Elected Officials And Faith Leaders Denounce RAGA Ad, Call On Dave Yost For Its Immediate Removal

COLUMBUS — Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) and a group of religious leaders today banded together to denounce the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA)’s lie-filled advertisement attacking Steve Dettelbach and intended to prop up Dave Yost’s campaign for attorney general.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty issued the following statement:

“David Yost’s latest ad reeks of desperation. The poorly produced ad totally misrepresents Steve’s record and is a thinly veiled attempt to sow division in our community. Steve has fought for Ohio families his entire life. As a federal prosecutor for more than 20 years, Steve put child abusers, drug dealers, human traffickers and other dangerous criminals in jail, and he secured convictions against corrupt politicians. I am proud to support Steve Dettelbach for Ohio attorney general because he will put Ohio’s children and families first and work just as hard to clean up the culture of corruption in the Statehouse.”

Reverend Stan Miller, Pastor A. G. Miller, Ph.D, Reverend David A. E. Whitt and Reverend Rodney S. Thomas released the following statement:

“Let’s just tell the truth. This year’s election campaigns have been especially concerning with the apparent untruths and mudslinging, but one set of ads really bothers us.

“Dave Yost’s campaign has hit a new low and, as a group of religious leaders, we are calling on him to demand that RAGA take down the ad immediately. The ad is filled with lies to paint an inaccurate picture of Steve’s record as a federal prosecutor, but it goes much farther than that too by spewing outright racism. With the use of both images and divisive rhetoric, the ad communicates a message that is painful and damaging to our community — one where people of color are portrayed as violent criminals who directly threaten the safety of Ohio. A prominent Ohio newspaper drew the same conclusion. Dave Yost should be ashamed for attaching himself to this ad and should denounce and call for its immediate removal from airwaves.

“Enough is enough. We are taking this opportunity to call out Mr. Yost, ask for politicians to stick to their record and present what they are going to do to improve situations, rather than just working to tear their opponent down.”

Reverend Stan Miller added, “During my time as Executive Director of the Cleveland NAACP, I worked closely with then-U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach. I found Steve to be a straight shooter, committed to holding people accountable when they were breaking the law.”

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) released the following statement:

“Echoing the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad benefiting President George H.W. Bush, this is an attempt to scare voters and it is done with clear racial overtones against Dettelbach — it combines one of the ugliest, most-racist memes in American history — that men of color are lusting to attack pure, white womanhood — with the myth that immigrants, documented and undocumented, are more criminal than everybody else.

“It’s one thing to blatantly lie about Steve Dettelbach’s record as a prosecutor, but to launch a ‘Willie Horton-like,’ racist attack using images to send a message that people of color pose a greater threat to our communities in addition to a direct public safety threat to white women, as the ad suggests is despicable. The images and messages conveyed in this ad do not reflect the Ohio we know and are proud to serve. Dave Yost should be ashamed of the way that the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is throwing millions of dollars behind his campaign in attempt to appeal to voters by channeling explicitly racist and fear-mongering tactics. No matter how close or ugly an election is, this type of rhetoric and messaging is unacceptable and furthermore speaks volumes to the lack of character the opposition has.”