Let’s give the independent Republican organization Crossroads GPS its due: The new TV commercial
it splashed across Ohio last week at least dealt with a serious topic.
The commercial certainly was misleading. But instead of focusing on offshore bank accounts and
who has shipped the most jobs overseas, the commercial deals with taxes, health care and energy.
Consider that progress.
Crossroads GPS, founded by former White House adviser Karl Rove, launched a major TV blitz aimed
against Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is being challenged by Republican state Treasurer Josh
The TVs spot is entertaining, relying on images based on such game shows as
Family Feud and
Wheel of Fortune. “It’s time to play: Who is the biggest supporter of the Obama agenda in
Ohio?” The answer, as might be expected, is Sherrod Brown. But it seems like the producers over at
Crossroads GPS either are oblivious to the facts or just don’t care.
The commercial contended that Brown supported cap-and-trade, a market-based regulatory system
aimed at slashing greenhouse gases emitted by industrial and utility plants. Cap-and-trade is
popular among environmentalists, but lawmakers from industrial states such as Ohio do not share
The reason? Cap-and-trade helps curb global warming but could strike a major blow to Ohio’s
That presented a quandary to Brown. Reporters have long suspected that deep in his heart he
would like to be known as an environmentalist. But when he had a chance in 2008 to vote for a
cap-and-trade bill, Brown opposed it.
In 2009, the Democratic-controlled House passed a new cap-and-trade bill, which then made its
way over to the Senate. Once again, Brown faced a tough choice. He said that while the bill was “
something I can support eventually,” he made clear that it fell “short of what we need” to protect
U.S. manufacturers from imports from countries that had weak environmental laws.
Translation: Brown would have voted against the bill had it reached the floor. But it never
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