Josh Mandel Uses Office to Reward Donors

Mandel using State office to help his campaign . . . again

COLUMBUS – This afternoon, the Associated Press reported that a majority of Josh Mandel’s “Ohio Strong” awards have gone to employees at companies that donated to Mandel and other Republican campaigns.  Specifically, the Associated Press found:

  • “Executives of 10 out of 17 manufacturing companies whose workers have won a new award established by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel have donated to Republican candidates.”
  • “Campaign finance filings show Mandel’s re-election campaign received donations from executives at three of the firms within weeks of their skilled-trades employees being recognized. One executive who had not given before said his contribution was solicited by a political fundraiser.”
  • “Larry Lewark, CEO of Lewark Metal, and Leo Hawk, chairman emeritus of American Trim, were two of three executives of winning companies who gave to Mandel after their workers were honored. Lewark gave $250 and Hawk gave $1,000, both in mid-April.  Hawk and wife Arlene have given more than $600,000 to GOP candidates and causes over the years, including a combined $26,000 to Mandel’s campaigns.”
  • “The third executive to donate after Mandel’s awards visit, Rose Metal Industries president Bob Rose, said he received a call from a fundraiser soliciting donations for Mandel’s treasurer campaign about three weeks after the treasurer bestowed the award on four of his employees.”  [Source: Associated Press (5/29/2014), “Most manufacturing firms where workers earned treasurer's new 'Ohio Strong' award give to GOP.”]

In response to Mandel’s election-year inspired gimmick, Ohio Democratic Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester released the following statement:

“Josh Mandel announced a new award from his office just in time for another political campaign designed for nothing more than getting publicity for his business donors and getting more campaign donations.  Mandel continues to find new ways to abuse his office to benefit his campaign.”

BACKGROUND

Ohio election law expert said Mandel’s town halls “blurs the line between politics and governing.”  In response to the Attorney General Opinion authorizing Mandel to hold taxpayer-funded town halls, Ohio State University law professor Dan Tokaji said “It does raise the concern that people are going to be holding campaign events masquerading as informational meetings. I think we all know that almost everything any public officeholder does who’s running for re-election is intended to advance his re-election effort.” [Source: Associated Press (2/20/2014), “Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls.”]

Mandel told local residents that working to save 1,000 manufacturing jobs at Ormet “that his office has nothing to do with that.”  As Monroe County faced the prospect of losing 1,000 aluminum manufacturing jobs from the closure of Ormet, Josh Mandel was asked at a community forum what the State could do to fight to prevent those jobs from being lost.  Mandel reportedly replied that “his office has nothing to do with that.”  [Source: WTRF ABC-7 (10/23/13)]

Mandel opposed federal involvement in rescuing the U.S. automobile industry.  In its endorsement of Sherrod Brown for U.S. Senate, the Lima News wrote that: “Mandel continues to maintain the bailout was a mistake. There are no “what if’s” here. Voters can see the results: auto-related jobs in Ohio have increased by 6.1 percent, or 11,100 jobs, since the start of the bailout initiative in 2009. The Buckeye state, which has the second-highest total automotive industry employment after Michigan, stood to lose around 200,000 auto-related jobs under a worst-case bankruptcy scenario for General Motors and Chrysler.  [Source: Lima News (10/20/2012), “Editorial: Sherrod Brown our pick for U.S. Senate”]

Mandel even dismissed reports of the jobs saved by the auto rescue.  The Lima News reported that: “At the forum, Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians Local 776 President Mike Knisley asked Mandel why he opposes the auto loans. Knisley spoke about 850,000 jobs in Ohio being tied to the auto industry… That 850,000 jobs number has been tossed back and forth a great deal. Mandel places no stock in it. ’You know that number’s ridiculous. That number comes from a made up organization in Michigan that says if there’s a lady working in a diner five miles from a – ‘ Mandel said to Knisley, not finishing his sentence.

The number came from the Center for Automotive Research, a highly-regarded in-dependent industry research group in Ann Arbor, Mich.” [Source:  Lima News (10/6/2012), “Sherrod Brown vs. Josh Mandel”]

Husted Policies Making it Harder to Vote

Lowest turnout in an Ohio gubernatorial primary at least since 1986

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was scheduled to certify the results of the May primary.  According to the unofficial results from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, the turnout in primary was below 17%, well below any other gubernatorial primary since at least 1986, according to the Secretary of State’s website.   In response, Ohio Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“For years, Jon Husted has been working with his fellow Republicans to roll back voting opportunities, and we now see historically low turnout as a result.  With his broken promises from his 2010 campaign and his refusal to take responsibility for his own policies, Ohioans are quickly realizing they can’t trust Tea Party value Republicans like Jon Husted.”

BACKGROUND:

Turnout in the May primary was the lowest it has been Ohio since at least 1986.  According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office turnout in this May’s primary was under 17%.  [Source: Ohio Secretary of State’s website (accessed 5/27/2014), “Unofficial 2014 May Primary Election Results.”]

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, the unofficial turnout in the 2014 May primary would be the lowest turnout in a gubernatorial primary since 1986, which is the last year the Secretary of State’s office reports primary turnout figures.  [Source: Ohio Secretary of State’s website (accessed 5/27/2014), “Voter Turnout in Primary Elections.”]

The legislature eliminated a week of early voting at Jon Husted’s urging, effective this fall.  The Republican legislature reduced early voting by a week by eliminating the “Golden Week” after receiving a public letter from Secretary of State Jon Husted urging them to do so.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch(10/25/2013), “Husted asks legislators to trim early voting.”]

Not satisfied with the early voting cuts made by the legislature, Husted then unilaterally issued a directive that reduced early voting hours by eliminating most evening and weekend hours.  On February 25, 2014, Jon Husted issued Directive 2014-06, (included the ACLU’s lawsuit against Secretary of Husted), in which Husted unilaterally ended Sunday early voting the final two weeks before the election, most evening and weekend early voting hours in Ohio. In a press release from his office, Husted said he decided to take unilateral action because the legislature “has neither . . . introduced nor adopted” these reduced early voting hours he had advocated.  [Source: Ohio Secretary Of State’s Office Press Release (2/25/2014).]

Husted’s repeated claim that he sends all Ohio voters an absentee ballot is misleading, at best.  While Husted mentions that he is mailing absentee ballots in the general election as his office agreed to do in 2011 in a settlement with Ed FitzGerald he fails to mention that S.B. 205 will prevent the Secretary of State’s Office from doing so in the future unless the General Assembly specifically appropriates money to allow the Secretary to do so.  [Source: Legislative Service Commission, Final Analysis of SB 205.]

When Husted was asked if Ohio should move away from having the Secretary of State be chosen in a partisan election, Husted demurred and avoided his 2010 campaign pledge to do just that.  In announcing his 2010 candidacy for Secretary of State, Jon Husted said, “I’m going to be the first person to run for office with a plan to eliminate the need for it,” claiming that he would move “oversight of the election system to include a bipartisan decision-making process.”  [Source: Dayton Daily News (4/2/2009), “Husted begins bid for office.”]

In 2010, Jon Husted campaigned as a Republican with “Tea Party values.”  During the 2010 Republican primary, Jon Husted’s campaign literature promoted him as a candidate with “Tea Party values.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (4/18/2010), “Husted’s appeal to Tea Party draws loud rebuff.”]

Ohio’s Heroin Epidemic Needs Action, Not Campaign Pep Talks

After massive Republican funding cuts, heroin epidemic spiraled out of control 

COLUMBUS – Despite a record of massive budget cuts and failure to acknowledge the crisis until well after it began, today Governor John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine will hold a town hall in Columbus regarding the heroin epidemic in Ohio.  In response to today’s press event, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Talk from politicians in an election year is cheap, especially given the record of disastrous budget cuts and neglect by Governor Kasich and Attorney General DeWine that allowed this epidemic to spiral out of control.  Leadership requires more than empty promises.  Ohio needs real action, not pep talks, to deal with this crisis.”

BACKGROUND

Heroin Overdose Deaths Are Spiraling Out of Control Across the State:

“Overdose deaths related to heroin increased 59.6 percent between 2011 and 2012 [Mansfield News Journal, 4/18/2014].  It is estimated that over 900 Ohioans died of heroin overdoses in 2013.

Heroin Crisis Was Foreseeable, Health Department Officials Say: “‘As strict legislation closed pill mills and prescription drugs became less available, Ohio was left with an opioid-addicted population in search of a drug,’ [Christy Beeghly, violence and injury prevention program administrator at the Ohio Department of Health] said. ‘We’ve sort of primed the pump of bringing heroin in,’ she said.” [Mansfield News Journal, 4/18/2014]

Lack of Treatment Is “A Statewide Embarrassment,” State Officials Have Only Given a “Pep Talk”: The Plain Dealer has called the lack of treatment capacity a “statewide embarrassment.” [Plain Dealer, 2/18/14]. The Coshocton Tribune said that with few resources from the state, it is “disparaging when an elected official travels around the state giving what amounts to nothing more than a pep talk.” [Coshocton Tribune2/1/2014]

Fitzgerald’s county heroin program called a “national model” by U.S. Attorney.  Steven M. Dettlebach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District Ohio praised the efforts of Cuyahoga County to tackle the heroin epidemic in Cuyahoga County as a protocol that “needs to be a national model.”  [Source: Cuyahoga County Government Press Conference (4/22/2014)]

Gov. Kasich:

  • Cut Funding for Social Workers, Mental Health Programs, and Other Human Services Over 50 percent Across the State on Average in first state budget. “Deep cuts have been made to all local governments and to special districts. Health and human service levies were hit especially hard, losing 54 percent of state aid, on average.” [Policy Matters Ohio, 9/13/2012]
  • Cuts to Local Government Fund Took Cops Off the Street. “Kasich insists that the state’s rainy day fund should be replenished with new budget surpluses, despite the fact that schools and communities across Ohio are still suffering from state budget cuts, which resulted in “cutbacks in essential local services, hikes in local property taxes, and layoffs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters.”  [Toledo Blade, 4/29/2012]
  • Kasich Eliminated Separate Departments Of Mental-Health And Substance-Abuse, and Combined Into One Agency. “Two state departments serving Ohioans with mental-health and substance-abuse problems will be merged into a single, more-efficient agency with ‘less bureaucratic clutter,’ the Kasich administration announced yesterday. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services will be combined effective July 1, 2013, pending legislative approval.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/5/12]

Attorney General DeWine:

  • Failed for Three Years to Acknowledge Growing Crisis.  According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, DeWine did not begin tabulating data on heroin deaths until Oct. 2013, years after the crisis began and states like Kentucky began responding. [Attorney General Statement, 11/18/13]
  • Refused to tell Ohio What He Has Actually Accomplished. DeWine formed a $1 million dollar “heroin unit,” but “would not say what this new unit…has accomplished since its inception in November.” [Coschocton Tribune 2/1/14]
  • Failed to Stand Up for First Responders. DeWine did not speak out against Gov. Kasich’s massive local budget cuts for police and other first responders. This is despite his position as Ohio’s chief legal officer.

As our next governor, Ed FitzGerald will:

  • Restore funding to local governments so law enforcement and social services have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.
  • Expand on his leadership in the County level, where his initiative for tracking down drug dealers was hailed as a model for the nation by the US Attorney and his expansion of the naloxone program led to the reversal of 31 possible overdoses.

As our next Attorney General, David Pepper will:

  • Expand access to life-saving anti-overdose medications to first responders statewide.
  • Assist local prosecutors in tracing overdose deaths back to dealers so they can be held fully responsible for the death.
  • Expand evidenced-based prevention and treatment efforts to drive down demand for heroin.

Josh Mandel Fundraising Scheme Results in Conviction

Mandel defended illegal donations months after illegal straw donor plan uncovered

COLUMBUS – Today, Suarez Corporation Industries CFO Michael Giorgio reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors admitting that he and Canton businessman Benjamin Suarez illegally conspired to donate over $100,000 to Josh Mandel’s failed Senate campaign by using employees as straw donors to circumvent federal campaign finance laws.

In response to today’s plea deal, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Josh Mandel personally pushed Ben Suarez to raise $100,000 for his failed Senate campaign.  Then, Mandel took over $100,000 in questionable donations and then refused to answer questions about the legality of those donations. There is clear evidence that Treasurer Mandel has used his office to benefit Suarez, and it’s time for Josh to answer the questions of what he knew and when.”

BACKGROUND

Mandel personally solicited Ben Suarez to raise $100,000 for Mandel’s failed Senate campaign in early 2011.  According to the federal indictment charging Suarez and Giorgio, Josh Mandel personally asked Suarez “to raise $100,000 for the Republican’s U.S. Senate campaign” in a handwritten note.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch (9/28/2013), “Josh Mandel asked Benjamin Suarez to raise campaign cash.”]

When Mandel’s campaign started receiving the illegal donations from Suarez, Mandel had the State Treasurer’s office send a threatening letter to the California Treasurer threatening that Ohio would sue California over its litigation against Suarez’s company. Around the same time Mandel was looking to get $100,000 in campaign contributions from Ben Suarez, Mandel sent a letter to the California State Treasurer threatening to have the State of Ohio sue California if it continue to push litigation against Ben Suarez’s company.  A spokesman for the California Treasurer said Mandel’s letter “read like a letter from an ill-informed constitutent.”  [Source: Plain Dealer (10/9/2013), “California treasurer's office surprised by Josh Mandel's letter on behalf of Benjamin Suarez.”]

Questions about the $100,000 in Suarez employee donations were raised as early as August 2011 when they were made by employees with no campaign donation history and seemingly  limited financial resources.  The Toledo Blade first raised questions about the donation from Suarez employees noting that many had never donated before and lived in modest houses with modest incomes.  [Source: Toledo Blade (8/19/2011), “Canton firm's workers making unusual donations.”]

Initially, Josh Mandel defended the questionable donations from Suarez as a strength of his campaign.  In an interview with WKYC, Josh Mandel was asked about the questionable donations from the Suarez employees in which he dismissed any questions about the donations and defended them as a strength of his campaign.  [Source: WKYC Interview (9/21/2011)]

Nine months after being questioned about the Suarez donations, Mandel finally returned the illegal donations.  As reports of the FBI investigation into the illegal straw donors became public, Josh Mandel finally returned the illegal donations nine months after questions were first publicly raised about them.  [Source: Toledo Blade (5/24/2012), “Josh Mandel returns money to Suarez employees.”]

Suarez Corporation Industries CFO admits that Suarez concocted the plan to use employees and their spouses as “straw donors” to violate federal campaign finance laws.  In a 26-page plea agreement, Giorgio admitted that Suarez created a plan to use employees and their spouses as donors to Mandel’s campaign with the company reimbursing them. [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/19/2014), “Ben Suarez orchestrated illegal campaign scheme, per company CFO Michael Giorgio's plea agreement.”]

Under Kasich, Ohio Back Down to 36th in Nation for Job Growth

14,000 Ohioans Gave Up Looking For Work Last Month

COLUMBUS- Today, Arizona State University’s non-partisan W.P. Carey School of Business released its monthly state job growth rankings, showing Ohio fell to nearly the bottom fourth of the entire nation in job creation.

In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Over the last two months, 25,000 frustrated unemployed Ohioans have given up hope finding a job in Ohio. Ohio’s economy was recovering nearly a full year before Kasich took office, but the economy has sputtered under his watch.  With nearly three-quarters of the country growing jobs faster than Ohio, it’s clear that John Kasich’s policies aren’t working for middle class families.”

BACKGROUND

For the 18th straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to today’s jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “This is the 18th consecutive month that Ohio’s job growth rate was below the national average.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/16/2014), “Ohio's unemployment rate down to 5.7% because of job gains, but also shrinking labor force.”]

Over the past two months, 25,000 unemployed Ohioans have given up looking for work. The April Jobs and Family Services Report showed 14,000 unemployed Ohioans gave up looking for work. The March JFS Report showed 11,000 Ohioans had given up looking for work. [Source: Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, April Jobs Report Press Release (5/16/2014)].

Economist says declining employment rate falling for the wrong reasons.  Mekael Teshome, economist at PNC Bank said in reviewing March’s jobs report: “That drop [in the unemployment rate] wasn’t entirely for the right reasons.  A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

Public Policy Polling Releases Latest Data on Ohio Governor’s Race

COLUMBUS- Today, Public Policy Polling released a new poll on the Ohio Governor’s Race. The poll found 43% of Ohio voters would support Democratic nominee Ed FitzGerald, and 47% would support Republican Governor John Kasich. More information is available HERE.

The PPP poll is in line with a poll conducted by conservative polling firm Rasmussen Reports over the last week, which found FitzGerald and Kasich separated by seven points. The Rasmussen poll is available HERE.

In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“After four years of a Kasich administration, a majority of consistent polling shows that Governor Kasich cannot break 50% with Ohio voters. No matter how many millions  the Republicans spend trying to convince us otherwise, Ohio’s middle class families know that Kasich’s policies are not working for them.”

 

 

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Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

Husted Blames Republican Legislature For His Policies

Husted dodges responsibility for his policies and dodges 2010 campaign pledge

COLUMBUS – This morning, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd regarding the ACLU/League of Women Voters/NAACP’s lawsuit against him for cutting early voting hours in Ohio.  In that interview, Jon Husted claimed that it was the legislature, not he, who shortened early voting and that he “had clashed with the legislature.”  When asked if the Secretary of State should cease to be an elected partisan officeholder, something that was the centerpiece of his 2010 campaign, Husted dodged the issue entirely. In response, Ohio Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“After supporting cutting a week from early voting and unilaterally ending evening and Sunday early voting, Jon Husted blamed his fellow Republicans in the legislature for the voting rights rollbacks he publicly urged them to make.  With his broken promises from his 2010 campaign and his refusal to take responsibility for his own policies, Ohioans are quickly realizing they can’t trust Tea Party value Republicans like Jon Husted.”

BACKGROUND:

The legislature eliminated a week of early voting at Jon Husted’s urging, not opposition.  The Republican legislature reduced early voting by a week by eliminating the “Golden Week”after receiving a public letter from Secretary of State Jon Husted urging them to do so.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch (10/25/2013), “Husted asks legislators to trim early voting.”]

Not satisfied with the early voting cuts made by the legislature, Husted then unilaterally issued a directive that reduced early voting hours by eliminating most evening and weekend hours.  On February 25, 2014, Jon Husted issued Directive 2014-06, (included the ACLU’s lawsuit against Secretary of Husted), in which Husted unilaterally ended Sunday early voting the final two weeks before the election, most evening and weekend early voting hours in Ohio. In a press release from his office, Husted said he decided to take unilateral action because the legislature “has neither . . . introduced nor adopted” these reduced early voting hours he had advocated.  [Source: Ohio Secretary Of State’s Office Press Release (2/25/2014).]

Husted’s repeated claim that he sends all Ohio voters an absentee ballot is misleading, at best.  While Husted mentions that he is mailing absentee ballots in the general election as his office agreed to do in 2011 in a settlement with Ed FitzGerald he fails to mention that S.B. 205,will prevent the Secretary of State’s Office from doing so in the future unless the General Assembly specifically appropriates money to allow the Secretary to do so.  He also did not mail out unsolicited absentee ballots in the 2014 primary election which turnout was substantially lower than in 2010 or 2006.

When Husted was asked if Ohio should move away from having the Secretary of State be chosen in a partisan election, Husted demurred and avoided his 2010 campaign pledge to do just that.  In announcing his 2010 candidacy for Secretary of State, Jon Husted said, “I’m going to be the first person to run for office with a plan to eliminate the need for it,” claiming that he would move “oversight of the election system to include a bipartisan decision-making process.”  [Source: Dayton Daily News (4/2/2009), “Husted begins bid for office.”]

In 2010, Jon Husted campaigned as a Republican with “Tea Party values.”  During the 2010 Republican primary, Jon Husted’s campaign literature promoted him as a candidate with “Tea Party values.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (4/18/2010), “Husted’s appeal to Tea Party draws loud rebuff.”]

RGA Gets The Facts Wrong… Again

COLUMBUS – Today, the Republican Governor’s Association launched an ad that gets several facts about Governor Kasich’s record wrong, trying again to mislead voters in Ohio.

“The notion that Ohio’s economy was in a ‘free fall’ before John Kasich took office is laughable and simply untrue. Ohio’s economy was recovering nearly a full year before Kasich took office, but it has sputtered under his watch.  By trying to take credit for things that took place before Kasich was in office, the RGA just proves that John Kasich’s policies aren’t working for middle class Ohioans,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

As usual, the RGA should have used a little more fact checkers, and less recycling of partisan editorials from three years ago.

RGA CLAIM:  “Four years ago, Ohio was in free fall.”

FACT CHECK: A year before Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate was consistently dropping.  In 2010, a year before Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate began a year-long streak of consistenly dropping every month, a streak broken under John Kasich that hasn’t happened since.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000  new jobs, more than Ohio did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

RGA CLAIM:  “Kasich erased the deficit without raising taxes.”

FACT CHECK: Kasich’s budget cuts to local government and schools resulted in local taxes going up.  “As a direct result of the $1.8 billion in school funding cuts approved by Gov. Kasich and the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature, local taxpayers have been asked to approve 393 school levies representing $1.34 billion in new operating money since May, 2011. Levies representing $492 million in new operating funds have passed.” [Source: Innovation Ohio, 4/25/13]

FACT CHECK: Kasich’s second budget raised the sales tax and CAT on businesses and rolled back the homestead exemption on seniors.  “The reality is, the governor is a tax shifter. He is adept at transferring the burden of taxation from one party to another while giving the appearance of reducing taxes. Shifting the load is how he can balance a state budget that grows year after year even as he beats the drum for lower individual income tax rates.” [Crain's Cleveland Business, 3/16/2014]

RGA CLAIM: “Unemployment dropped 33%.”

FACT CHECK: Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  In 2010, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by over 85,000.  In 2013, the number of unemployed Ohioans dropped by less than 10,000.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by over 51,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 51,609 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In March 2014 alone, over 11,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market.U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)]

FACT CHECK: Economist: “A declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.”  Mekael Teshome, an economist for PNC Bank noted that recent drops in the unemployment rate “wasn’t entirely for the right reasons” noting that “[a] declining labor force doesn’t have anything to do with a healing economy.” [Source: Youngstown Vindicator (4/23/2014), “Economists cast doubt on unemployment figures.”]

RGA CLAIM: “An $8 billion deficit left by the Strickland Administration.”

FACT CHECK: Revenues in the last Strickland budget came in “$947 million over estimates.”  The State budget ending in FY2011 (ending 6/30/2011) with revenues coming in at $947 million over estimates, allowing $247 million of the “surplus tax revenue” to be placed into the state’s “rainy day fund.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (7/9/2011), “Surplus revenue pours into Ohio’s rainy-day fund.”]

Husted Silent on Staffer Scandal

Former SB 5 Mayor Accused of Using City Computer for Campaign, Porn 

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that former Cuyahoga County Falls Mayor Don Robart is under investigation for having campaign-related files and “mountains” of pornography on his city government computer when he left office.  Presently, Robart is employed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.  In response to the investigation of Husted’s staffer, Deputy Communications Director Brian Hester issued the following statement:

“As the chief election official in the State of Ohio, it is irresponsible for Jon Husted to continue to have someone who is being accused of using official resources for campaign work and otherwise abuse official resources. Husted’s silence on this investigation is telling.”

BACKGROUND

Former Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart hired by Secretary of State’s Office.  As of January 2014, Don Robart has been employed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to serve as a regional liaison and eight county Board of Elections.  [Source: Cuyahoga Falls News-Press (2/23/2014), “Former Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart is Now Working for Ohio Secretary of State.”]

Robarts defeat in 2013 was widely seen as a result of his support of Governor Kasich’s controversial attack on middle-class workers in SB 5.  Robarts had been the seven-term mayor of Cuyahoga Falls when voters decided not to re-elect him and elect Democratic Don Walters instead.  Robarts support of SB 5 was seen as factor in his defeat, including by Robarts himself.  [Source: WKSU (11/7/2013, “A seven-term mayor loses, thanks to SB 5, the tea party and a shopping center.”]

After he left office, his city computer contained numerous campaign-related files and “mountains of porn.”  A search of Robarts’ city computer uncovered “spreadsheets of voter names and party affiliations and the location of campaign signs” and what a secretary of the office described as “mountains of porn” with folders titled “Big Daddys Girl”and ““The Melons Are Ready.” [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (4/16/2014), “Cuyahoga Falls investigating discovery of porn, campaign files on former mayor’s work computer.”]

PPP Poll Shows Ohio Governor’s Race A Dead Heat

COLUMBUS –Today, Public Policy Polling, one of the most proven pollsters in America, released a poll showing gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald and Governor John Kasich tied at 44%, and Senator Nina Turner leading her opponent, Secretary of State Jon Husted 45% to 44%.

“It’s no coincidence that John Kasich’s campaign decided to go on the air yesterday—they are seeing the same results we’re seeing.  Governor Kasich has had weeks of horrible media attention on everything from his attacks on voting rights, his discriminatory views on marriage equality, and his tax shift onto the middle class.  This race is a dead heat, and Ohioans know that John Kasich doesn’t share our values, and his policies aren’t working for Ohio families,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

You can find the polling on the race for governor here.

You can find the results on the Secretary of State’s race here.

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.