Ohio Republican accused of 'red-baiting' in TV ad attacking Dem on China

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission over a TV ad her Republican opponent is airing that's been dubbed "red-baiting."

Kilroy's opponent, former banking lobbyist Steve Stivers (R), is refusing to take the ad down, calling her complaint "frivolous."

Kilroy’s camp contends the ad is disseminating "false" statements because it accuses her of helping to create jobs in China by voting for the stimulus bill.

The Columbus Dispatch said the ad "resorts to red-baiting," but the Stivers camp is sticking with it.

The complaint "is merely a PR stunt to get attention — but, like the congresswoman and her desperate campaign — it lacks substance and facts," John Damschroder, a spokesman for Stivers, said in a statement to The Ballot Box. "Kilroy needs to take ownership of her voting record. Either she didn't read the stimulus bill and didn't know what she was voting for or she knew what was in the bill and still voted for it. Which is it?"

America's economic relationship with China has emerged as a major issue in some midterm races, including Ohio's Senate race. In fact, Stivers's ad borrows a line of attack that Senate candidate Lee Fisher (D) used against Republican Rob Portman in his only TV ad of the campaign.