Following protests, Clear Channel says it will remove ‘voter fraud’ billboards
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Target Market News
Clear Channel pasted the ad on 145 billboards in Cleveland, Columbus and Milwaukee starting in early October — practically all in low-income minority neighborhoods. The Norton Outdoor advertising company also carried the same ads on its billboards and has agreed to take them down.
“The ads were meant to target and intimidate voters of color and to keep these communities from voting,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange. “It was too much of a coincidence for these ads to just pop up in swing states, particularly in neighborhoods of color.” Robinson’s organization collected 130,000 signed petitions demanding the immediate removal of the billboards.
Clear Channel has refused to release information about who actually paid for the “voter fraud” campaign. It would say only that the sponsor was a “private family foundation.” Protesters, however, pointed out that it was possible that the billboards were produced with Clear Channel as a willing partner. Clear Channel is owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm which was co-founded by Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
“Needless to say I’m happy they will be taken down,” said Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, “but I want to know who was behind this in the first place.”