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Active Republican Outside Money Groups in Ohio

Fighting for Ohio

Fighting for Ohio is a Super PAC supporting the campaign of Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). It was started by Barry Bennett, a Republican consultant and “former adviser” to Portman.[1] In mid-2015, Bennett handed off the leadership of the group to Tom Whatman, a “longtime GOP strategist with ties to Ohio.”[2] The group has stated that its goal is to raise and spend $5 – 10 million during the 2016 cycle.[3] In February 2015, Bennett estimated that a third of that money could be spent on social media advertising.[4]

As of March 31, 2016, the group reported that it had raised $3.1 million and held $2.8 million cash on hand.[5] The group has raised money from prominent Republican donors including controversial hedge fund billionaires Paul Singer and Ken Griffin, as well as former WWE executive Linda McMahon.[6]

In May 2016, Fighting for Ohio spent $1.5 million on its first attack ad against former Gov. Ted Strickland.[7] Independent fact-checkers harshly criticized the ad for taking liberties with the truth – Politifact rated the ad “False”, while noted that the ad “misleads on several counts.”[8][9]

[1]Super-PAC formed to support Portman’s re-election bid.” Jessica Wehrman, The Columbus Dispatch, 02/18/15

[2]Wealthy donors send six-figure checks to pro-Portman PAC.” Deirdre Shesgreen, USA Today, 02/01/16

[3]The Year of the Senate Super PAC?” Reid Wilson, Morning Consult, 06/21/15

[4]Super PAC forming for Rob Portman, expects to raise millions.” Stephen Koff, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 02/18/15

[5]Fighting for Ohio Fund FEC Form 3X.” Federal Election Commission, 03/31/16, p. 2

[6]Wealthy donors send six-figure checks to pro-Portman PAC.” Deirdre Shesgreen, USA Today, 02/01/16

[7]Super PAC on the air with ad bashing Strickland.” Jessica Wehrman, The Columbus Dispatch, 05/06/16

[8]Fighting for Ohio PAC ad takes Ted Strickland’s ‘mixed and spotty’ quote out of context.” Nadia Pflaum, Politifact, 05/13/16

[9]Misleading attack on Strickland.” Robert Farley,, 05/18/16

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