Store owner angered by inclusion in Obama ad

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - One Findlay Market store owner is speaking out after her she says her shop was placed in the political spotlight by an Obama campaign commercial.

Debra Krause says her manager was approached by a man who asked to take video of the store's "riot door", the metal door pulled down after hours. Krause says the manager was told the video was about those doors and argues her employee had no idea the footage would eventually end up in an Obama campaign ad. Krause maintains no consent paperwork was ever signed.

The man seen pulling down the riot door is not an employee of the small business. The clip is one shot of the commercial, roughly two seconds long.

Caleb Faux, Executive Director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, says the ad has been taken down, but the store owner argues the fallout continues.

"The damage has been done," store owner Debra Krause said. "I just want people to understand that this is not political."

The sign on the front door makes it clear 'Please, no politics beyond this point'.

"I'm just defending this business," argued Krause "It's a small mom and pop without the pop."

She says she is speaking out for her store like she believes her late husband would have.

"I was told people would not come to my store because people thought I was an Obama supporter," she shared. "I've had people that have now come in and said that because I'm speaking out they won't come in because I'm a Romney supporter, so I'm stuck in the middle."

Krause argues it would not matter to her which campaign aired the ad.

"I don't care what anyone says about me being in the Romney camp, that I would be happy about that. I would not have been," she said. "This is a place where we sell specialty cheese, specialty meat items. This is not a political platform."

Krause says she feels like she has been forced into the political arena unwillingly.

"That's unfortunate. I certainly don't think people should be making decisions on where they shop on the basis of things like this either way," said Faux.

"I feel like it's become a political issue. It never should have been," stated Charlie Norman, President of the Blue Chip Young Republicans.  "This is a woman who has no political ax to grind."

The Obama For America Ohio branch released this statement Thursday:

"This storefront appeared in a series of stock footage which the Obama for American campaign obtained from a local production company who had permission to use it."—Jessica Kershaw, Press Secretary, Obama for America-Ohio

Faux called the situation a "misfortunate understanding" saying there was never any intention to put thrust Krause's shop or her name in the political spotlight.

"From my perspective we've done what we can; the ad's off the air. I've explained as best I can how this happened," Faux said. "I don't know what else I can do."

Republicans, however, argue more should have been done.

"Mistakes happen all the time," acknowledged Norman. "It's not so much that the ad was made, its that they ignored her pleas for help once it became clear that she didn't want her business in there."

"I explained that the ad would be off the air shortly and it was," Faux maintained.

Krause is not focused on party lines, but the bottom line. She is hopeful customers will look past their political beliefs and put faith in an American small business.

"I believe in free speech," Krause said. "I believe in being able to wait on anyone with any party affiliation with any ethic background, period."

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