Well, folks, it’s time for Who Do You Trust? Hubba Hubba Hubba, money, money, money, Who Do You Trust?
Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, launched a whopper of a campaign ad this week against Democratic opponent Nina Turner, entitled—you guessed it—Trust.
It really is a hoot, complete with condescending voiceover, static pictures of Turner wrapped in sepia tones, and spurious personal charges. It concludes by asserting Turner can’t be trusted before cutting to a slow-pan, full-color shot of the Family Husted in Sunday casual exchanging loving glances.
The tedious display of Poli-Ad, 100-level hackery, combined with Husted’s record in office, the fact that the ad is called, “Trust,” gives it turducken levels of meaty irony.
Nina Turner did not vote against tax cuts, she voted against a regressive shell game shifting the tax burden to those who can least afford it.
This tax shift has led to school teachers, police officers and firefighters losing their jobs. It’s led to already-struggling school districts struggling harder, and local governments being forced to forego basic maintenance such as road repair, while having to ask local property taxpayers for more money to make up the difference.
All this so Husted’s golfing buddies have a little extra dough in their Dockers for another round of old-fashioneds in the clubhouse.
As anti-empirical supply-side economic theory has played hell on America’s middle and working classes for 40 years, with expenses skyrocketing, wages stagnating, and wealth inequality exploding, Husted’s ad pivots to sneer at Turner and her family for struggling in this kind of economy, referencing a decade-old delinquent tax bill.
I’ll let Turner spokesperson Adam Warren explain.
“The tax issue came up during a period of financial difficulty for the Turners during which their rental properties were without tenants and her husband was unemployed. One of the rentals was eventually sold at foreclosure. During this period they fell a bit behind on their taxes,” Warren said in an email. “They got back on their feet, and have been up to date on their taxes for years now. Like many Ohioans working to create financial security for the next generation, they stumbled—but recovered—along the way.”
But Husted ain’t done yet, folks, why would he be when he’s found a ham-fisted way to mention Turner’s name and “raw sewage” in the same sentence by recalling a civil code complaint where Turner was found of no wrongdoing, the problems in question were fixed and the matter voluntarily dismissed by the city of Cleveland.
“He’s using personal attacks to distract from his record,” Warren responded.
And Husted’s record is a doozy. The issue at hand being “trust” and all, I might be more inclined to put my faith in a man wearing a top hat, twirling his handlebar mustache and holding a bit of rope by the railroad tracks.
The most central ingredient to a well-functioning republic is a robust democracy. But under the bromide of “uniformity,” Husted has made voting more difficult in Ohio. I guess voter turnout hovering between 44 percent and 47 percent in Ohio during non-presidential years is too high for Husted: just way too many people participating in their self-governance.
So Husted decided to ignore the needs of large-population counties that are politically disadvantageous to him and his ilk by setting his standard for uniformity at the lowest common denominator.
Instead of allowing bipartisan local boards of elections to analyze the needs of their counties and provide appropriate resources to encourage optimal democratic participation, Husted’s spearheaded the effort to use a sledgehammer forcing square pegs into round holes, discouraging democratic opportunity, and putting roadblocks on the throughway to the ballot box.
Moreover, he’s eliminated from the ballot itself Libertarian candidates for governor and attorney general that presented inconvenient political challenges to his fellow Republican officeholders.
Most recently, and preposterously, Husted has stamped his name comically-large on banners of voter information he’s ordered to be hung in every polling location in the state come Election Day.
Somehow, Jon Husted singing to Ohioans about trust puts me in mind of the Indian rock python Kaa lisping, “Trust in me, just in me,” as he lulls Mowgli to sleep while coiling ominously around him.
David DeWitt is a journalist and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.