COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party today responded to the Ohio Republican Party’s meritless complaint to the Ohio State Bar Association about a factual ad that educates Ohio voters about Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judi French changing the rules so they could raise more money from special interests.
“We welcome a conversation about the issues raised by our ad — Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judi French did in fact change the rules to allow special interests to contribute more to their campaigns, and under those new rules, they raised more than $1 million for their re-election campaigns, including from many groups, like the insurance industry, that have interests before the Ohio Supreme Court,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick. “Justice Sharon Kennedy did in fact take a contribution from lobbyist Matt Borges, who has been charged in the House Bill 6 bribery case, just as the Court was considering a lawsuit related to House Bill 6. Kennedy could have and should have recused, but she chose not to.
“Finally, the Ohio Republican Party’s complaint claims that Kennedy and French have not coordinated with outside groups on any negative ads. That is immaterial. The Ohio State Bar Association’s ‘clean campaign pledge’ requires candidates to ‘disavow any advertisements that impugn the integrity of the judicial system [or] the integrity of a candidate for the Supreme Court.’ Kennedy and French are violating their own pledge by refusing to disavow the Republican State Leadership Committee’s ad attacking Judge Jennifer Brunner — an ad that has been assessed to be ‘misleading’ by an independent fact checker. They do not have the option of shrugging their shoulders and claiming ignorance because a dark-money group associated with Karl Rove is giving them an assist by attacking one of their opponents and maligning the Chief Justice and another sitting Justice in the process.”