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CINCINNATI -- A billboard along Interstate 75 is getting a lot of attention for attacking House Minority Leader John Boehner.The billboard asks the question, "When was the last time you golfed 119 times in one year?" while showing a picture of Boehner golfing. The billboard also includes the address of a website, BeatBoehner.com, which boasts a picture of his opponent, Democrat Justin Coussoule.
Coussoule himself found the billboard to his benefit. "My first thought was, that's a big billboard, you can't miss it. But then second, it gets the discussion going and it's good for our campaign," he said.
Boehner's campaign denied the allegation on the billboard.Campaign spokesman Cory Fritz issued a statement saying, “Congressman Boehner held seven golf events last year, not 119. He did hold 119 events in the District and across the country to benefit conservative candidates, including receptions, meet-and-greets, rallies, speaking engagements, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but only seven were golf outings. Any assertion to the contrary is false.”
The media is all over it back at home for Boehner and he's being forced to answer how many times he actually golfs. We never said that he held 119 golf events. Notice how they change the subject? He's spent more money playing golf than most American households make in a year.
The billboard was paid for by donations to the Blue America political action committee, said Howie Klein, the PAC's founder and treasurer. Klein said the ad was targeted toward people who live in Boehner's district.
Klein described Blue America as a progressive political action committee that supports candidates who are for the American family. He said Blue America opposes candidates who are "whores and prostitutes" for corporations, a category in which he placed Boehner. Klein said Blue America planned more billboards and television ads in the coming months.
Boehner's campaign remained undeterred. In a statement, his office said, "Being Minority Leader means John Boehner has a bigger platform to push for the priorities and values of the people of the Eighth District of Ohio. If that makes him a bigger target for folks outside of Ohio who disagree with those priorities, so be it. It goes with the territory."
Despite all of the problems facing Ohio families, according to Golf Digest Magazine, Congressman Boehner finds time to play about 100 rounds of golf a year – most with special interest lobbyists. He says he pays special attention to the lobbyists he meets on the golf course, bragging “...if someone I’ve gotten to know on the golf course comes into my office with a good argument, I tend to want to listen,”— Golf Digest, October 2005
By all public estimations, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a pretty good golfer.
He should be, given the $82,998 his political action committee has spent on golf outings so far this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The golf events this year sponsored by Boehner’s Freedom Project political action committee have stretched from April until October, from Florida to Ohio. And the minority leader doesn’t hold his events at worn-out municipal courses. The most recent outing was a $20,921.34 event at the plush Robert Trent Jones track in Gainesville, Va., an invitation-only private club that was once also home to the Professional Golfers Association's President’s Cup.
Do you need more evidence? Here you go:
Boehner is a seven-handicapper and was ranked 36th in Golf Digest's Top 200 Washington political golf rankings. (No, I didn't know such a thing existed either.)
Along with Tiger and Tony Romo, Boehner just loves his golf.
We want to keep running billboards and maybe hit some new candidates so if you can, please donate to Blue America Beat Boehner Billboard page.