What does LeBron James have to do with the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Ohio Treasurer Republican Josh Mandel?
But one organization has tried taking advantage of the dislike Ohioans have for the all-everything NBA superstar and Akron-native James, whose departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers ranks among the top betrayals for fans of Cleveland sports, next to Art Modell packing up the Browns for Baltimore and Jim Thome leaving for the Philadelphia Phillies after indicating a desire to remain an Indian.
The Associated Press reported last week that Workers' Voice, the super PAC (political action committee) of the AFL-CIO, spent $100,000 on an ad aimed at Mandel. It depicts an image of Mandel, his back facing us and arms outstretched, with the words, ''Witness The Mandel Investigation'' sprawled across the top. Money is floating in the air, like it was just tossed.
The ads appeared on the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal websites.
It's kind of similar to the pose made (in)famous by King James in the Nike ''Witness'' ads while James was still in Cavalier wine and gold.
In those ads James is facing forward with his arms outstretched and head tilted back looking upward after throwing powdered chalk into the air. Above him, the words ''We Are All Witnesses.''
The chalk toss is part of what James does before tip-off each game.
Could the ad have been effective?
There are reasonable people, even here in the Tribune Chronicle newsroom, whose blood pressure still rises at the mention of James, but gaining an advantage with voters ... unlikely.
Mandel has not been implicated in any wrongdoing and he has returned the $105,000 in donations made by employees of the Ohio businessman at the heart of the investigation, according to The Associated Press.
The investigation is into contributions to the campaigns of Mandel and another Republican, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci.
It surrounds contributions that arrived within a month's time and the employees who contributed tended to political donors for the first time with limited financial means, according to Tuesday's story.
Campaign donations are not allowed to be made in another person's name.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Yvette McGee Brown, the only Democrat on the seven-person court, will headline a rally at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at McMenamy's Restaurant and Banquet Center in Niles. She is seeking re-election to the high court.
Other featured Democrats are Judge Mary Jane Trapp, who is running to keep her seat on the 11th District Court of Appeals and former state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood, running for Family Court judge.
The event is free.