Strickland Campaign Calls on Portman to Demand “Pants on Fire” Ad Be Taken Off Air

Campaign also releases statement from former state project manager under Govs. Kasich, Strickland and Taft setting record straight on “blatantly untrue” ad

COLUMBUS, OH -- Following a PolitiFact report that ruled a television advertisement attacking Ted Strickland on behalf of Sen. Rob Portman is a “Pants on Fire” lie, the Strickland for Senate campaign is calling on Portman to demand the ad be taken off the air.

“If Senator Portman cares one iota about not being complicit in dishonest smear tactics, he’ll immediately call on the NRSC to take this absurd ad off the air,” said Strickland campaign spokeswoman Liz Margolis. “But we’re not holding our breath. The truth is, this despicable ad is a microcosm of the nonsense and dishonesty upon which Portman and his wealthy special interest allies have built his campaign. Whether Portman is attempting a disingenuous election-year conversion on his clear record of supporting unfair trade deals that have cost Ohio over 300,000 jobs, trying to lie about his efforts to privatize Social Security, or blaming Ohio for a national recession he helped cause as President Bush’s budget director, Senator Portman has never let a good story get in the way of the truth.” 

The PolitiFact report, entitled “Pro-Republican PAC smears Ted Strickland with potty politics,” found that contrary to the ad’s claims, Ted Strickland did not cut children’s services to build a bathroom. In fact, it states, “The ad flushes the facts, so we rate it Pants on Fire!”

The report quotes James Miller -- the former Project Manager for the State of Ohio under of Governors John Kasich, Ted Strickland and Bob Taft, who oversaw the governor’s residence, its staff and all capital improvement projects -- as stating that the one part of the bathroom in the governor’s residence that Strickland changed was the paint, and, as Miller said, “He did it himself, believe me.” 

Miller also released the following statement setting the record straight on the dishonest ad:

“After seeing the recent untruthful commercial by the NRSC about Ted Strickland titled ‘Flush,’ I felt compelled to respond and set the record straight.

“Ted and Frances are two of the finest public servants I have ever known. They are selfless, in every sense of the word, dedicated to making the lives of others better – every single day. They are down to earth, unpretentious.

“That’s why I was so surprised by to hear the outrageous statement in the NRSC commercial that Strickland ‘wasted two hundred fifty thousand dollars remodeling his bathrooms at the Governor’s mansion.’

“This is a lie – a really big one. Here’s why:

“Governor Bob Taft’s Administration initially approved the renovations mentioned in the commercial.These monies were used to build ADA accessible restrooms – for the public – on the grounds of the Governor’s residence for the many visitors coming to learn more about Ohio’s regional horticulture and natural history.

“In fact, Governor Ted Strickland refused to have his master bathroom renovated at all during his time at the Residence due to the excessive cost to Ohio taxpayers. 

“Governor Strickland then went on to paint the bathroom - himself.

“I watched first-hand the lengths Ted and Frances went to save taxpayer dollars at the Governor’s Residence. They eliminated the Residence Chef and the long held practice of the state purchase of food for the First Family. They eliminated the Residence Horticulturist position. They even made monthly payments to the non-profit Friends of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden – which basically equated to ‘rent.’ There were potlucks, along with countless other cost saving measures implemented at 358 North Parkview Avenue from 2007 to 2010.

“It’s an election season, granted. However, to suggest that Ted Strickland was feathering his nest during his time at the Ohio Governor’s Residence, is not just a lie, it’s a joke.

“This commercial is blatantly untrue.” 

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