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Published: Wednesday, 7/25/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledo given a shout-out in ad for Brown role in auto-industry aid

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D), left, and Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel (R). U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D), left, and Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel (R).
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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) is back on the air in Toledo advertising his role in the auto industry bailout, with a specific shout-out to Toledo.

The re-election campaign ad focuses on the 2009 government bailout of the domestic auto industry.

Mr. Brown was an outspoken supporter of taxpayer aid to the carmakers when the financial crisis of 2008 undercut consumer buying and access to credit.

His opponent, Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, is not known to have taken a public position at the time, and has since largely refused to discuss the subject.

The Brown commercial started Tuesday and runs through July 30.

Titled, "Both from Ohio," the spot highlights the Chevy Cruze that is built with parts from across Ohio and is assembled in Lordstown, Ohio. "Engine block's made in Defiance; aluminum wheels, Cleveland; transmission, from Toledo," Mr. Brown says during the 30-second spot.

The ad features a casually dressed Mr. Brown popping his head up through the sunroof and then kicking the wheel of a Cruze in a dealer's showroom in Northfield, Summit County.

Mr. Brown says he was "proud to have led the fight to pass the auto rescue package."

The bailout extended loans and purchases of stock to Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. Senator Brown said the loans fueled a resurgence that benefited not only the companies that got assistance, but Ohio car manufacturers Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. as well.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Auto Industry Finance Program of the Troubled Assets Relief Program extended about $79.6 billion in assistance and has recovered $35.2 billion, with about $7.2 billion "written off" and $37.2 billion "outstanding." The outstanding debt is mostly government ownership of GM stock.

Elsewhere, Treasury says the auto rescue "cost" about $22 billion, but the cost to families and businesses from a "disorderly liquidation" would have been greater.

The ad says the rescue helped protect 848,000 Ohio jobs. That number was computed by the Center for Automotive Research in 2010 and included all direct employment as well as jobs in businesses that depend on the industry, such as local restaurants.

"With Ohio's auto industry on the brink, Sherrod stood up for Ohio jobs and fought to rescue the American auto industry when some were ready to let those jobs vanish," said Sadie Weiner, spokesman for the Friends of Sherrod Brown Campaign.

"Sherrod's confidence in Ohio workers has never faltered and it never will. That's why he refused to give up on Ohio's auto industry, and that's a big reason why the nearly 850,000 industry related workers in Lordstown, Toledo, Cleveland, and across the state still have jobs today."

Mr. Mandel did not respond to a request to his campaign for an interview on the auto bailout issue.

Spokesman Nicole Sizemore responded that the ad is a change from previous negative Brown ads that attacked Mr. Mandel.

"We were disappointed that Brown's ad failed to answer the lingering questions about why he hasn't passed a budget in more than three years, why multiple trillion-dollar budget deficits happened under his watch, and why he believes raising taxes on Ohio families and small businesses to pay for Washington's reckless addiction to spending is the answer to a challenging economy," Ms. Sizemore said.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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