Big Brother is always watching – including in the bedroom, apparently.
That’s the message behind ads targeting a handful of right-wing Republicans who have signaled an intent to prohibit contraceptives, including U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, who leads the 1st Congressional District that encompasses much of Cincinnati. Separate ads, developed by the Democrat-supporting Progress Action Fund, use the same script and actors but target Ken Calvert of California’s 42nd District and Mike Garcia of California’s 25th District (due to recent redistricting, Calvert and Garcia are running for the state’s 41st and 27th districts, respectively
In the ad, a man and woman are passionately kissing in bed, wearing only their underwear. “Do you have a condom?” the woman asks. He affirms that he does and opens the drawer of a nearby nightstand, reaching for the condom
Suddenly, a hand snatches away the rubber, causing the couple to yelp and cover up with a sheet. The camera cuts to a much older, white-haired man, who creepily says, “Sorry, you can’t use those.”
“What are you talking about? Who are you?” the woman demands.
“I’m your Republican Congressman. Now that we’re in charge, we’re banning birth control,” he replies calmly.
The woman is clearly confused and disgusted. “This is our decision, not yours! Get out of our bedroom!” she tells him.
“I won the last election. I’m not going anywhere,” he says matter-of-factly. “I’m just going to watch and make sure you don’t do anything [dramatic pause] illegal.”
In an emailed release, PAF says that the ads against Chabot, Calvert and Garcia are part of a “mid six-figure ad buy that will run on connected TVs, streaming services, and online platforms.”
“Republicans are not the party of small government. They want to invade the bedroom of every American and take away their birth control,” Joe Jacobson, founder & executive director of the Progress Action Fund, says in the release. “The GOP should really stand for ‘Grand Old Perverts.'”
Progress Action Fund has gone after Chabot in the past. An August ad from PAF highlights Chabot’s support of restrictions or bans on abortion care “and supports putting women in prison for abortion,” the ad says. “But Republicans won’t stop there. They support eliminating our right to contraceptives, our right to healthcare and our right to marry who we love,” the voiceover continues.
On his government website, Chabot includes “protecting the unborn” as one of his key issues. According to Just Facts, a vote database, Chabot has voted multiple times against measures that would protect the right to contraception and to abortion care. In 2022, he has voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prohibit federal, state and local restrictions and impediments on abortion care. He also voted against a similar measure that protects access to out-of-state abortions.
In the wake of the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion continues to be a big issue leading up to the Nov. 8 election, with many additional rights being teed up for reversal, including contraception and LGBTQ+ marriage and healthcare, among others.
Chabot is running against Democrat and Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman in the Nov. 8 general election
CityBeat has reached out to both Chabot and Landsman with detailed questions about the bedroom ad and their stances on contraception.
A July ad from PAF goes after Chabot for not acting after insurrectionists attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, injuring many and killing at least five with demands that former U.S. President Donald Trump get another term in the Oval Office. “Chabot sided with the terrorists and supported overturning the 2020 election,” the voiceover claims, referring to the general election that saw current U.S. President defeat the incumbent Trump. “After the coup failed, Chabot covered his tracks and opposed bringing leaders of the coup to justice.”
Trump is under investigation for his role in the insurrection, as are a number of Republicans, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who has repeatedly refused to cooperate. Many of the arrested U.S. Capitol attackers and some Republicans today – including J.D. Vance, who is vying for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat – continue to falsely claim that Biden and Democrats “stole” the 2020 general election from Trump. The attack largely was planned and carried out by Trump supporters who believed the lie, and investigators have said that Trump’s allies had tried to pull strings to overturn the election.
Multiple agencies responsible for investigating election fraud repeatedly have found no wrongdoing. Trump had filed multiple lawsuits against election authorities, but judges dismissed them all.
The U.S. Justice Department also is investigating Trump for allegedly removing classified documents from the White House without notifying proper entities and storing them at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. By law, presidential documents typically are only moved or transferred to other authorities in conjunction with the National Archives and Records Administration (which previous presidents have done), but the National Archives says that Trump had repeatedly stalled attempts to retrieve documents he reportedly took upon exiting the White House as current U.S. President Joe Biden took office in 2021.
This summer, federal agents obtained a warrant and retrieved the documents from Trump’s residence. Trump and many Republicans have claimed that the FBI’s search of Trump’s residence was an illegal “raid,” but legal experts say that an investigation at this level shows that federal officials have “rock-solid evidence,” Newsweek reports.
Trump has repeatedly tried to block the Justice Department’s investigation.
New York’s attorney general Letitia James also recently filed suit against Trump, who operates multiple businesses from New York City, accusing him of “staggering” inflated assets and fraud.