeWine talking with deputy sheriffs and Ohioans. (Link to video: https://youtu.be/NDKw8ctYYrI)
SCRIPT: "Richard Cordray failed Ohio's rape victims and he is failing us again. Cordray's plan would allow drug dealers to remain on our streets. Even when they are caught with enough fentanyl to kill 10,000 people. The same drug that is killing Ohioans every day. Cordray's plan would create a safe haven for drug dealers. Mike DeWine is fighting back, locking up drug dealers, increasing treatment, giving families hope. Mike DeWine for governor."
ANALYSIS: Apparently designed to persuade voters that Cordray coddles criminals, this spot is over the top with its claims and contains outright lies. DeWine opposes Issue 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot, while Cordray supports it. The measure would reclassify low-level felonies for drug use and possession, including for heroin and fentanyl, as misdemeanors for which incarceration cannot be imposed until a third conviction within two years. It does not lessen penalties for convictions for drug trafficking. However, drug traffickers and other felons could receive a 25-percent reduction in their sentence if they participate in educational programming.
The spot says Cordray would allow dealers to work the streets as "save havens." A graphic also states: "CORDRAY: Allow Drug Dealers To Remain On Streets" and attributes the statement to articles in The Dispatch on July 23 and July 26. The stories quote Cordray on his support for the ballot issue, but say nothing about Cordray wanting to keep drug dealers out of prison. Cordray said Monday he supports long sentences for drug dealers. Some critics claim Issue 1 would allow those caught with some drugs, such as fentanyl that could kill thousands, to possess amounts that exceed personal-use levels while receiving no prison time. The claim about Cordray failing Ohio's rape victims is an oft-repeated, overstated DeWine claim and has been dissected in prior ad watches concerning rape-kit testing.