The ad has gotten about 5,600 views over the last week. But Black says it was not made by his campaign. He has faxed and e-mailed Google -- the corporate parent of YouTUBE -- demanding that the ad be removed. He says he has lawyers drafting a formal cease and desist notice. The fax states:
"The mention of my name in the caption to this video is unauthorized. Neither I nor any person in my campaign has any involvement in this outrageous production. We must ask you to remove this video from your website immediately. Your failure to do so would cause injury to all concerned in the politics of Southern Ohio."
[UPDATE: 4:29 PM edt -- Chris Baker at Ohio 2nd has also spoken to Steve Black. Baker says the ad reeks and has a Karl Rovian touch. Baker was not impressed by its production quality, and suspects it might be some kind of GOP attempt to harm Democrats.]
[UPDATE 2: 8:46 PM edt -- Matt Naugle at Right Angle Blog is praising the ad, and questions only the quality of the production, not its content or mysterious origination. He says the appearance of the viral attack ad in an Ohio congressional race represents the kind of weapon Republicans need to use aggressively against Democrats. Is Matt hinting he knows that it is a GOP production?]
[UPDATE 3: -- The video has been removed by whoever put it on YouTUBE. OH-02's Chris Baker has a snapshot.]When Black contacted The Bellwether earlier today, he said Color Of Change Is Black was created maliciously to harm both his and the Wulsin campaign. He said he planned to contact Wulsin to see if there is some response they could undertake jointly. He sounded genuinely upset and nearly beside himself. Black is a downtown Cincinnati lawyer who was a Republican until this year. He switched parties to run in the primary against Wulsin, the Dems 2006 nominee in OH-02. Black said he was disgusted with the Bush administration and national GOP policies, and he is worried that the viral ad will wreck his chances as a Democrat.
"I'm afraid that 5,600 people are going to think Steve Black put that out there. We would never put something like that out there," Black told The Daily Bellwether, adding that he learned of the ad about 24 hours ago. "It's clearly a smear. It's posted anonymously. The worst part of it it urges people to vote for Steve Black. It's disgusting, it's deplorable.
"We've been trying to figure out who did it. We don't know yet. People acted in a completely anonymous way. They should be held accountable. This is political speech. It should have some identification about who did it. It's not mine."
So far, no reaction from Wulsin.