Pass along a news tip by clicking HERE.

Friday, February 29, 2008

OH-02 Dem Vic Wulsin: Steve Black's New TV Ad A 'Dying Gasp' Lie

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A new OH-02 attack ad by Steve Black has drawn a sharp rebuttal from Vic Wulsin's campaign, which describes it as deceptive and a "dying gasp" falsehood. With the the March 4 Democratic primary less than a week away, Black has gone nuclear. He appears in the ad claiming she took part in unethical medical experiments led by Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver. Wulsin, a medical doctor, said Black gave her a $1,000 campaign contribution in 2006. Black sent the money to help Wulsin finance her campaign that year against Republican U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt -- which seems to take some wind out of his 2008 argument that Wulsin is an unethical physician. The campaign also notes she has received donations from doctors and medical organizations:

"With over 270 physicians donating to her campaign and support from the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association, Wulsin's reputation and character should not be in question."

The complete text of the Wulsin campaign's press release responding to the Black TV ad about "dangerous experiments" follows:

For Immediate Release Contact: Ann Herzner
February, 29, 2008 Phone: (513) 233-4180
Black Lies to Voters

Continues His Negative Campaign Of Smear And “Innuendo”
With one last dying gasp, Steve Black’s campaign, in a desperate effort to mislead the voters, is accusing Vic Wulsin of covering up experiments described in press accounts a full 10 years before her work occurred.
Steve Black’s inability to connect with voters on the issues that matter to the people of Ohio led him to run this baseless and negative ad.

The Cincinnati Enquirer described Black’s attacks as “based more on innuendo than fact,” and the Dayton Daily News said the attacks “don’t wash.” Both papers took Black to task for running a negative campaign against Wulsin. In his commercial, Steve Black supports his misleading claims with an LA Times article from October 30, 1994. Medical experiments: "Dangerous" "Scientifically unsound" Source: Los Angeles Times, 10/30/94

What Steve Black doesn’t tell voters is that Vic Wulsin’s work for the Heimlich Institute was in 2004, a decade after the article was written. How could Dr. Wulsin be responsible for “covering up” experiments described in a newspaper article ten years earlier? The answer, of course, is that she didn’t cover up anything. Dr. Wulsin, as she has maintained all along, did nothing wrong. She was hired by The Heimlich Institute to perform a literature review and was fired when the Institute realized her report opposed further research without proof of effectiveness and significantly upgraded standards of review.

In fact, Steve Black supported Vic Wulsin in her 2006 run against Jean Schmidt, and the families have known each other for decades. His $1000 donation to her campaign was the largest he's ever given to a Democrat.

With over 270 physicians donating to her campaign and support from the political arms of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association, Wulsin’s reputation and character should not be in question.


  1. You write, "With the the March 4 Democratic primary less than a week away, Black has gone negative." I disagree. Black started out negative and has never deviated. His campaign has been all about smears-not a positive idea or uplifting vision anywhere in sight. This particular wad of trumped up garbage is just more of the same from him

  2. Anon 6:14 --

    I changed it. It now reads has gone "nuclear." I meant to use that word when I created the post, but forget to edit it in. That is a very harsh ad.

  3. Slippery Vic Wulsin Runs Away, Refuses to Answer Questions (video from 2/28/08 NAACP meeting), Cincinnati Beacon, February 29, 2008

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Vic Wulsin is her own worst ememy in the way she has handled this. Whether or not she did anything wrong, it now sounds like she is covering something up. Without a full and transparent accounting, I'm afraid she has left herself wide open. Wulsin's loyalists are p**sed, but her campaign has botched this big time. If voters perceive a cover-up, it will be a lot worse for her that anything she originally did.

  6. And Bill...aren't you showing a bias in your commentary?

    Why didn't you use the label "harsh" to describe Vic's TV ad which accuses Black of "fleecing taxpayers". And didn't the "nuclear" escalation begin when Vic started the negative advertising on TV?

    And, what do you think about Vic's recommendation in her Heimlich report to change the name of "maliarotherapy" to "immunotherapy". Can't you at least see that her own wording in this recommendation creates the appearance of trying to make bad research look good? Couldn't Vic have been more clear in making the call on what were clearly some bad practices?

    Most importantly, why don't you investigate and report on the substance of the underlying charges by both campaigns, instead of just the sensationalism of the campaign tactics? In other words, should voters be concerned about Black's use of the farm tax abatement? And should voters be concerned about Wulsin's report on the Heimlich malariotherapy experiments? How about some investigative reporting to illuminate whether the issues underlying these charges are themselves substantive? Don't voters deserve this from the press?

  7. .

    This guy who is chasing Wulsin is currently being sued by the Save-a-Life-Foundation !

    They appear to be way to 'green', attempting to make a name for themselves off the Hon. Vic Wulsin !

    They are grabbing at straws in an attempt to save their own neck !

    Certainly, all those doctors who donated to her campaign are more capable of peer review than the wanna-bees !

    The 'black mole' utilization of swift-boat, rove tactics come right out of the 'culture of corruption' textbook !

    The Dem primary voters are loyalist. They are accustomed to having candidates beaten down with false innuendo !

    The flip-flopping 'black mole' will be sitting alone after 2/4 and will have no future in the Dem party, PERIOD !

    PATHETIC 'family values' !


  8. Anon 3:20 a.m --

    I didn't say anything about the sheep ad. And I haven't offered an opinion on the agricultural exemption (at least I cannot recall any opinion), nor have I offered an opinion on the malariatherapy stuff. But I do wonder if any of that matters a great deal -- sheep or Dr. Heimlich -- when it comes to serving in the U.S. House. I understand that this is how campaigning is done -- look for something to hang on the opposing candidate that may move the electorate.

  9. Bill Sloat: But I do wonder if any of that matters a great deal -- sheep or Dr. Heimlich -- when it comes to serving in the U.S. House.

    Bill - Would you please review these documents, Dr. Wulsin's American Medical Association membership page and the AMA Principles of Medical Ethics?

    The first page states "AMA members must adhere to the AMA's Principles of Medical Ethics."

    Item II in the AMA guidelines states "A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities."

    As you reported in 1988, the Heimlich experiments violate the most fundamental standards of human subjects protection guidelines. They have been conducted in Mexico, China, and now reportedly in Ethiopia and Gabon because there is essentially no oversight to protect the human rights of patients. According to an April 23, 2007 article in The New Republic, they are ongoing and involve about 50 patients:

    (Dr. Heimlich) opened his last binder, which was marked "confidential", and pulled out two sheets of paper. "Now I will tell you about the malariatherapy, or immunotherapy as we now call it, in Africa." He began to read from one of the sheets. "The Heimlich Institute has been collecting CD4 and viral load data on patients who are HIV-positive and have become infected with malaria. This data will provide support for the concept of using malariatherapy for treating HIV infection." The study involved the questionable practice of initially withholding treatment for malaria, so Heimlich would not tell me where in Africa this new malariatherapy trial was being done. "You never know how the politicians will react in these countries," he explained...Still reading from the papers, Heimlich boasted about the study's early results. Six of the first seven HIV patients treated with malariatherapy, he claimed, had experienced decreases in their viral loads. Now he was eagerly anticipating results from the 42 other patients in the study.

    By failing to report the Heimlich experiments in 2004, Dr. Wulsin put these patients at risk, which violates other sections of the AMA guidelines as well as the Hippocratic Oath.

    My point is this. If Dr. Wulsin is unwilling to adhere to the responsibilities of her own profession, why should voters expect her to be capable of responding to the kind of hardball frauds encountered by members of Congress?

    Second, if Dr. Wulsin is lying and her role in the Heimlich experiments is more significant than what she has admitted (and she has failed to answer straightforward factual questions; see What Are Victoria's Secrets?), she is subject to extortion by parties who have access to what may be incriminating information. That would include the following board members of the Heimlich Institute: Phil Heimlich and E. Anthony Woods, Chairman of Deaconess Associations, a nationwide health services corporation.

    What if Wulsin wins the election, then one of them needs a little favor? If she's compromised, she's not a free agent.

    Your response is welcome.

  10. Bill, The point-counterpoint press releases are interesting, but how about moving the story forward? I seem to recall that you've done some reporting in your day. To my knowledge, nobody's published any comments from Dr. Heimlich or The Heimlich Institute. Y'up to making the calls?

  11. Shame on you again for your slanted biased reporting.

  12. Wulsin's political career is dead on arrival. Even if she manages to get through the Primary on inertia, this issue will continue to haunt her through the general. Her campaign has blown it big time in the way they have handled this issue. Put a fork in the political future of Vic Wulsin! Not even malariotherapy can save her.

  13. Jean Schmidt hasn't participated in any private program that kills people. Steve Black hasn't participated in any private program that kills people. Victoria Wulsin HAS participated in a private program that killed people. And she lies about it.

  14. I just removed a comment dated March 1, 2008 at 12:00 a.m. from Smokey. There was a sentence at the end that said someone had lost a job at a local Catholic high school.

    But here's the comment minus that sentence:

    "Smokey said...

    The ad shows how low Mr. Black is. Once a Republican, always a Republican. He also must be delusional. First to the ad, the ad will not bring in votes, and second to think that he could get support of Dems after he pulls that bullshit. And to Jason about the video . . . nice to see you stopped wearing the cape."

    (The sentence that came next was removed. To Smokey, I hope you are not offended by my decision.)