Mike DeWine ousted Richard Cordray from the Ohio Attorney General’s office in 2010, defeating him at the polls and replacing him as the state’s top law enforcement officer.
As such, DeWine has an insider’s view of how Cordray ran the AG’s office.
In a recently launched TV ad, DeWine uses that inside knowledge to charge his predecessor in the AG office with being soft on crime — soft on rape and sex crimes against women in particular.
Watch the ad below:
The ad cites the case of rape victim Allyssa Allison, who’s kit went untested under the Cordray administration.
“While Richard Cordray was Attorney General, 12,000 rape kits like Allyssa’s were left untested,” the ad states. “Cordray’s failure left serial rapists free to strike again. Then Mike DeWine became Attorney General. He tested all 12,000 rape kits. Now hundreds of rapists are behind bars.”
As usual, every time a Republican candidate runs a hard-hitting ad about his Democrat opponent, no matter how truthful, the media runs interference for the Democrat, trying to explain away the Democrat’s failures.
In this case, it was Politifact and Cleveland.com to the rescue for Richard Cordray.
“But the backlog of untested rape kits can’t be blamed mainly on the attorney general; local police departments had a role, too,” Politifact writes. “The ad omits that Cordray started to address the backlog as it drew more attention in the summer of 2010, but he had little time left in office.”
Ohioans have a rare chance to compare the performance of two candidates who have held the same office on an issue as important as rape and sexual assault.
They both worked with the same police departments. DeWine got the police to take the issue more seriously and turn in their rape kits, the same kits that languished in police evidence rooms under Cordray’s tenure.
Cleveland.com also came to Cordray’s defense as soon as the ad was released statewide. An article by Seth Richardson sought to downplay the rape kit scandal by insinuating that it was only the press coverage by the Cleveland Plain Dealer that caused rape kits to be turned over for testing. He compared the DeWine ad to the famous “Willie Horton” ad by George H. Walker Bush against Michael Dukakis in 1988.
Both Democrats and Republicans will be running attack ads against their opponent in the Ohio gubernatorial race. But only Democrats will be able to call in mainstream media backup to help soften the blow.