In the run up to today’s Ohio FOP endorsement vote, DeWine made an aggressive effort to win some last minute support from delegates by distributing a flier attacking his opponent David Pepper. The flier, pictured to the right, not only contains incorrect facts, but it also shows stock photos of “police officers” portrayed by actors.
Both of the images of police officers can be found on dozens of websites like this one for a defense attorney advising his clients never to talk to police officers. Or this story about a police officer accused of sex crimes. Both photos came from the online stock photo company iStock. The second one is called “Police Officer with Squad Car” and is available here for only 20 iStock credits.
But there is more wrong with this flier than just the insulting photos of male models dressed up like law enforcement officers. The “facts” are also way off. Back in 2007, when Pepper was a Hamilton County commissioner, he aggressively pursued a plan to save law enforcement jobs and to fund a new jail with a small sales tax increase. And it was Pat DeWine, Mike’s son, who teamed up with COAST to kill the plan.
At today’s convention, DeWine’s negative flier fell flat. Pepper received the endorsement of the Ohio FOP with over 2/3rd of the vote. And it’s clear why…
When Governor John Kasich cut billions of dollars from local governments causing cities and counties to layoff officers around the state, Mike DeWine said nothing. When asked about SB5, DeWine told reporters “The state has the right to get rid of [its collective bargaining law].” And when Ohio’s police officers and other public employees were rallying against the anti-union provisions in SB5, DeWine supported blocking their access to the Statehouse. Meanwhile, David Pepper was touring the state debating all takers on the evils of the bill.
Interestingly, back in 2011, supporters of Senate Bill 5 also sent out mailers with photos of fake police officers from the same stock photo company. The mailers tried to convince voters that stripping police officers of their collective bargaining rights was about “restoring fairness” and “achieving balance between the public and private sectors.” Over 60% of Ohioans voted to repeal the bill and protect those rights.
This isn’t the first time DeWine has had problems with campaign ads. In 2006 he was accused of “political exploitation of the Sept. 11 attacks” when he altered images of the World Trade Center, adding fake smoke, for a TV spot attacking his opponent Sherrod Brown. Brown went on to win the race, replacing DeWine in the U.S. Senate.