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Inappropriate billboard trivializes 17th District congressional race

Published: Sun, September 2, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

As I drove on I-680 the other day, I saw a political ad on a billboard (just before the Glenwood-Mahoning exit) that is one of the most tasteless and shameless pieces of political advertising I have seen.

The idea of portraying the president, other Democratic leaders, and Congressman Tim Ryan in caricature is questionable in itself. But to add the image of the three of them holding leashes attached to a collar on Ryan’s neck is insulting and inappropriate by any measure. Further, to have Rep. Ryan’s head on a dog’s body is another downward step. Finally, to have the dog’s body in a position aligned with a fire hydrant (get the not-so-subtle attempt at humor here?) takes the ad to a reprehensible level.

If the crass visual content were not bad enough, the caption (“An Obedient Lapdog”) suggests that somehow, those awful Democratic leaders exert influence on the voting of members of their party in the House and Senate. What a revelation! Republican leaders like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell (toss in Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove if you like) would never do such a thing. Putting pressure on party members to vote the party line is a political reality for both Republicans and Democrats, and to claim that such influence exists only in one party displays either ignorance of that reality or a deliberate, hypocritical attempt to paint a false picture.

We have Dr. Marisha Agana to thank for this affront to the intelligence and sensibilities of Youngstown voters. Dr Agana claims to want to “…serve only you.” No thanks. I’d rather be served by someone with at least a modicum of taste, an ability to engage in informed dialogue, and the self control to avoid the childish, ignorant rhetoric exemplified by this billboard.

Dr. Michael Theall, Poland


1gr8bnretired(20 comments)posted 2 years ago

I thought the very same thing about the sign. Tacky!!!
She should fire her political advisers if that's the best they can come up with.

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2newsmaker1(127 comments)posted 2 years ago

I see some jelly on your face Doctor, seems like your envious of another Doctor.

Also, have you not noticed the constant and never ending demonizing lies directed at Mitt Romney, by Obama and his handler David Axelrod, Axelrod looks like Hitler himself and his ads remind us of National Socialism in action in Germany NAZI"s... Hope that's not to offending for you Doctor

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3Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 2 years ago

The fact you people are even talking about this sign is a victory for Agana. That is pretty much why she doesn't have to fire her political advisor.

She got your attention. Mission accomplished.

And don't get me started on the laundry list of tacky Democrat advertisements I have seen over the years.

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4chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years ago

timmie ryan got his start in congress by being Nancy Pelosi's personal party planner. He didn't have the fortitude to tell her "No way'. Such action is below the dignity of any member of congress, and this is how he became her lapdog.

Now he votes with her on every major issue or faces her wrath.

Isn't it funny how we haven't heard from timmie on the "War on women", since he doesn't want to expose his true views on abortion in the religuos vally.

I like the openess and strength of the real Ryan, Paul that is.

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5Education_Voter(858 comments)posted 2 years ago

We welcome immigrants in this country. But perhaps they don't have the same sensibilities about politics and art that Americans have.

Dr. Agana did not come to this country until after she had finished medical school.
Maybe it makes a difference. Think of how "different" Republicans consider the President because he lived in Indonesia with his mother at the ages of 6 to 9 years old. How much more different would Dr. Agana be?

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6commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 2 years ago

Oh, and the ads on Paul Ryans "pushing" Granny off of a cliff is OK?? Hypocrits!!!

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7bumbob(128 comments)posted 2 years ago

The billboard is quite the cartoonish endeavor, from what I hear. However, I find this one to be very much a match for it: http://t.co/LXnX6aRa

Does anyone disagree?

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8johnbates4(16 comments)posted 2 years ago

The real problem here is Dr. Agana has yet to speak to the issues. All I have seen or heard from her so far is talking points from the right wing. She speaks of problems with policy of Obama and Pelosi but the message is not on point. She is running against Tim Ryan. She needs to address Ryan. The fact of the matter is she is running against an entrenched incumbent and this is the only play she has. Ryan can run on his record and she knows it. This reaks of desperation.

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9HappyBob(285 comments)posted 2 years ago

Tacky !
I know nothing about Agana, but I now associate her with tacky.
Another step forward in the race to the bottom.

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10gdog4766(1489 comments)posted 2 years ago

Her campaign is being run by a nut bag from out of state. The republican party wants nothing to do with this guy because of how toxic he is.

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11jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years ago

I haven't seen the sign yet. I have lived here 60 yrs. and have been through several political mind-sets in those years. For approx. 30 yrs.,one party and one family was in charge. No choice most of the time. 1 or 2 repulican mayors are the exception. I remember when I turned 21 and could vote[that year the age was lowered to 18 by the way] I did not even bother for a few elections. That is because of the sour taste the word politics had for me.I attended college for 3 yrs. out of town and was ashamed to admit my hometown because of the reputation.This area does not encourage "healthy" political debate-just name-calling on both sides. Just read a few days of comment on this vindy site.The education level of the average responder appears fairly low. Like I started out: Ihave not seen the billboard but to complain about a somewhat humorous sign is childish. The fact that those on the sign are PUBLIC elected officials opens them up to negative publicity. That is the facts of life in this one-sided valley. We have all seen and heard worse than this over the years. 2 sides to every issue but not very often are they debated here in my home-town. Maybe I will get off my lazy butt and go see this sign for myself!!!

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12chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years ago

You can tell a lot about a person by his circle of influence. The ad is right on point. And the valley is the fire hydrant.

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13jmagaratz(166 comments)posted 2 years ago

Note to Newsmaker:

If Axelrod looks like Hitler to you then Limbaugh sounds like Goebbels to me.

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14southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years ago

May be considered tacky and shameful, but we still have freedom or speech and expression in America.

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