Great-grandmother appears in TV political ad for and against Issue 2 creating controversy

CLEVELAND - Opponents of Senate Bill 5, who want you to vote "no" on Issue 2, put out a TV political ad starring Cincinnati great-grandmother, Marlene Quinn, who says firefighters saved the life of her great grandchild, Zoey.

In the ad, she wants Issue 2 defeated because she said Senate Bill 5 restricts unions like firefighters from collective bargaining on issues like staffing.

But supporters of Issue 2 took a clip of the great-grandmother from that ad, and placed her in their ad making it appear she supports Issue 2. Opponents of Issue 2 from "We Are Ohio" say that's not just dirty politics, it's tricking and confusing voters.

Cleveland firefighter and union rep Michael Norman is upset with supporters from "Building A Better Ohio," saying they hijacked the ad, twisting her words to make voters think she wants you to vote yes on Issue two, keeping SB 5 a law.

"It's a blatant attempt to deceive the voters and taking the sentiment of a grandmother, who feels she owes the lives of her grandchildren to adequately staffed fire departments, and using that against the firefighters themselves," Norman said.

A number of TV stations around the state have pulled the "Building A Better Ohio" ad, but the group defends the ad as legal and fair.

"When this woman put herself on TV in support of a political position, she made herself a public figure and we have every right to run our ad and we're standing by our ad," said Connie Wehrkamp, spokesperson for "Building a Better Ohio."

NewsChannel5 has received several e-mails from viewers saying the "Build A Better Ohio" ad should be pulled from the air for using Quinn without her permission. One viewer named Maureen wrote "Shame on Building A Better Ohio for stealing the grandmother's words without her permission and using them in a deceiving and inaccurate ad!" TV stations around Ohio have pulled the ad.

NewsChannel5 is still running the ad because according to the attorney for the parent company Scripps Media, "We don't want to be seen as limiting or censoring public debate on a matter of significant political importance in Ohio."

There are 27 days until Election Day on Nov. 8.

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