BULLETIN: Democrat Bill O’Neill, targeted in a GOP attack ad, has threatened to sue the Ohio Republican Party if the ad isn’t taken down, the Associated Press reported.
After the Ohio State Bar Association chastised a GOP TV ad saying a state Supreme Court candidate “sympathizes with rapists,” the Republican justice supported by the ad asked the GOP to pull it.
“Justice [Robert] Cupp and his campaign disavowed and criticized the independent state party ad the moment we found out about it, and we call on the state party to remove it from all forms of public distribution,” the Republican’s campaign spokesman Mark Weaver said, according to an Associated Press article.
A Republican Party spokesman said there were no intentions to withdraw the ad.
Regarding a 12-year-old appeals court ruling by Democrat Bill O’Neill, the TV ad (see Gavel Grab) states, “When crime occurs, victims deserve justice but, as a judge, Bill O’Neill expressed sympathy for rapists.”
O’Neill wrote in the ruling, “Rape is a crime of violence which ultimately devastates the lives of at least two people” — the victim and the attacker, who is “labeled for life.”
Chair Maxine Thomas of the state bar’s advertising monitoring panel said the panel unanimously found that the GOP ad is in violation of association standards, because it erodes trust in the judiciary and damages the integrity of the courts. She wrote that a clean-campaign pledge by Justice Cupp requires him to push to get the ad withdrawn.
In another Ohio Supreme Court contest, Justice Yvette McGee Brown, a Democrat, has raised $1 million through mid-October in her race against Domestic Relations Judge Sharon Kennedy, a Republican, the Columbus Dispatch reported. This marked “a rare race in recent times when a Democratic Supreme Court candidate is actually out-raising the Republican,” the article said.