CLEVELAND – Martin Sheen (search), who plays a liberal Democratic president on "The West Wing," will host an event in Cleveland to raise money for an Ohio-based campaign against President Bush.
No Republican has won the presidency without Ohio, and only two Democrats have done it since 1900 — Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and John F. Kennedy in 1960. Bush beat Democrat Al Gore 50 percent-46.4 percent in Ohio in 2000.
The actors are honorary co-chairmen of Bring Ohio Back, or BOB, because the money will be spent specifically in northeast Ohio.
Lowe and Stevens plan to use their entertainment industry connections to bring fellow actors, musicians and comedians to Ohio to raise money, knock on doors, greet voters at fairs, and possibly appear in political ads.
A Bush campaign spokesman called the effort "the same tired song and dance" by the Kerry campaign.
"The John Kerry celebrity set parachutes in from out of town and bad-mouths Ohio's economy, preaching doom and gloom, and they think that that anger can serve as an agenda," Bush campaign spokesman Kevin Madden said.
Lowe, a Dayton native, brother of Rob Lowe and Emmy winner for his work on the TV series "Life Goes On," and Stevens, a Chicago native whose acting credits include an appearance on "Friends," are planning a fall celebrity concert and bus tour in Ohio.
Lowe said he was drawn to the effort because of Ohio's importance in the election and its economic condition.
"It breaks my heart to go back to Dayton and see the jobs that have been lost," he said. "The opportunities are just not there, and that's tragic."