If you watch WeAreOhio‘s ads or check out their YouTube channel or talk to any of their supporters you’ll see real fire fighters and real police officers and real teachers talking about the negative impacts of SB5/Issue 2.

Better Ohio? Not so much.

Instead, they’ve had to resort to the use of stock photo pictures of actors dressed up like police officers for their ads.

This is from their latest mailer:

There are a few major things wrong with this ad.

First, the use of a police officer image is deceptive. Local, state and national police organizations and their members are united in their universal rejection of Senate Bill 5 and in their support of a NO vote on Issue 2.

Second, the use of the police officer image makes no sense with the associated text. And it’s actually kind of offensive. The text implies “union bosses” are lying about what’s in SB5, public employees are getting a free ride on their health care costs and low quality employees are getting pay raises because of senority. Is this what Better Ohio thinks of police officers?

Three, it’s a stock photo of an actor, not a real police officer! And not an amazingly original or creative one either. Don’t get me wrong, the actor is good and he fits the role of a ‘handsome, mature policeman in uniform’ which, by the way, is the exact description of the istock photo they used for the ad. But is this the best match they could find?

Hell, if they wanted to talk about angry union bosses protecting lazy union workers who abuse their health care benefits, istock has so many other photos of the same actor that would have fit their message better.

Like this one showing the same actor as a doctor, along with a mooching union member abusing his Cadillac health care plan for unnecessary tests.

Or this one depicting lazy union members wasting taxpayer money with their union-negotiated breaks.


Or maybe this image with a warning that failing to pass Issue 2 will lead to emboldened unions: “people who get emboldened, they do more aggressive things”

Oh why, oh why can’t we bring union medical benefits in line with private sector benefits?

To be clear: I like istock. I’m a member myself and I (legally) downloaded the above pictures from their extensive collection. But there’s a time and place for models and actors. And this isn’t it.

Humor aside, Senate Bill 5 strips tens of thousands of hard working Ohioans of their collective bargaining rights and it threatens the safety of our police officers and fire fighters. And to imply – even through obvious stock photo images – that public safety workers support this legislation is at best deceptive and, at worst, an outright lie.