As Cronyism Scandal Engulfs Treasurer’s Office For Fourth Straight Week, Will Josh Mandel Blow Off His 15th Board Of Deposit Meeting?

Mandel Skipped 14 Consecutive Board Of Deposit Meetings Before Wandering Into First One; Surrounded Himself With Political Cronies In Treasurer’s Office

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Tomorrow, Thursday April 26 at 10:00 a.m., absentee Treasurer Josh Mandel will have the opportunity to improve upon his abysmal 1 for 15 record of attendance at meetings of the billion-dollar State Board of Deposit. Will he “stop by the office he was elected to run?”

In explaining his boss’ routine absence from the Treasurer’s office, Mandel frequently cites the “exceptional staff” he chooses to surround himself with.

As it turns out, the staffers aren’t so much exceptional as they are Mandel’s friends and political cronies.

  • The Dayton Daily News reported that Josh gave “young, relatively inexperienced” campaign workers top jobs in the Treasurer’s office after campaigning furiously against cronyism during his 2010 Treasurer race. Some staffers, such as Interim Director of Public Affairs Scott Guthrie – yes, “Interim” was even part of his title – stayed for just weeks before returning to Mandel’s campaign.
  • Days later, The Huffington Post uncovered that Mandel sent his campaign Political Director-turned-Director of Debt Management Joe Aquilino to a “beginner’s course” in the very subject he was in charge of.
  • Since then, The Toledo Blade found that Mandel lavished hefty raises on his own appointees compared to holdovers from his predecessor’s administration.
  • Now Mandel faces questions about a former office staffer, Joel Riter, who began lobbying the Treasurer’s office just weeks after receiving his final payment from it.
  • And to this day, Mandel’s office has not fully disclosed the resumes of staffers he has hired at taxpayer expense, despite receiving seven public records requests for them spanning more than a year.

As the cronyism scandal continues to consume the Treasurer’s office, will Josh show up to tomorrow’s Board of Deposit meeting?

“Josh Mandel cares so little about doing his job that he’s blown off 14 meetings of the billion-dollar State Board of Deposit while carelessly surrounding himself with unqualified political cronies in the Treasurer’s office,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “While it’s very clear that Josh Mandel’s top priority is running for office instead of doing his job, Ohioans expect Josh Mandel to improve upon his pathetic 1 for 15 attendance record by showing up for tomorrow’s meeting and displaying at least a passing interest in protecting Ohio’s tax dollars.”

WHO:             Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (maybe) and his political cronies

WHAT:          State Board of Deposit Meeting

WHEN:          Tomorrow, Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:       30 East Broad Street
9th Floor, Conference Room B
Columbus, Ohio 43215

BACKGROUND

Akron Beacon Journal: Mandel Has “Ducked All But One” Board of Deposit Meeting “Which He Is Supposed To Chair.”  In April 2012 in the Akron Beacon Journal, Steve Hoffman, an Akron Beacon Journal editorial writer, opined “There, Mandel has ducked all but one meeting of the Board of Deposit, which he is supposed the chair, and hired political cronies (after a campaign that blasted his Democratic opponent, Kevin Boyce, for doing the same thing).” [Akron Beacon Journal, Steve Hoffman4/18/12]

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial: Mandel Needs To Remember That Good Government At The State Treasury “Means Minding The Store.”  In a March 2012 editorial, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Greater Cleveland Republican, recently took time out from his U.S. Senate race to attend to an official duty: chairing the State Board of Deposit, evidently for the first time in his 14 months as treasurer.”  The Plain Dealer went on to note “Mandel, who is running as if there’s no tomorrow against Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, needs to consider the maxim that good government is the best politics. And at the state treasury, good government means minding the store.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/26/12]

Mandel “Began Traveling Widely To Raise Money” Just Months After Being Sworn In As Treasurer.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Months after taking his seat as Ohio’s treasurer in January 2011, he began traveling widely to raise money — $5.8 million so far, records show — for his Senate campaign.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/13/12]

Mandel Scheduled A Fundraiser In D.C. For Two Hours Before A State Board Of Deposit Meeting In Columbus.  In January 2012, Politico reported that they had “obtained an invitation for a D.C. fundraiser on behalf of Mandel set for Thursday morning – just two hours before the next scheduled board of deposit meeting in Columbus.”  [Politico.com, 01/25/12]

Headline:  Josh Mandel, Ohio Treasurer And Senate Candidate, Skipped Board Meetings For No Known Reason. [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]

  • Mandel’s Schedule Barely Acknowledged Board of Deposit Responsibilities.  In February 2012, The Huffington Post reported “Josh Mandel, the Republican Ohio treasurer looking to move up to the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, appears to have skipped meetings of the state Board of Deposit for mysterious reasons.” Huffington Post continued, “According to the records, Mandel had nothing on his schedule on five different occasions when the board met. On two other occasions, Mandel blocked out time for the meeting, but a Democratic source said that the board’s minutes show Mandel did not attend. On four other days, Mandel’s schedule says he met with staffers at the time of the board meeting, but the staffers actually were at the meetings, not with Mandel, according to the minutes.  One time Mandel did a radio interview instead of attending the board meeting, and last month he went to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., instead of presiding over the meeting. This past Thursday, he did not attend for unknown reasons, but traveled to another part of the state later in the day to meet with business leaders, according to the Columbus Dispatch.” [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]

###

Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman

Speak Your Mind

*

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.