Portman to Help Raise Campaign Cash for Mandel

Ohio State Treasurer and GOP Senate hopeful Josh Mandel is scheduled to be in Washington tomorrow for ( what else?) a fundraiser.

As Politico notes, the event comes as Mandel comes under more scrutiny about his stewardship of the Treasurer’s office.

If You Want to Find The Empty Suit, Don’t Look in Ohio

…Josh “The Empty Suit” Mandel, has missed every single meeting of the board of deposit over which the treasurer is supposed to preside.

Seriously — it’s really getting to the point where Mandel should resign as treasurer if he’s going to make raising money for his Senate race his top priority — and doing so at the same time he’s drawing a paycheck for serving the citizens of Ohio.

Mandel Skipping Treasurer Meeting for Fundraiser?

Josh Mandel — the Ohio Senate candidate who has been fully embraced by the Washington GOP establishment but besieged by a downpour of critical headlines — is facing more scrutiny about how he’s juggling politics with his day job.

The Associated Press out of Columbia dropped a story Wednesday that the first-term state treasurer “hasn’t attended a single monthly meeting” of a powerful board that decides which banks will hold billions in state deposits.

“It’s common to send a designee to most meetings, but the total absence of Mandel, a first-term Republican, makes him unique among modern-era treasurers,” writes Julie Carr Smyth.

Ohio Treasurer a No-Show at Deposit Board Meetings

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel hasn’t attended a single monthly meeting of the powerful but mundane state board that decides which banks will hold billions in state deposits, records show.

It’s common to send a designee to most meetings, but the total absence of Mandel, a first-term Republican, makes him unique among modern-era treasurers.

Meeting minutes, news clippings and interviews by The Associated Press show that every state treasurer since at least the early 1980s has some record of attending the Board of Deposit meetings in person.

 

Anyone Think Josh Mandel is Bored with Being Treasurer?

According to AP,

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel hasn’t attended a single monthly meeting of the powerful but mundane state board that decides which banks will hold billions in state deposits.

The story goes on to say that it’s a common practice to send a deputy to the meetings (which his spokesman gives as a excuse for his boss) but “the total absence of Mandel, a first-term Republican, makes him unique among modern-era treasurers.”

What’s outrageous is that Mandel had/has no qualifications to be treasurer to begin with. He was elected in a campaign based on huge money and lobbing vague, baseless smears at his opponent. And he vowed to serve for four years and be a great treasurer.

 

Ohio Democratic Party Statement On Stunning New Report Confirming Josh Mandel’s Total Disregard For His Job

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Justin Barasky, Press Secretary of the Ohio Democratic Party, released the following statement today regarding a new report showing Josh Mandel has missed every single State Board Of Deposit meeting during his first year in office:

“Today’s report is a stunning indictment of Josh Mandel’s overly ambitious personal agenda and irrefutable evidence of someone completely and totally unfocused on the job he promised voters he would fulfill.  One would be hard-pressed to find another Treasurer anywhere in the country less focused on the job they’ve promised to do and more willfully neglecting their responsibilities as a public servant than Josh Mandel.

“Our absentee Treasurer owes Ohioans an explanation and an apology for proudly displaying an embarrassing lack of commitment to both his office and the voters who put him there.”

BREAKING: 1st-Year OH Treasurer No-Show at Deposit Board; Says Financial Chief Did Able Job

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DELL’) hasn’t attended a single monthly meeting of the powerful but mundane state board that decides which banks will hold billions in state deposits.

It’s common to send a designee to most meetings, but the total absence of Mandel, a first-term Republican, makes him unique among modern-era treasurers.

 

Son of Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer held ODOT summer job

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A son of state Inspector General Randall Meyer got a job with the Ohio Department of Transportation last summer, four months after his father became the watchdog for the state’s roads department.

Shane Meyer, 20, one of three sons of Meyer and his wife, Shannon, worked from late May to early September out of the District 8 garage in Clinton County doing seasonal work, according to ODOT officials. The elder Meyer was picked by Republican Gov. John Kasich to serve as the state’s inspector general in January. The Wilmington resident had worked for Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor when she was state auditor.

While the state inspector general’s job is to ferret out wrongdoing, fraud and abuse across all state agencies appointed by the governor, a change in Ohio law several years ago gave the inspector general a special charge to focus on ODOT. Within the inspector general’s office, a deputy inspector general for ODOT exists solely to investigate ODOT hirings, practices and projects.

While Meyer declined to comment directly, a deputy inspector general, Carl Enlsen, said that Meyer had nothing to do with his son’s hiring.

“He purposefully steered clear of doing anything when his son expressed interest in a job with ODOT,” said Enlsen.

Enslen said that Meyer didn’t think that having his son working an entry-level summer job while he oversaw ODOT amounted to any conflict of interest.

“In his view, he didn’t seem to think that would be an issue,” said Enslen. “His son was taking care of some mail delivery, it was pretty low level. I don’t know that at that level it would be a concern.”

The younger Meyer was hired by ODOT a few months after incoming Director Jerry Wray instituted a policy prohibiting family members of ODOT employees from being considered for employment.

ODOT officials say Shane Meyer delivered and picked up parts, delivered mail and helped out in the stockroom. He was paid about $7.80 an hour, according to ODOT officials.

ODOT officials said Shane Meyer applied through the normal channels for his summer job.

“He came up here and filled out an application,” said Liz Lyons, a spokeswoman with District 8. “We did not know of any relationship with Randy Meyer.”

Steve Faulkner, an ODOT spokesman at the main office, issued a statement that said Director Wray was not aware of Meyer’s son being hired before being contacted by The Plain Dealer, nor is he aware of any rule or law that would prohibit it. Ohio ethics laws prohibit officials from directly hiring family members or using the authority of their position to land jobs for family members. The ethics laws wouldn’t stop Meyer and his son from both working for the state as long as the elder Meyer didn’t have any influence over the decision.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols also noted that the hiring didn’t violate Ohio law.

“We are not aware of any law that says the son or daughter of an inspector general cannot take a job in state government on his or her own initiative,” he said. He declined to comment further.

The latest revelation about Meyer comes after a flap over a speech the inspector general gave on Jan. 9 when he headlined a Clinton County GOP fundraising dinner.

After the speech, Ohio Democratic Party Chief Chris Redfern called for Meyer to resign, saying that the partisan fundraising impugned the integrity of the independent, nonpartisan office. Former Inspector General David Sturtz, the state’s first inspector general, told the Columbus Dispatch that he was “amazed” that Kasich had not fired or suspended Meyer for his activity.

House Minority Leader Armond Budish and Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro, both Democrats, shot a letter off to Kasich saying they had “growing concern that Mr. Meyer’s partisanship is impairing his ability to objectively investigate potential wrongdoing in state government.” The letter noted that Meyer had released only 12 investigative reports, the fewest from the IG’s office since 2007.

At the time, Meyers defended himself, through Enslen, by saying he was only trying to get out a message about the importance of integrity in government and would gladly accept an offer to speak to a similar Democratic group.

Redfern on Tuesday said Meyer’s reputation is “severely damaged” and that he has “no faith in the guy.”

“There’s 20 percent unemployment among young people in southern Ohio and it just so happens that the inspector general’s son lands a plum job in the same department his dad is supposed to be overseeing for wrongdoing?” said Redfern. “Sure, I believe that Randy Meyer had nothing to do with that — just as long as I can sell you a bridge to Put-in-Bay as well.”

Redfern said Kasich needs to “speak out” about his appointee. “This is John Kasich’s finest hour,” he said.

Ohio Sen. Brown Responds to State of the Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement tonight following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight’s State of the Union address gave manufacturing the attention it deserves,” Brown said. “Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy, providing good-paying jobs and helping to lead our economic recovery. The auto rescue was not only critical to the Big Three, but to thousands of auto parts suppliers in Ohio. The next step is a national manufacturing strategy that enforces trade law, encourages clean energy innovation, and trains workers for emerging industries. Tonight’s speech helped lay the blueprint for a national manufacturing agenda that Democrats and Republicans can unite behind.”

Connie Schultz Shares Stories, Advice with Fellow Dems

Former Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz entertained a full audience on a recent cold, windy evening at Westlake’s Church of the Redeemer United Church of Christ.

Schultz started her discussion by tracing roots back to her upbringing in a small town, with a strong working class and union presence. “I’m a liberal out of gratitude,” Schultz explained.  “It was my father’s union wages that sent me to college… It was the feminist movement that made it possible for me to be on op-ed pages around the country and not in the women’s pages.”

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