Sherrod Brown Misleads in Attack on Jim Renacci

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s first TV attack ad portrays his opponent U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci as a fan of lobbyists working in government.

“The U.S. Congress. There’s 68 teachers, 15 farmers, four pilots but only one lobbyist,” says the narrator as a cash register cha-ching sound is heard in the background. “That’s right, Jim Renacci has been a lobbyist even while in Congress. And what’s he done? He voted to make it easier for lobbyists to hold key government positions and harder to investigate conflicts of interest.”

Text on the screen shows this is a reference to the 112th Congress. That timeframe refers to January 2011 to January 2013.

Democrats have long portrayed Renacci as a lobbyist. But what this ad omits is that while he was registered to lobby, there is no evidence he actually lobbied. And in fact, it wouldn’t make sense for a member of Congress to work as a lobbyist at the same time. The ad also gives viewers no context about the votes cited.

Brown is one of several Democratic incumbents defending a seat in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016. Trump endorsed Renacci during the primary.

‘Jim Renacci has been a lobbyist even while in Congress’