Cleveland Clinic demands retraction from Yes on Issue 2 campaign

The Cleveland Clinic has sent a cease and desist letter to the PAC supporting Ohio Issue 2 claiming the campaign illegally used its CEO’s image on mailers, making it look like he was supporting the ballot issue.

The flyer, which was mailed to a large number of Ohio households, used Dr. Toby Cosgrove’s photo and the name of the Cleveland Clinic, “to infer that they support Issue 2,” according to the letter.

The proposed Ohio Drug Price Relief Act will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot as Issue 2. It would prohibit the state from paying more for prescription drugs than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays.

FULL COVERAGE: Helping you understand Ohio Issue 2

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“Dr. Cosgrove and Cleveland Clinic did not authorize this use. Neither the Cleveland Clinic nor Dr. Cosgrove have taken any position on Issue 2 and do not intend to do so,” the letter to Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices says.

The clinic is demanding a retraction be sent to the same households as the original flyer. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the mailer could have been sent to up to 2 million households.

This is not the first time a campaign spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein has been called out for a misrepresentation.

During a campaign earlier this year in Los Angeles to put restrictions on real estate development, Mayor Eric Garcetti accused the Weinstein-backed “Yes on S” campaign of using his likeness without permission in order to make it appear that he supported the measure. He was on record as being adamantly opposed, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Weinstein’s AHF is funding the Yes on 2 campaign.

We’ve reached out to the campaign for comment on the Cleveland Clinic’s accusations.


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