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Cleveland Schools Levy Campaign Plans To Flood Airwaves With Ads

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With just four days left until election day, the Cleveland Schools levy campaign is making its final push to get out the vote. Ideastream's Michelle Kanu reports the campaign plans a substantial boost to radio and TV advertising this weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

"This is Mayor Jackson. Cleveland schools are improving, but not fast enough. So we need issue 107…"

This ad promoting the 15 mill levy for Cleveland schools is one of five that have aired on urban radio station WZAK. The latest campaign finance report shows the campaign has already spent over $450,000 in media purchases including radio, TV and internet ads.

And campaign manager Blaine Griffin says that's about to increase by 30 percent.

Griffin: "With some of the commitments and some of the financial contributions that people have come in within the last week, we've been able to buy more radio, we've been able to get more network television. We've been able to get more cable television. So we've been able to flood the airways."

While the "vote yes" team is beefing up their media presence and has a few large events planned, those opposed to the levy are strictly running a grassroots campaign.

Cleveland City Councilman Zach Reed has been an outspoken critic.

Reed: "Ours is door to door. Ours is hand shaking. Ours is really getting up into people's faces and educating them. I think at the end of the day, people don't know how bad the federal government and the state government are affecting the financial picture here in the city of Cleveland."

Reed says local taxpayers shouldn't have to pick up the tab for state and federal cutbacks.

While Cleveland’s campaign has received big endorsements from foundations and business leaders, Reed says he and a smattering of other city politicians opposed to the levy are writing checks from their own pocketbooks.

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