FACT CHECK: Claims In NRSC Ad Already Ruled “False,” Misleading

COLUMBUS, OH –– Senator Portman’s Washington backers are out with a new, false ad attacking Ted Strickland, but their claims have already been ruled “false” and misleading by independent fact checks and experts. 

From David Bergstein, Strickland Campaign Spokesman: “These claims are so false they belong in the toilet bowl pictured in the ad –– but it’s just another sign that Senator Portman’s Washington backers are desperate to distract from Portman’s own record of supporting bad trade deals that have cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs to places like China, trying to raise the retirement age for seniors and voting for the largest cuts to Pell Grants in history for students. Newspapers, economists and fact checkers agree, Ted put Ohio on the road to economic recovery –– he balanced every budget, cut taxes for every Ohioan, and by the time he left office Ohio had the 5th fastest growing economy in the country. This ad is just more proof that Portman’s rich and powerful friends will say anything to try and keep him in Congress to continue pushing their agenda at the expense of Ohio’s hardworking families.” 

False claim: Strickland “crippled” Ohio’s economy.
FACT: Newspapers, fact checkers and economists agree: Strickland put Ohio on the road to economic recovery.


  • PolitiFact: “The Claim That Strickland Destroyed Ohio Jobs Amounts to Political Hyperbole.” [PolitiFact, 10/19/10]

  • Strickland Won Site Selection Magazine Governor’s Cup 3 Years In A Row For best State to Locate A Business In. [Site Selection Magazine, Press Release, 3/3/08; Site Selection Magazine, Press Release, 3/9/09; Site Selection Magazine, Press Release, 3/3/10]

  • When Strickland Left Office, Ohio Had The 5th Fastest Growing Economy In the Country. [Plain Dealer, 10/07/10]

  • Ohio Economist George Zeller: Ohio’s Recovery Began Under Ted Strickland. [PolitiFact 1/24/13]

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: “The State’s Recovery Began Under Strickland.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/20/15]

  • Akron Beacon Journal: Strickland “Steered the state through the harsh recession, making hard choices yet protecting leading priorities.” [Akron Beacon Journal Editorial, 1/9/13] 

False Claim: Ted Strickland shouldn’t have used the rainy day fund.
FACT: State funding experts said this claim “isn’t fair.” The rainy-day fund prevented cuts to services and tax increases and 70 percent of states used rainy-day fund during recession.

  • State Funding Expert: “I Wouldn’t Blame A Governor For Spending Budget Stability Funds In A Time When You Need To Stabilize Your Budget.” “Former Gov. Ted Strickland is often criticized for running the fund to nearly empty amid the financial crisis, but at least one state funding expert says that isn't fair. ‘I wouldn't blame a governor for spending budget stability funds in a time when you need to stabilize your budget,’ said Kim Rueben, who directs the state and local finance initiative at the Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington D.C.” [Columbus Business First, 7/29/16]

  • Newark Advocate Editorial: “The Purpose of Ohio’s Rainy Day Fund Is To Stabilize State Government During Times Of Crisis.”It's also clear the purpose of Ohio's rainy day fund is to stabilize state government during times of crisis, including a steep drop in tax revenue that could have forced massive layoffs of state employees, creating more economic stress. Not to mention the Republican majority in Ohio's General Assembly (Senate only in 2009-10) had to approve the spending.” [Newark Advocate Editorial, 7/30/2016]

  • CBPP: “States With Rainy Day Funds Were Able To Avert Over $20 Billion In Cuts To Services And/Or Tax Increases.” “Almost all U.S. states relied on their ‘rainy day funds’ when the economic recession began to ravage their budgets, showing that the reserves will be critical during the next downturn and states should consider putting even more money away, a think tank said on Thursday. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which closely tracks states' fiscal situations, found that over 70 percent have used their reserves to address budget gaps. ‘States with rainy day funds were able to avert over $20 billion in cuts to services and/or tax increases in the recession of the early 2000s and again in this most recent recession,’ CBPP said.” [Reuters, 2/3/11]

  • Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy: A Rainy Day Fund Is Designed For Use In Economic Downturns. “Rainy day funds allow policymakers to avoid fiscal policy decisions that can worsen economic downturns. When budget shortfalls are caused by short-term economic declines, tax hikes or spending cuts can actually prolong the economic slump.” [Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy, 2005]

False Claim: Strickland wasted money remodeling his bathroom
FACT: The Governor’s Residence Manager upgraded public restrooms primarily with private funds after complaints. Strickland declined taxpayer funded healthcare and other taxpayer funded benefits.

  • Governor’s Residence Manager Upgraded Public Restrooms For Tourists, Primarily With Public Funds, After Reports Long Waits For Tourists Visiting The Governor’s Residence. “The last addition to the Bexley property went up before the state took it over in 1955, curator Mary Alice Mairose said. The goal of adding restrooms to the carriage house at the Governor's Residence spans administrations, from Gov. Bob Taft's to Gov. Ted Strickland's. It was part of an effort by governors' wives to make the mansion not just a home, but a public resource. ‘We have more of a story to tell every time a visitor comes,’ facilities manager Julie Stone said. ‘We don't want them to spend all their 1 1/2-hour tour waiting for the restrooms. ‘If a bus of 55 people came from Cleveland after stopping for lunch, it's not unusual for a lot of people to need to use the facilities when they get here, and now we only have two.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 4/6/09]

  • Associated Press: “Strickland Has Declined Taxpayer-Funded Health Care Both As A Congressman And Since Being Elected Governor In 2006.” “The governor paid about $22,000 annually in taxes each year, and over the entire four years returned $31,682 to the state for the cost of his health care, which he pays for himself. Strickland has declined taxpayer-funded health care both as a congressman and since being elected governor in 2006.” [Associated Press, 4/28/10] 

  • Strickland Said He Did Not Accept Subsidized Health Care In Public Office Because “There Were A Lot Of People I Represented Who Had No Access To Health Care.” “So when I was in Congress and in the Governor’s office I never accepted any subsidized healthcare coverage, because there were a lot of people I represented who had no access to health care. In terms of combatting poverty, I’m very proud of the work I did in Congress on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance for millions of children nationwide who can’t afford private health insurance. A small group of us in the House regularly met over a long period of time to formulate what became the CHIP legislation.” [Talk Poverty, 5/19/14]

False Claim: Strickland outsourced jobs.
FACT: Rob Portman has been described as a “Dedicated Outsourcer,” and backed unfair trade deals that cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs to places like China and Mexico. Strickland issued an executive order banning outsourcing with state resources and the individual who was in charge of the contract was forced to resign. 

CQ: Portman Is A “Dedicated Outsourcer.” [CQ Today, 3/17/05] 

Strickland Issued An Executive Order Banning The Outsourcing Of Service Paid For With State Dollars. On Monday, Gov. Ted Strickland issued an executive order banning the outsourcing of services paid for with state dollars. Strickland said the state does have procedures in place to restrict the purchase of offshore services, but the Parago incident ‘caused me to redouble my commitment to ensure that public funds are not expended for offshore services.’ In addition, the Development Department is now including language in its request for bids that allows it to track the vendor's commitment to comply with Buy American and Buy Ohio policies.” [Columbus Dispatch 8/11/2010]

When The Parago Contract Was Awarded, The Department Of Development’s Website Specific That All Work Under The Contract Must Be Performed In The United States. “Patt-McDaniel noted that the department's website specified that all work for the contract must be performed in the United States.” [Columbus Dispatch 8/11/10]

The Division Director Who Oversaw This Contract Was Forced To Resign. “The information led Nadeane Howard, director of the Ohio Energy Resources Division, to resign yesterday. ‘I am extremely disappointed to learn that a key leader in my department was not more sensitive to the priorities of this administration,’ Patt-McDaniel said […] She also said Howard got an e-mail in late February, before finalizing the contract, which ‘explicitly raised a question about Parago's potential outsourcing of jobs.’ The message came from a competing company, Minnesota-based Helgeson Enterprises, which said Parago was ‘known throughout the rebate industry as providing some of their services through offshore channels.’ […] ‘This issue was brought to her attention earlier than she had previously communicated to me,’ Patt-McDaniel said. ‘It is unacceptable that the question did not raise a red flag when it was first posed and that Ms. Howard did not recall the issue when I was first notified of this issue on March 26, 2010.’” [Columbus Dispatch 8/11/10]


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