Outside Governor’s Residence, Strickland Calls on Portman to Denounce 'Pants on Fire' Ad

Strickland stands with senior and disability advocates to highlight handicap-accessible improvements he made to the Governor’s Residence

COLUMBUS, OH –– Today, outside the Ohio Governor’s Residence, Ted Strickland joined Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans President Norm Wernet and Suzy Saxbe -- who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – to condemn a “Pants on Fire” false ad attacking Strickland for improving the public restrooms at the Governor’s Residence to make them handicap-accessible. Strickland called on Portman to renounce the TV ad. At the press conference, the Strickland campaign displayed a set of “pants on fire” that were featured in a web video earlier this week.

“Senator Portman’s rich and powerful friends will tell any lie to try and keep Portman in power so he can continue pushing their agenda at the expense of Ohio’s working families –– but Ohio is not for sale,” said Ted Strickland. “The fact that Senator Portman and his allies would try and attack me for making public bathrooms more accessible to every Ohioan is not only outrageously dishonest, it’s insulting to the thousands of Ohioans who rely on handicap accessible facilities. This isn’t just the usual political rhetoric –– fact checkers have demonstrated this ad is a flat-out fabrication. Unfortunately, Senator Portman’s refusal to denounce this despicable and completely false ad represents exactly the kind of dishonest, self-serving politics that have come to define Portman’s campaign and that Ohioans can’t stand about Washington.”

FROM NORM WERNET, PRESIDENT OF OHIO ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS

“This advertisement is just patently untrue. Ted Strickland was actually making the Governor’s Residence compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Alliance for Retired Americans advocates for Ohioans with disabilities and those who are retired. We’re glad that Ted Strickland made the Governor’s Residence, our residence, compliant with the ADA. It’s unfortunate that we see these kind of attacks coming from people who want to see radical changes to Medicare and Social Security, services that protect the disabled.”

FROM SUZY SAXBE, WHO WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

“I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009, but had my first symptoms in 2007. I volunteered at the Governor’s Residence the entire time that Governor Strickland lived here and I saw a lot of what went on here, including the installation of the ADA-compliant bathrooms. When I saw this commercial, it made me think of Donald Trump making fun of people with disabilities. The people behind this ad didn’t tell the truth about what really went on with these bathrooms and it is such a disrespect to people with disabilities.

A recent PolitiFact report rated an attack from Portman’s allies that Strickland wasted taxpayer funds to remodel his bathroom a “Pants on Fire” lie –– the renovations were made to the public restrooms in compliance with the ADA and were funded by the ADA and resources allocated from Governor Strickland’s Republican predecessor, Governor Bob Taft. The Strickland campaign has called for the ad to be pulled off the air.

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