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Shadowy Political Handbill on the East Side

By Bill Sloat · September 19th, 2012 · City Desk

Last week, packets of anti-Democrat political literature tucked into plastic sandwich bags were tossed into East Side driveways. It’s apparently a broadside from some bag ladies with an Indian Hill address who call themselves a “grassroots, conservative group.” They are new on the scene and bent on kicking President Barack Obama out of office, along with anybody who might possibly share his views. But they might be cheating, or tools of someone who is flouting the law. 

There are 16 political pieces in the plastic bags, including an ad for the anti-Obama movie You Don’t Know Him. All but one are properly labeled with disclaimers that show who paid for each piece.

But a piece that attacks U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a mystery — nothing identifies its source. The flier lists 10 reasons why Ohio voters should replace Democrat Brown with Republican candidate Josh Mandel.

The secret source of the handbill has the earmarks of a dirty trick. Electioneering rules make it clear printed material seeking to influence voters must disclose where it came from, so the source of the anti-Brown handbill for their plastic bags seems to have broken the law. Without a disclaimer there is no way to know who paid for the anti-Brown attack. 

The group tossing the bags into driveways calls itself Women for Liberty. There is no website for the group, although it appears to be an offshoot of another group with the same name that is based in a Washington, D.C. suburb and cites a libertarian philosophy.



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