AUSTIN, Texas — This week, Democrat Wendy Davis’ campaign for governor launched her latest ad, “Justice,” using the image of an empty wheelchair to attack her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, and was hit with a swift and sharply negative backlash throughout the Texas and national media. The howls of outrage should be a familiar sound for the consultants responsible for creating the ad: they were the same group behind the infamous ad from the 2012 election that blamed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the cancer death of a woman whose husband had been laid off by Bain Capital. POLITICO reported on Friday that Shorr Johnson Magnus, the Davis’ campaign’s media consultant, had created the ad to run as a “significant buy running in multiple media markets throughout the state.” Shorr Johnson Magnus had previously made headlines with an ad they created in 2012 for a PAC called “Priorities USA Action” called “Stage.” It featured a man named Joe Soptic, who lost his insurance when his employer, GST Steel, declared bankruptcy, and he was laid off as part of the reorganization process managed by Bain Capital, which had invested in the plant. In the ad, Soptic says that he lost his insurance,
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