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video: Fung Shot “RI Open for Business” Ad in Ohio

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung's latest campaign ad, "Open for Business," touts Fung's experience as Mayor of Cranston and vision for Rhode Island -- and based on photographic and campaign finance evidence, appears to have been shot in Columbus, Ohio.


Side by side comparisons of the diner in the ad to pictures of Tommy's Diner in Columbus look to confirm the campaign filmed the spot at the location in Ohio -- where the Fung campaign reported a second quarter expenditure in 2014 of over $100,000 to the Ohio-based Strategy Group for "television ads."

"They opened up a restaurant, and before I could reach the counter, I worked along side them," said Fung of his parents' Rhode Island business in the ad, as the camera pans to him sitting at a diner counter -- making the case for the Ocean State being "open for business."

Photos of Tommy's Diner, which is thirty minutes to the south of the Strategy Group in Ohio, show the same red booths, chairs, photos on the wall, and art-deco chandeliers as seen in the background of the latest Fung ad. 

Slides:  See GoLocalProv's Best Diners in Rhode Island HERE

Tommy's. Photo: http://www.twentydollardates.com

No stranger to politics, the Columbus, Ohio-based Tommy's was featured for hosting John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election coverage on ABC Nightly News, according to Vanderbilt University's television archives.  CNN's Carol Costello was seen touting -- and Tweeting -- the establishment during the 2012 election season. 

The Fung camp did not return request for comment on choosing an out-of-state firm -- and out-of-state location -- for the Rhode Island "Open for Business" ad.  

Consulting Money in Play

Fung's second quarter filing with the Rhode Island Board of Elections shows not only the expenditure to the Strategy Group (and a $139 hotel stay at an Embassy Suites in Columbus, OH early in June), campaign contributions show that Fung received $7,350 from partners or employees of the Ohio-based Strategy Group over the same time period. 


The Strategy Group is a national Republican firm that has produced award-winning ads for Michelle Bachman, the "Restore America" campaign, and for multiple U.S. congressional and statewide campaigns.  Six Strategy staff members maxed out with $1000 contributions to Fung during the last reporting period -- when Fung was purportedly shooting the commercial in Ohio. 

Second quarter records show that Fung took in an additional $4,750 from contributors listing Ohio as their state of employment, bringing Fung's total take from Ohio to over $12,000 for the time period. 

In addition to the $100,000 spent in Ohio, Fung spent over $25,000 with Majority Strategies in Florida during the same second quarter time frame for advertising.  GoLocal's recent look at spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial race found that campaign money is up 500% over the 2006 election


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