© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

U.S. Senate Race Getting Ugly Earler Than Usual

Those negative TV ads have hit Ohio airwaves earlier than usual, and the race to fill Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat is a prime example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCwSq1b4jHk Republican State Treasurer and U.S. Senate Candidate Josh Mandel lambasted Democratic Senator U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown for that ad, saying Ohioans are sick of the negative tone. "I was at a transmission shop yesterday in Muskingum County," Mandel says, "and this guy comes up to me, was working on one of the trucks in this transmission shop, and he says 'hey, I’ve been watching these ads on t.v.' And I said 'What do you think?' And he said 'I see that you are running all positive ads. You have blue collar roots. And I see this other guy is running all negative ads. Why is that?' And I said 'His only path to victory is to tear me down.' But there are plenty of anti-Brown on television sets around the state. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG1rj1iazkI That ad is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that has endorsed Mandel. The chamber doesn’t have to reveal its donors, and Mandel has tried to downplay any association with the chamber or any other group running negative ads. "All we can control our own campaign and in what we can control, we are running a positive, upbeat, vibrant campaign and we are talking about my positive vision for the country," Mandel says. Sherrod Brown's campaign insists otherwise. "Josh Mandel lies a lot," says campaign spokesman Justin Borasky. "And when he tries to say his campaign has been 100 percent positive, it’s simply not true. 6 point 5 million dollars in negative attack ads by his friends. And he’s been launching negative, ridiculous attack ads against Sherrod from day one." Barasky says an independent fact checking organization, Politifact, has found many of Mandel’s claims to be patently false. Barasky says Brown won’t have as many outside groups doing messages on his behalf. "Not nearly as much. Right now the third party spending gap in this race is 6.5 million dollars for Josh Mandel to about 750 thousand dollars on Sherrod Brown’s end. So while there will be some third party spending on each side, it far outweighs anything that will be on our end." But it's hard to know how much money will be spent on behalf of either of the candidates. By law, candidates are not allowed to be part of those third party efforts. And large amounts of cash can be injected fairly quickly into any of these outside spending groups …without the public knowing how much is being spent or who is spending it. And the accuracy of third party ads is an issue too. Many of the ads that have been fact checked so far by fact checking organizations have been found to be untrue or only partially true.