WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 10.23.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Community, Media, News, Racism at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
voterfraud

Controversial Voter Fraud Billboards to be Removed

Outcry, national attention spurred removal of voter fraud displays

A Cincinnati outdoor advertising company announced Tuesday that it will take down controversial billboards that opponents claim are aimed at intimidating voters. Norton Outdoor Advertising had been contracted to put up about 30 billboards that read “Voter Fraud is a Felony!” The billboards also listed the maximum penalty for voter fraud — up to 3 and a half years and a $10,000 fine. Opponents of the billboards claim they were strategically placed in predominantly low-income and black neighborhoods in Cincinnati as a means to discourage those largely Democratic voters from going to the polls. The billboards were funded by an anonymous “private family foundation.” In a statement posted online, Norton Executive Vice President Mike Norton said the displays would be taken down as soon as possible. He wrote that the foundation and Norton agreed after hearing criticism that the sentiment surrounding the displays was contrary to their intended purpose. The family foundation didn’t intend to make a political statement, but rather make the public aware of voting regulations, he wrote. “We look forward to helping to heal the divisiveness that has been an unfortunate result of this election year,” Norton wrote. Norton had previously told CityBeat that the billboards were not targeted but distributed randomly throughout the city. Several Cincinnati officials wrote to the company requesting the billboards be taken down.  ClearChannel Outdoor Advertising announced on Monday that it was removing similar billboards in Cleveland and Columbus. The billboards throughout Ohio had garnered national criticism and media attention.  A rival outdoor advertising company is putting up 10 new billboards to rebut the voter fraud ones.  The new red, white and blue billboards will read “Hey Cincinnati, voting is a right not a crime!” Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld said in an emailed news release that he reached out to Lamar Advertising Company to ask if they would donate the billboards throughout Cincinnati. “We should be encouraging folks to participate in our democratic process, not trying to scare them,” Sittenfeld wrote. “I salute Lamar’s generosity and their support in encouraging citizens to raise their voice and not be scared away.”
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 10.15.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Campaign Finance, Racism at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
reece

State Rep Decries Voter Fraud Billboards

Rep. Reece claims "voter fraud is illegal" ads are attempt at voter intimidation

A Cincinnati-area state representative is decrying billboards throughout Ohio whose aim, she says, is voter intimidation. Democratic Rep. Alicia Reece held a news conference Monday morning in front of a billboard that read, “Voter Fraud is a Felony!” The billboards were paid for “by a private family foundation,” but Reece claims in a news release that the sponsors are essentially anonymous and the billboards are being strategically placed in low-income and black neighborhoods. “We are asking the Outdoor Advertising Association of Ohio to work with the anonymous sponsors of the billboards to have them removed immediately,” Reece wrote in a statement. “It’s obvious that the billboards are designed to intimidate voters and leave some wondering if merely voting is now a crime.” Mike Norton with Norton Outdoor Advertising — the company on whose billboards the ads appear — said there are 30 such signs in the Greater Cincinnati area.  He said the sponsor didn’t ask for any demographic targeting and the ads are appearing in all neighborhoods wherever there was open space. Norton said the sponsor wished to remain anonymous and he isn’t at liberty to give out its name. As for the anonymity of the ads sponsor, “Our company’s stand on political advertising is we do our very best to make sure it’s accurate and it’s not an attack ad,” Norton said. “This seemed to fall well within the bounds of reason on both of those benchmarks.” The billboards are not illegal, and they are considered Constitutionally protected speech. The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School issued a policy paper finding that cases of fraud by individual voters are extremely rare. The center found that in the 2004 presidential election saw a voter fraud rate of 0.00004 percent.  Cincinnati isn’t the only city to see such billboards. They have also made appearances in Cleveland and Columbus, as well as southeast Wisconsin. According to the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, the billboards there are owned by Clear Channel Outdoor. A company spokesman told the newspaper that Clear Channel’s policy is usually to identify who sponsors a political ad, but in this case a salesperson made a mistake.
 
 

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