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Democratic Strategists Launch Campaign Targeting Ohio's GOP Supermajority

 An ad from "Bring Back Ohio," a collection of Democratic strategists targeting Republican elected officials.
Bring Back Ohio
An ad from "Bring Back Ohio," a collection of Democratic strategists targeting Republican elected officials.

A collection of Democratic strategists are rolling out a new super PAC in hopes of creating a statewide campaign against corruption and extremism.

The group's Jeff Rusnak said the super PAC Bring Back Ohio plans to use provocative ads to make voters aware of the recent scandals connected to elected Republicans, such as the nuclear bailout bribery scheme and the overpayment of public funds to the former online charter school ECOT.

He said the "one-party rule" in Ohio where every statewide executive office is held by a Republican and the GOP has a supermajority in the legislature, has created these problems.

Rusnak said the campaign will be similar to "The Lincoln Project" which set out to run ads against former President Donald Trump. Bring Back Ohio even hosted an event with The Lincoln Project co-founder, Steve Schmidt.

Rusnak said they want to "demonstrate to people that what's happened and what's occurred here in terms of the scandals, the corruption, the extremism is unacceptable and is harmful to voters and harmful to the residents of the state."

The Ohio Republican Party criticized the group for wanting to emulate the Lincoln Project, noting a political stunt the group did during the Virginia gubernatorial race by sending fake white supremacists to a campaign event.

"These dark money PACs are becoming a dime a dozen in Democrat circles and none of them resonate with Ohio voters," added RNC spokesman Dan Lushek. "Democrats lose in the Buckeye State because their policies and message do not reflect Ohio’s values -- it’s why the GOP will keep Ohio red in 2022."

Bring Back Ohio said they do not plan to operate like a dark money group and that they will disclose all their donations in order to be "open and transparent."

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.