Ad blitz hits Ohio Sen. Brown over coal industry regulations


“Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE is hurting the very Ohio taxpayers he was elected to represent,” Kerpen said in a Thursday statement. "Brown voted to increase electricity costs for Ohio residents, and his support for President Obama’s War on Coal is killing jobs across Ohio’s coal communities.”

Justin Barasky, spokesman for the Brown campaign, dismissed the ad blitz as a "misleading attack" from supporters of Republican challenger state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

"Josh Mandel called Sherrod Brown un-American for supporting the auto rescue and helping to protect 850,000 Ohio jobs, he's against Sherrod's bipartisan bill to save and create manufacturing jobs by standing up to China, and he's spent two years ignoring his job as Treasurer, so it's no surprise that Mandel's special interest friends are launching yet another false and misleading attack against Sherrod," Barasky told The Hill in an email.

The conservative group's efforts though could have an effect beyond the Senate race with both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney vying for support from coal industry voters, who command influence, in the pivotal battleground state.

The ad, which will run in southeastern Ohio, says Brown “voted with Washington special interests and federal bureaucrats instead of hard-working Ohioans.” It charges both Brown and Obama with waging a "war on coal," describing it as "a war on jobs, family utility bills and, for far too many, a war on Ohioans’ way of life.”

The ad uses comments from an interview Obama gave in 2008. when he said his policies would ensure that, “if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Both presidential campaigns and outside groups have stepped up their efforts in Ohio with ads touting their support for the coal industry; both Obama and Romney made visits to the swing state this week.

The Obama campaign is playing a TV spot in Ohio and Virginia that highlights a Romney comment in 2003 that coal “kills people.” 

The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement in both those states that slams Obama for rolling out emissions regulations that Republicans say hurt the coal industry.

The Romney ad used footage of a pro-Romney rally at a mine in Beallsville, Ohio, that mine workers say they were forced to attend without pay. The Obama campaign responded with another advertisement slamming Romney for using those clips.

Most polls have Brown leading Mandel. The Hill rates the race “Leans Democratic.”

This story was updated at 3:48 p.m. to include reaction from the Brown campaign.