Three years ago, with the auto industry at a near standstill, American Manufacturing Inc. of Toledo was down to its last four employees. Office manager Danielle Letellier said the office employees helped out in the shop to help process the few orders that trickled in because owner Chuck Gotberg had laid off almost everyone else. She helped to operate the drill press and the stencil. Even Ms. Letellier and the company’s chief financial officer took layoffs “When the auto industry took a hit, the orders fell off,” Ms. Letellier said. “It was a scary time.”
Before the sudden collapse of the market for automobiles in 2008 and 2009, the steel-fabricating company at 2375 Dorr St. had 125 people manufacturing industrial steel containers for automotive-parts suppliers. After nearly shutting its doors in 2009, American Manufacturing is now back with more than 100 workers and looking for additional welders.
On Monday, Mr. Gotberg hosted an event with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and officials of the U.S. Small Business Administration to give credit to the 2009 American Recovery Act, also called the stimulus package. They also praised the 2009 $80 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler with the turnaround in American Manufacturing Inc. — and American manufacturing in general.
“The automotive bailout was the key to my recovery,” said Mr. Gotberg, a Northville, Mich., resident. “If General Motors and Chrysler would have failed I’m convinced the supply base in total would have failed, because once it’s dead, it’s dead. You can’t just say that some other company’s going to take the place of General Motors. They can’t.” He said he considers himself a Republican but has no political activity other than voting.
Sherrod Brown is the top target in the Senate:
Even though it’s only spring, corporate cash is already flooding into the state as big money looks to unseat one of the most progressive members of the Senate, Sherrod Brown. “They see this race as important to getting a majority in the US Senate regardless of what happens in the presidential race,” Brian Rothenberg of ProgressOhio told AlterNet. “Ohio is a swing state in a couple of ways; one is the presidency but the other is the Senate.”
And Greg Sargent at the Washington Post noted recently, “In what may come as a surprise to many Democrats, the Ohio Senate race appears to be the target of more spending by GOP-aligned outside groups than the [Elizabeth] Warren contest or any other Senate race in the country.” “They’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars weekly already but the poll numbers aren’t changing,” Rothenberg pointed out. “In a post-Citizens United world, these are businessmen, you gotta wonder whether they look at the polls.”
When Greg Sargent, with data provided by the Brown campaign, crunched the numbers, he found that nearly $5 million had been spent on ads attacking Brown alone. Those ads have been funded by groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS ($800,000) and Concerned Women for America (an anti-abortion group). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent heavily on the state, and new reporting from Lee Fang at Republic Report traces funding for the Chamber back to corporations such as Coca-Cola, eBay, AETNA and Chevron. The Sunlight Foundation also reports that the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks (another right-wing group funded by the Koch brothers) have ponied up for the race (the Club for Growth is the top donor to Mandel’s campaign) and he’s gotten $283,490 from investment banks.
With so much money pouring in so early in states like Ohio, local activists are starting to wonder if the ads will make a difference in the end. Many people no longer get their news from the TV, let alone from the big major networks, and services like TiVo allow viewers to skip over ads, while web viewing provides audiences an entirely different set of advertisements. Rothenberg wondered if people in swing states are bombarded with so many negative ads that they just end up tuning them out, or decide not to trust any of them.
“It’ll be interesting to see how this goes for the rest of the year, but at some point you would think that if the numbers don’t change, despite all the commercials they’re running attacking a US Senator, that either their messaging is off, or they’re going too negative too early, or they’ve got a bad candidate and people know Sherrod Brown,” Rothenberg said.
Hopefully, it’s “all of the above”.
We have two Obama 2012 organizers in town, and I spoke to one of them last night. She said “it’s a tough county to work in because it’s so Republican, but no one has anything bad to say, ever, about Sherrod Brown”. Someone has something bad to say, because Brown rarely polls higher than 50% but that’s probably the high water mark for a liberal populist whose mere presence in the US Senate inspires this kind of sustained, massive attack from moneyed interests. I wonder myself how effective attack ads that began shortly after Christmas for an election the following November will be, and whether at some point this crazy-expensive attack from 30,000 feet just becomes a dumb investment.
We get all upset with the trogladite Republicans in office & on the Supreme Court but it seems that the ones out of office like Rove, Kochs, etc are liberals biggest thorn in our ass.
How do we go after them in a way that helps us and hurts them (please no violent content replies, leave that to the righties).
Nope. Entitled ideologists with inherited money who are good at tilting the playing field in their direction, but not business people.
Well, supposedly attack ads only work if the person attacked is not known, doesn’t have a reputation, because people settle on their perceptions, and it’s difficult to change that.
Also, Josh Mandel is an absolutely horrible candidate, so I would suggest encouraging Republicans like him to run :)
Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn
Santorum dropping out (ew!!).
Two populists and a Republican walk into a bar……
Come on, Kay, don’t leave us hanging.
OT, but looks like Santorum is out.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: This means Santorum will be all over the news. Which is appropriate for the Village anyway.
Don’t you love that guy, though? My whole business nearly went under, still, “I consider myself a Republican”.
Stand Your Ground, even if it’s shifting beneath your feet.
@Kay: Because most people don’t dwell in Actual Reality; but in the far more soothing realm they make up in their own widdle heads.
TV advertising is only valuable in turning out older conservative voters. Older conservatives have to be reminded, on an almost constant, hourly basis, that they have to vote for Republicans or else the blacks/Hispanics/Asians/Single Female Sluts will take over and turn us into the Soviet Union.
It’s amazing how much money is spent on advertising geared towards affluent white males over the age of 60.
How do you clean that off?
@kindness: Tar and feathers?
Sherrod Brown is a good guy, and I think enough people in OHIO know he’s a good guy and his opponent is an ass.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
That approach flies in the face of every TV marketing theory in which advertisers don’t feel anybody over the age of 49 buys anything.
Perhaps the political ad people feel there’s a different dynamic or that they don’t know wtf they’re doing.
I feel quite confident that the OH Senator Brown will win this fall.
Now, as for my own targeted Dem, Blanche McCaskill, she’ll be defeated. Why? Unlike Sherrod Brown, she’s a shitty Democrat who’s spent the last 5+ years pissing on her own base…and there’s precious little left of that here in Misery.
THAT is the epitome of the luxury of delusion.
Interviewer: I’ve been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.
Gotberg: No. Never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to buy his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.
Interviewer: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.
Gotberg: (pause) Oh yeah, he did that.
Gotberg: Well he had to, didn’t he? I mean there was nothing else he could do, be fair. I had transgressed the unwritten law.
Interviewer: What had you done?
Gotberg: Er… well he didn’t tell me that, but he gave me his word that it was the case, and that’s good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn’t *want* to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. He’d do anything for you, Dinsdale would.
Interviewer: And you don’t bear him a grudge?
Gotberg: A grudge! Old Dinsy. He was a real darling.
It isn’t mentioned in the article, but Sherrod Brown actually runs vicious campaigns, he just doesn’t use tv ads to do it.
He’s been very successfully attacking Mandel for months on the fact that Mandel doesn’t do his job, and hires cronies. There’s a story a day in newspapers.
Oh well. The fun is over, kids.
Rombot Service Pack 2.2 is likely being uploaded now. How quickly will Rombot 2.2 disavow everything that Rombot 2.1 said?
I don’t know what this is called but it’s not Democracy. Lady liberty is crying.
@Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: Farewell, Frothy, we hardly knew you.
Am I the only one who thinks that Santorum’s main reason for running for President was to get enough “real” hits on his name to overcome Dan Savage’s Googlebomb?
@Martin: Yes, but is RomOS 2.2 a cloud-based enabling-technology incorporating the best features of Web 2.0? And is it optimized for a touch-based experience?
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage:
That’s not the theory, btw. Viagrå ads would be the overwhelming disproof of that, at any rate, as they’re marketed almost exclusively to 50+.
The theory is that for mass appeal products, 50+ year olds have already established their preferences, and the cost of convincing them to change laundry detergent or deodorant isn’t worth it. Beyond that, they’re low-margin shoppers – so the stuff they buy is less likely to be able to afford the ads to begin with – they’re not buying iPads, their kids are and giving them to mom/dad. The real market for 50+ is the stuff that only people 50+ buy – like reverse mortgages, Hoverrounds, etc. That makes them a unique market for unique products, and therefore there’s little competition from networks for those advertising dollars. McDonalds has lots of choices where to put their ad dollars. Depends does not.
I’m glad to hear that Brown’s campaigning is ‘vicious’, but, to be fair, all you have to do is factually state what Republicans are doing, and that ensures sufficient viciousness, imho.
@dmsilev: Ann Romney seemed to suggest that if Rombot 2.x was a touch-based experience, she can’t seem to get it working.
Rombot 2.x is based on pretty classical freemium cost models. It costs nothing initially, but then you need to pay more and more to unlock features to remain competitive with other players. Most people consider it a bit of a scam. You’d expect it to be cloud-based, but it seems like pretty classical big-iron client server. It doesn’t seem to work at all without calling home to its large corporate server back-end. A decent DDoS attack should take it out without much trouble.
Just watch FOX News for half an hour. There’s all the old people ads (including scammy investments for frightened idiots) you’d ever want to see without wanting to pull your own head off.
Jay in Oregon
Yes, but is RomOS 2.2 a cloud-based enabling-technology incorporating the best features of Web 2.0? And is it optimized for a touch-based experience?
Well, I’m suddenly less hungry for lunch…
That’s true. I didn’t mean to imply “unfairly vicious”.
Mandel actually doesn’t do his job, and he does hire 27 year old completely unqualified friends of his to handle the state investments. Those things are true.
No, not the affluent ones. They have their own agenda, and ads don’t and won’t change that agenda.
The ads are geared to less affluent ones who are resentful about most everything, because they are not among the affluent ones.
The affluent ones are mostly not racists, some are but most aren’t. They just don’t give a shit. Their agenda is simple: feed me and fuck the rest. They are perfectly happy to fuck over white people as much as black ones. They are mostly not not racists, they are monumental assholes.
You mean that when she said that unzipping Mitt would make him seem less stiff, that wasn’t the intended result?
A thought: Is foot-in-mouth disease contagious?
pseudonymous in nc
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage:
They’re clearly risk-averse, but so are their clients, so they stay in business putting out ooga-booga spots during Wheel of Fortune.
As for the “I own a business, therefore I am a Republican”, I think it’s mainly down to social identification — the kind of local and sector-based networks might be beneficiaries of Dem policies, but that can’t be admitted at the annual Midwest Widget-Makers’ Gala.
@Kay: yup, and there was absolutely no criticism in my comment – was meant as snark. I am very happy to open and read all of your posts.
It’s just money. They would load pallets of cash on barges offshore and burn them just to irritate a librul or three.
So how does the whole “reverse mortgage” thing work, anyway? Can you get one where they have to pay out until you actually die, or are they time limited?
If it’s the first one (and if we ever own a house) I would be tempted to get one around age 75 just to screw with the bank. Since both of my grandmothers lived well into their 90s and my great-aunt (grandfather’s sister) made it to 100, I think I could get a deal that would really screw the bank if they had to pay out until I died.
(One of my aunts (mother’s sister) died at only 80, but she was a lifelong smoker. Her other two sisters are still going strong.)
The Club for Growth has to be a group of the some of the most disgusting shitbags that inhabit this country. I am 100% convinced that these POS’s would revive slavery tomorrow if they could.
The trick – IMHO – is to decouple those people who consider themselves ‘Republican’ from the radical revolutionaries now claiming the ‘Republican’ brand.
Slow process, tribal loyalty, etc, but it’s a worthwhile cause, and one that the GOP is making easier to do. At some point the a fairly large number of ‘moderate’ Republicans might well stop telling themselves “I don’t like what the Republican Party is becoming, but I’m not going to abandon – my – Party because the lunatics will be left in charge” and transition over to “The lunatics have already taken over – my – Party, so I either don’t vote or I vote against them.”
The Republican Party has played an excellent balancing act for decades, but the Bush Maladministration, the rise of the Teabaggers, and the adoption of an electoral strategy that boils down to “Pander! Incite! Loot!” is fracturing it before our eyes. Rubbing my magical crystal ball says that November 2012 is going to see a – lot – of ‘moderate’ Republican voters facing an existential crisis. Do they vote for what the Republican Party has become, or do they vote for the Other Party to send a message back to the mothership?
Thanks to the Republican Party’s policies, that’s not a crisis too many Democratic voters have to face. And I – really – don’t see Mitt Romney as the charismatic candidate those troubled Republicans could convince themselves to trust in as the representative and defender of ‘their’ GOP.
YMMV, but there you go.
Forum Transmitted Disease
I will bet every dime I have that this guy votes a straight-line GOP ticket in the fall.
Can’t fix tribalism with facts.
Kooky Kucinich still refuses to endorse Kaptur.
“When asked who the people of the district should vote for [Kaptur or Joe the Plumber], Kucinich declined to respond.”
What a piece of crap. Too bad that flying saucer that Kucinich spoke to didn’t abduct him and take him back to their galaxy.
I’ve seen a bunch of negative ads against Sherrod Brown. I wish someone in the Ohio Democratic organization would loudly point out that the Chamber doesn’t use their full name in the ads — it’s “The Chamber” instead of “The Chamber of Commerce.” Have them ask the Chamber if they’re afraid of compromising what’s left of their reputation.