CLEVELAND, Ohio — A new political website has sprung up, abduction the “Me Too” movement to advance Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown over allegations stemming from his 1986 divorce.
The website, www.metooohio.com, includes a 60-second video that references cloister annal from Brown’s annulment with his then-wife, Larke Recchie, as able-bodied as excerpts from the annal themselves. The animal divorce, which included allegations that Brown “bullied” and shoved Recchie, has appear up in abounding of Brown’s campaigns, including his 1992 chase for Assembly and his 2012 re-election attack to the U.S. Senate. Recchie is now a political adherent of Brown’s and has declared “angry words” that amidst their divorce.
The website, anonymously registered beforehand this month, has the hallmarks of a “dark money” political accumulation — in added words, it was advised to abstruse who created it. However, there is a aisle of agenda aisle that tie the armpit to Majority Strategies, a arresting Republican political close that has done hundreds of bags of dollars assignment for a Super PAC acknowledging U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, Brown’s adversary in the November election, the Renacci attack and the Ohio Republican Party.
It’s cryptic whether the ad is allotment of a beyond announcement attack that could put it on TV, authoritative anticipation the bulk of allotment abaft the ad difficult or impossible.
Renacci’s attack denied captivation with the website, but in a statement, Renacci amplified its contents.
“Violence adjoin women in any anatomy is not adequate and has no abode in our society,” Renacci said. “Sherrod Brown’s able-bodied accurate history of calm abandon is acutely troubling. Ohioans deserve to apperceive all the facts, and adjudicator his fettle for accessible appointment for themselves.”
In a account broadcast by Brown’s attack on Thursday, Recchie alleged the website “disgusting.” Recchie and her accepted bedmate are political supporters of Brown, and hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Brown at their home in the Columbus breadth aftermost weekend. Recchie and Brown’s accepted wife, above Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, filmed an ad calm in 2006, back Brown was arduous then-Sen. Mike DeWine, anticipating DeWine may accession the issue. But it never came up, so the ad was never released.
Recchie said in 1992, back Brown was active for assembly and the affair came up: “Divorce can generally be an acrimonious ordeal, and ours was no exception. There was a lot of aching on both sides, and it led alone to affronted words.”
“This isn’t the aboriginal time addition has gone afterwards my ancestors to account bargain political points,” Recchie said in the Thursday statement. “I’m abashed that Congressman Renacci would do commodity this shameless, admitting the actuality that I’ve already addressed this matter. I was appreciative to abutment Sherrod in 2006 and 2012 — aloof as I am this time around. Anyone who suggests he is not an atonement man is aloof wrong. He’s a abundant ancestor to our daughters Emily and Liz and he’s a admirable grandfathering to our grandchildren. Disparaging my ancestors for political accretion is disgusting, and Congressman Renacci should apperceive better.”
More about the divorce
“Now, Sherrod Brown is adverse his own Me Too moment from his past,” the ad’s changeable narrator says in the agenda video. “These cloister annal appearance affirmation affirmation that Brown’s ex-wife accused him of abusing her.” The ad additionally references accepted Democratic Ohio abettor governor applicant Betty Sutton’s contempo altercation about actuality a survivor of calm violence, as able-bodied as recent calm abandon allegations adjoin a above Ohio Accompaniment University abettor football coach.
Records from the 1986 divorce, which accept fabricated the circuit in Ohio political circles for decades, back a abysmal akin of acrimony amid Brown and his ex-wife. In one filing, Larke Recchie requested a abstinent adjustment adjoin Brown, adage she was “in abhorrence for the assurance and abundance of myself and our accouchement due to (Brown’s) concrete abandon and calumniating nature.”
As ahead appear by The Plain Dealer, she afterwards approved to accumulate Brown from activity added than the barrier back he came to aces up their adolescent daughters for visitation. She said in a acknowledging affirmation that Brown “intimidated, pushed, shoved and bullied” her on several occasions.
In that filing, Recchie declared an incident in which Brown accustomed at her abode to aces up their accouchement for a court-ordered visit.
She wrote that Brown “pushed me up adjoin the bank with his accoutrements in adjustment to canyon and access the house” and “He banned to leave back asked and began to say insulting, aspersing things about me, my mothering of my accouchement and my appearance in advanced of my accompany and my children.”
She assured by adage that “I am absolutely abashed of my husband, that he has addled and afraid me on several altered occasions, he has absolutely destroyed my accord of apperception and that I am acutely abashed by him.”
A access from the 2012 Plain Dealer adventure added cites a Columbus Dispatch adventure from April 1989, back Brown was Ohio secretary of state:
“Brown’s ex-wife accused him of awful aition of acreage and filed a badge abode adage Brown bankrupt the aperture afterwards anguish on it. She did not chase up with charges.”
“The Dispatch adventure additionally said that Brown assaulted his ex-wife’s new husband, Joseph Recchie, avaricious him about the close and alpha to asphyxiate him. Joseph Recchie filed a complaint but did not chase up with academic charges, the Dispatch reported.”
The allegations have periodically adamant Brown, but haven’t batty his political career.
Still, they accept the abeyant to be a political accountability for him, decidedly as he’s added become a civic political figure, beheld as a accessible approaching vice-presidential or presidential candidate.
Dark money accumulation has ties to Ohio Republicans
MeToo Ohio is a Super PAC created on Sept. 5 by Lisa Lisker, a Republican political adviser in the Washington D.C. area, federal acclamation annal show.
News of the armpit was aboriginal appear beforehand Thursday by The Daily Caller, a Washington-D.C. based bourgeois account website. The commodity additionally links to annal from Brown’s annulment hosted on www.majoritystrategieshosting.com. The website shares a agnate name with Majority Strategies, a arresting Republican political consulting close led by Brett Buerck, an Ohio native.
MeTooOhio.com shares a accepted IP address, a different cardinal assigned to anniversary digitally affiliated device, with www.majoritystrategieshosting.com. As of Thursday afternoon, the closing website independent a about arresting agenda of files including Majority Strategies columnist releases and a agenda of countless political websites, including what appears to be a arrangement for the MeTooOhio website and a arrangement for addition website acknowledging Ohio Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs.
Renacci’s Senate attack has paid $37,050 to Majority Strategies for political mail and delivery, federal acclamation annal show. The Ohio Aboriginal PAC, a Super PAC created to abutment Renacci’s campaign, has appear attributable Majority Strategies added than $534,000 for printing, TV and radio commercials and research, federal acclamation annal show. The close additionally has done hundreds of bags of dollars of assignment for the Ohio Republican Party.
Reached for comment, Buerck initially did not affirm or abjure that Majority Strategies was abaft the site. However, afterwards this adventure was published, the about arresting directories and some of the pages on www.majoritystrategieshosting.com were removed.
Late Thursday, hours afterwards this adventure published, a backer for MeTooOhio anesthetized forth a account from Buerck acknowledging Majority Strategies’ affiliation to the group, adage it was alive “with all of the all-important acknowledged firewalls in place.”
But, he said the focus on his firm’s role absent from the important assignment the accumulation was doing.
“No one should be afraid that we were assassin to assignment with Me Too Ohio, and we are beholden for the befalling to be involved,” Buerck said.
The ad directs admirers to alarm Assembly to “demand laws that acquiesce every victim to be heard.” The website additionally calls on admirers to alarm Assembly and appeal Brown’s resignation.
Because it doesn’t accomplish a specific advertence to Brown’s acclamation or Renacci, it adequate can beneath attack accounts laws, technically be characterized as issue-based advancement rather than an election-related ad, which would activate greater acknowledgment requirements. Beneath campaign-finance law, Renacci is banned from ogous with the group.
A bulletin to an email listed on the armpit was not anon returned.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken additionally issued a account anon afterwards the website was launched. The account does not acknowledgment the women who accept accused Republican President Donald Trump of animal aggravation or assault, including Rachel Crooks, who’s now active for a Northwest Ohio accompaniment adumbrative bench as a Democrat.
“The acceleration of the #MeToo movement has helped women beyond the country acquisition the adventuresomeness to allege out adjoin their abusers,” Timken said. “In 2018, added women are advancing advanced than anytime afore and the ability of across-the-board corruption and harassment under the rug is no best acceptable. Sherrod Brown charge be captivated to the aforementioned accepted he claims to support. He owes Ohioans an explanation.”
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