Democrats in Ohio say that Republican gubernatorial nominee John Kasich can’t find a single steelworker to back up his claim that blue collar-workers are upset at Gov. Ted Strickland’s (D) administration. Yesterday, a C-list actor helped them make their case.
Meet Chip Redden, 818,906 on IMDB’s STARmeter: journeyman actor, strip club aficionado and, apparently, the best approximation of a hard-hat wearing Ohio worker Kasich’s money could buy.
Here’s the ad Kasich is running, entitled “400,000” (a reference to the number of jobs supposedly lost under Strickland’s first term as governor of the Buckeye State):
That is one convincingly upset worker, right? Well Democrats — and one right-wing blogger — did some digging and found out that the “are you kidding me” guy appears to be none other than Redden, star of stage and screen (sort of). You might remember Redden from such films as Hitting The Nuts and the yet-to-be-released Diary Of Randy Rose (well, maybe not that one). According to his Facebook page, Redden is from Fairbanks, AK. (Redden did immediately respond to a request for comment on this article)
The Ohio Democratic Party tracked down some clips of Redden getting his thespian on and put together this video the party says proves he’s star of the Kasich ad:
Paying an actor to perform in a political commercial certainly isn’t uncommon, though the optics of hiring an actor to play one of the hundreds of thousands of people you say are spitting mad at your opponent are not great. What’s more, not properly vetting the actor you hire can lead to some more headaches for you down the road.
Ohio conservative blogger Matt Naugle combed through what he says is Redden’s MySpace page and found some photos (NSFW) that might not sit well with the average communications strategist trying to keep a campaign like Kasich’s on message when it comes to jobs and conservative values.
Unions are supporting Strickland in the race and, not surprisingly, don’t take too kindly to Kasich apparently hiring someone to play one of their own.
“When we saw Congressman Kasich’s ad, we wondered why any Ohio steelworker, whose job has been threatened by the unfair trade deals Kasich supported in Congress, would be willing to appear in his commercials,” John Saunders of Steelworkers Local 1238 told the Columbus Dispatch. “As it turns out, when Congressman Kasich couldn’t get a real steelworker to do his dirty work, he did what any congressman from Wall Street would do - he paid someone.”
The Democratic party web video, naturally, has a real-life steelworker calling the Republican’s ad “Ka-sick.” And so it goes.
Kasich’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
The TPM Poll Average shows Kasich leading Strickland 48.9-42.2.