by Kyle Swenson
In our last dispatch from the front lines of the grudge match over Issue 2, we made a slight joke about how pro-Senate Bill 5 supporters probably have piles of RNC cash flooding in from out of state to fund their cause. As it turns out, there’s some truth in the jest.
According to Politico, the campaign to steer Ohioans away from collective bargaining is getting some outside help from the Alliance for American Future, a Beltway-based “all-purpose GOP” group, so says the DC-centric news site. The group is run by — cue the shudders — the daughter of former VP Dick Cheney.
In Ohio, the group is papering the state with fliers aimed at pushing voters to vote yea on Issue 2. If the provision survives the ballot box, Governor John Kasich’s controversial collective bargaining clip job, Senate Bill 5, will live to see another day. Already around a dozen pieces of political literature have circulated. The group’s head honcho, Barry Bennett, tells the Dayton Daily News his group has spent “over seven figures” on the project. Bennett runs the group alongside Mary Cheney, daughter of Dick. Questions regarding the accuracy of the group's earlier propaganda have popped up.
The latest flier is fairly obvious in its undertones. It links President Obama to Issue 2, opening with a gloomy shot of POTUS captioned with “Obama’s policies are FAILING our country.” On the next page, next to a gleaming phalanx of WASPy whites: “OBAMA wants us to do things HIS WAY?” The flier concludes with: “YES on Issue 2 is our chance to do things OUR WAY!” You can check out the stuff for yourself below. Not to get all Edward Said about it, but it does seem a little low to have Obama here looking all dark and stormy, and juxtapose this against a Caucasian group just glowing with righteous Amurrrica juice. Oh wait, did I just get all PC? Awww shucks, fine, I’m just gonna take my bong and communist literature and go back down to the Occupy Cleveland Protest where people get me.
Anyway, the Alliance for America’s Future has been a call-in reliever for political campaigns in 30 states, and we’re not talking small change elections, either. While the bent is pretty much steadily conservative, they’ve even targeted other Republicans in primary match-ups. Thanks to its organization, the group doesn’t have to yank the curtain back on its donors.
In Florida, the group purchased an estimated $1 million in TV ads attacking then candidate Rick Scott in the Republican governor’s primary. According to the Miami Herald, the ties between the group and the beneficiary of their campaign, Scott’s main competitor Bill McCollum, were explicit: both groups used the same media buyer.
In Nevada’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, the group ran ads in favor of Republican candidate Brian Sandoval. In that campaign the group came under fire for not registering as a political action committee before getting to work.