In Ohio Ad, Right-Wing Group Splices Pro-Union Grandma To Fake Endorsement For Anti-Union Law

This fall, Ohio’s voters will go to the polls to decide the fate of Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), the infamous anti-labor law that decimated the rights of many public employees in the state to collectively bargain. Ballot Issue 2 will allow voters to vote “yes” to maintain the law or “no” if they want it to be struck down.

As Ohio blog Plunderbund reports, the group Building a Better Ohio (which supports the anti-labor law) is airing a commercial which splices the words of a grandmother featured in a We Are Ohio ad (which is against the law) in order to make it seem like the grandmother supports SB5.

We Are Ohio’s ad features a Cincinnati grandmother Marlene Quinn explaining how her great-granddaughter Zoey was saved by Ohio firefighters and how this demonstrates why Ohioans need to protect firefighters’ rights and fund their operations properly. Watch the ad:

The pro-SB 5 Building a Better Ohio then took the footage from We Are Ohio’s ad of Quinn talking about the fire and cut her off right after she explained that, without firefighters, she wouldn’t have Zoey today. It then cut in by explaining that “she’s right” and claimed that voters should vote to maintain SB 5 because it would protect firefighters from being laid off. Watch it:

We Are Ohio put out a statement earlier today blasting Building a Better Ohio for using Quinn’s footage and warned that it may face legal liability for its actions. “Let me make this clear. Building a Better Ohio does not have permission, either from The New Media Firm who owns the footage, nor, and more importantly, Marlene Quinn, to use this footage,” said Michele Certo of Mundy Katowitz Media, which is assisting We Are Ohio.

Unfortunately, Building a Better Ohio’s splicing of Quinn’s words isn’t the only deceptive tactic being used to try to convince voters to support Issue 2. Local unions have pointed out that Building a Better Ohio is running billboards claiming that “Issue two asks government employees to help by paying 10 percent for their guaranteed pension and at least 15 percent for their health care insurance,” yet “94 percent of the public employees in the state of Ohio” already “meet or exceed those thresholds.”


We Are Ohio tweets that numerous TV stations are now deciding not to air Building a Better Ohio’s ad.

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We Are Ohio is running a petition campaign to ask additional TV stations to not air Building a Better Ohio’s ad. Watch it here. Four stations have pulled their ads at this time.

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