Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Drake halts TV ads paid by levy

Heimlich, Portune asked hospital to pull campaign to avoid appearance of impropriety

By Cindi Andrews
Enquirer staff writer

Drake Center Inc. will comply with a Hamilton County commissioner's request the hospital stop using levy dollars on advertising until after the November election, a Drake spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"The bottom line is that potential patients get to choose where they go. People need to be aware of what Drake offers in order to know how to get the best care for their conditions," spokeswoman Kathy Graham said. "With all that said, we are sensitive to the concerns raised by commissioners (Phil) Heimlich and (Todd) Portune."

In a letter earlier this month , Heimlich asked Drake to pull a $500,000 advertising campaign he felt was geared to elling voters on a new levy for Drake. Portune agreed Drake should pull its ads to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

"I'm glad they've chosen to obey the spirit of the law by ceasing this media blitz," Heimlich said, referring to the prohibition against using levy money to pass a levy.

The long-term, acute-care hospital is asking county commissioners to let them seek a $99 million, five-year levy on Nov. 2 - a 39 percent increase over its expiring levy. The county's Tax Levy Review Committee recommended a $94 million levy, but two conservatives on the committee, criticizing Drake's costs, suggested a $15 million levy.

Graham said some advertising will stay - such as billboards Drake has already committed to and ads for its independently run assisted-living facility - but the rest will be pulled until after the election.

Heimlich also demanded an apology for how Drake responded to his inquiry about an e-mail criticizing Tax Levy Review Committee Chairman Chris Finney.

Asked if e-mail writer Maureen Godshall had any financial relationship with Drake, hospital President Roberta Bradford replied the hospital "is not involved in the e-mail referenced." Godshall is president of Drake's advertising agency, Loren/Allan/Odioso Advertising.

Drake attorney John Kelley Jr. repeated Drake's contention that it was not involved with the e-mail.

"They continue to duck the question," Heimlich said. "What they're saying is that the person who heads up their advertising can personally attack the chairman of the committee appointed to review their levy and Drake can claim it has nothing to do with them. That's more than I'm willing to swallow."



Weiser: Are they chanting 'Jerry' or 'Kerry'?
Kerry portrayed as a hero
Text of Sen. Edward Kennedy's speech
Son of goat herder addresses Dems
Text of the keynote address by Barack Obama
Kucinich delegates weigh their choice
Even reruns beat politics
Convention notebook
Gannett News Service convention coverage
Enquirer's election section

Languishing on the riverfront
Bengals lawsuit provokes outrage
Disabled man mistreated by E-check staff
Gay-rights supporters file for repeal
AllOut mag debuts Aug. 19
WLWT editor fired over insert
Van shooting victim in critical condition
Drug dealer to battle sentence
Drake halts TV ads paid by levy
UC targets potential lung cancer gene for treatment
Medicare to cut cancer docs' pay
Deters cleared, aides guilty
Lawsuit: Goering botched estate
Local news briefs

I-471 study to include new ramps at each end
School may test athletes for drug use
Nick sticks to home front
Creditors continue to file against Florence's baseball team
Claims alleging sex abuse rise to 19
Kids learn to manage their money at camp
Grieving mother urges speed limit
Smoking-ban trial set for bingo hall

CPS rethinks suspensions
Greeks give lessons

Neighbors news digest

Summer charity helps children, elderly cool off

Arthur Church was Democratic activist, lawyer
Ralph Clark headed Cincinnati Bar Assn.