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Environmental Activist Groups Launch Big Ad Buy Against Incumbent Ohio Senator

Rob Portman speaking
Gage Skidmore
Flickr Creative Commons
Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman speaking at the Defending the American Dream Summit held in Columbus in August 2015.

Two weeks after the announcement of a big ad campaign by a conservative organization against a leading Democrat in next year’s US Senate race, environmental activists have launched ads against the incumbent Republican.

Four environmentalist groups are launching ads that are hammering Sen. Rob Portman for opposing the Clean Power Plan, which they say would cut carbon pollution from power plants. The ads are from the Sierra Club, EDF Action, the NRDC Action Fund and the League of Conservation Voters.

Mary Anne Hitt with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign says Portman has been putting polluters and their policies first, and they want Portman to reconsider his stance on the plan. “Messages calling for Sen. Portman to support the Clean Power Plan will hit the television airwaves and numerous online channels as part of a major high-six-figure campaign,” Hitt said.

Hitt says Portman proposed an amendment that would enable states to skirt the protections of the plan. But Portman says the plan would force the closure of 34 coal burning plants in Ohio and increase costs for electricity, so he says he’s proposed options for coal-dependent states such as Ohio to preserve jobs.

“I don’t know what the ad’s going to say," Portman said in Circleville. "But I hope it’s truthful. The last ad that one of these groups put up against me simply was not accurate. And so I would ask them to keep it truthful because that’s important for our constituents to know on both sides.”


This is an issue ad and doesn’t support either Democrat in the Senate race. The conservative Americans for Prosperity spent more than a million dollars on issue ads slamming Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland, who leads Portman in recent polls.