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Third-Party Group Targets Ohio Democrats With Ads

A shadowy, Republican-leaning 501(c)4 group that goes by the name of the Committee for Truth in Politics shelled out more than $320,000 this week for ads in the Cleveland market targeting Democrats in tough races and appears set to go after another Democrat in the Columbus market.

In the ad, a narrator says: “Washington won’t balance the budget. Washington took three months to fix an oil leak. Washington won’t secure our borders.” The ad then tries to connect Washington’s failures to the targeted Member.

Democratic trackers say an ad against Rep. Zack Space will cost $189,000 and pegged the price of another cable ad targeting Rep. John Boccieri at $133,000.

It’s still unclear exactly whom the group is going after with a $62,000 cable buy in the Columbus media market, but the most likely target is freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who is facing a tough fight this fall in her battleground district.

James Bopp Jr., a lawyer who has been authorized to speak for the group, said Thursday that he had no information to provide on the scope of the ads.

He also did not say whether the three ad buys were the beginning of a larger campaign heading into November.

That seems likely, considering that the group spent about $2 million earlier this year on ads against the financial reform bill that was working its way through Congress at the time. Those ads described the bill as a $4 trillion bailout for big banks.

Bopp played a major role in the Citizens United v. FEC case that lifted restrictions on corporate spending in election cycles. He also sued the FEC on behalf of the Committee for Truth in Politics to keep the group from having to disclose its donors.

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