I'm a resident of Cleveland, Ohio and I work every day with ex-offenders on their re-entry to society. I am shocked that Clear Channel, owned by Bain Capital, is running an anonymous ad in my community designed to scare people from voting. I've learned that these billboards are only appearing in Black and Latino communities in Ohio and Wisconsin.
As a private company, Clear Channel has rejected billboard ads many times in the past. But, they didn't refuse to run these billboards that are clearly designed to intimidate voters. Clearly, these ads are part of a coordinated right-wing attack on the voting rights of people of color. Please join my friends at ColorOfChange.org in demanding that Clear Channel immediately take down these offensive and dangerous billboards.
I am writing to demand that you take down the billboards that have cropped up in Black and Latino neighborhoods in recent weeks and that employ tactics meant to scare people away from voting. While you may not have crafted the message, your company is in fact the messenger.
These billboards, which read "Voter Fraud is a Felony," are clearly designed to intimidate voters of color and keep those communities away from the polls. That these billboards did not appear in white or suburban neighborhoods is proof of their discriminatory nature.
Allowing an anonymous advertiser to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins is unacceptable. I ask that you remove these billboards at once. I know that in the past, you have rejected billboard ads when leadership in your company deemed the content to be politically charged. This campaign of misinformation fits that criteria and is a dangerous disservice to the Black and Latino communities in which they are placed.
Please remove these billboards immediately.