Brown Blasts Koch Brothers Involvement In Zoo Levy Vote

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UPDATED: Thursday May 1, 2014 6:02 PM

Sen. Sherrod Brown held nothing back when discussing the upcoming Columbus Zoo levy vote, calling the involvement of Americans For Prosperity (a conservative group funded by Charles and David Koch) disgusting.

"I think it's abhorrent that the Koch brothers would come in and try to defeat the Columbus Zoo levy," said Brown.  "Someone should tell them that the Columbus Zoo is nationally renowned. This is a local decision to make."

Last week, Americans For Prosperity mailed Franklin County voters a flyer claiming property taxes would go up 105 percent, if the levy passes.

Supporters of the levy said the language was inaccurate and challenged it before the Ohio Election Commission.

In a split 2-1 vote yesterday the commission declined to intervene.

Brown says the decision about the zoo should be left to central Ohio voters.

"To get this special interest group from outside the state, billionaires who have already done great damage to our political system, trying to buy this election - is pretty disgusting," said Brown. "They tried to buy the senate seat last year, they and their friends spent $40 million in my race. They are trying to buy senate and governor’s races all across the country on behalf of mainly Tea Party Republicans."

Unlike Brown, Sen. Rob Portman would not weigh into the levy debate.

"I don't know the details, but I do love going to the Columbus Zoo," said Portman. "Jack Hanna is a friend, and I think they've done a great job. It's one of the best zoos in the country."

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