Governor Kasich’s Hand-Picked Tax Cheat with Pay-to-Play

Background Elected Ohio Republican Chairman

COLUMBUS, OHIO –Today, Ohio Republicans elected Governor John Kasich’s personal choice and friend Matt Borges as the next Chairman of their Party. Governor Kasich was the new Chairman’s strongest supporter in the race despite Borges’ 2004 criminal plea in a pay-to-play scandal involving the State Treasurer’s office, and recent revelations that he owed more than $500,000 in delinquent taxes dating back to 2005.

 In response to the election, Matt McGrath, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, released the following statement:

“The promotion of Kasich-loyalist Matt Borges to the post of Republican chairman means the Governor’s political machine will be run by a tax-cheat and admitted influence peddler.

 “Of course, it’s little surprise that a Governor who has a habit of rewarding the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the middle class would see no issue in elevating someone whose shady background so clearly represents the corruption and insider dealing at the heart of his administration.

 “You would hope Governor Kasich would be at least a little embarrassed about this process, which lays bare his real values and priorities: to win at all costs and reward your friends rather than fighting for the economic well-being of the middle class. Ohioans deserve better.”

 

BACKGROUND

 KASICH’S HAND-PICKED CHAIRMAN

 Dispatch: Borges “Has Essentially Been Installed As The Next Party Boss By Gov. John Kasich.“ According to The Columbus Dispatch ” Borges, who has essentially been installed as the next party boss by Gov. John Kasich, almost surely has the votes on the state’s 66-member central committee. Many of its members were helped to election last year by Kasich.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 4/24/13]

Cincinnati Enquirer: Borges And Preisse Are Kasich Insiders; They Helped Raise Money For And Run His Inauguration. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Borges has partnered with Preisse to help lobby for the county, according to Borges. Both Borges and Preisse are Kasich insiders; they helped raise money for and run his inauguration. ” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/7/11]

Borges Helped Fund A ‘One Year Later’ Celebration For Kasich’s Administration At The Ohio Theatre; The Event Headlined By Kasich. According to The Repository “Gov. John Kasich headlined an Ohio Theatre event last week funded by lobbyists with deep ties to his administration, raising questions about the governor’s oft-stated commitment not to favor special interests. The Tuesday evening ‘One Year Later’ celebration was sponsored in part by lobbyists Douglas J. Preisse, Robert F.  Klaffky and Matt Borges, all of whom were ground-floor advisers to Kasich’s 2010 campaign or inaugural committee.  ” [The Repository, 1/22/12]

  • The Private Party Was Attended By Members Of Kasich’s Executive Staff, Cabinet Members, Many State Lawmakers And Some Clients Of The Three Sponsoring Lobbyists, Among Others. According to The Repository “The private party was attended by members of Kasich’s executive staff, cabinet members, many state lawmakers and some clients of the three sponsoring lobbyists, among others. “

Borges Called Himself A Member Of The ‘Kasich Gang.’ According to The Columbus Dispatch “As the executive director for Gov. John Kasich’s inauguration committee, Borges said he’s a member of the ‘Kasich gang’ and is aware of Kasich’s repeated, public denunciations of the influence lobbyists have on state government.  ” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/23/12]

May 2012: Borges Was Named Executive Director Of The Ohio Republican Party After Allies Of Kasich Successfully Worked To Oust Chairman DeWine.  According to The Plain Dealer “The Ohio Republican Party has named Matt Borges, a veteran GOP operative in Ohio, as its new executive director.  The shakeup at the Ohio GOP stems from a bitter campaign to oust former party Chairman Kevin DeWine, who resigned last month after allies of Republican Gov. John Kasich worked for weeks to rally support for a new chairman. [The Plain Dealer, 5/14/12]

 

PAY-TO-PLAY SCANDAL AND RECORD OF CORRUPTION

2004: Borges Pled Guilty To One Count Of Improper Use Of Public Office, A Misdemeanor; He Gave Preferential Treatment To Certain Brokers Who Made Contributions To His Boss. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Two top associates of state Treasurer Joseph Deters pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges involving campaign fund raising. The guilty pleas of former Deters chief-of-staff Matthew Borges and former fund-raiser Eric Sagun conclude a year-long investigation by a grand jury in Cuyahoga County that threatened Deters’ ambitions to run for attorney general in 2006… Borges, 32, of Columbus pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office, a misdemeanor, and was fined $1,000 by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher. Court documents said he gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign.” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]

  • Prosecutors Said Borges Instructed The State Investments Director To Dole Out State Securities Business To A ‘Short List’ Of Politically Generous Brokers. According to The Plain Dealer “Borges, 32, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to the unau thorized use of a public office for securing preferential treatment for brokers who made campaign contributions. Prosecutors said Borges instructed the state investments director to dole out state securities business to a ‘short list’ of politically generous brokers.” [The Plain Dealer, 6/28/04]
  • Prosecutor: ‘He Pled Guilty And Is Admitting To The Charges… How Is He Now Saying He Only Did This For Convenience Sake?’ According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Sammon, who worked out the plea agreements, said if Borges is so convinced of his innocence, he should vacate his plea and go to trial. ‘He pled guilty and is admitting to the charges,’ he said. ‘How is he now saying he only did this for convenience sake?’” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]
  • Prosecutor: “‘If One Reads What (Borges) Admitted Doing, He Used The Power Of His Office To Gain Favorable Treatment For Vendors That Did Business With The Office… To Me, That’s A Very Serious Offense. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “‘If one reads what (Borges) admitted doing, he used the power of his office to gain favorable treatment for vendors that did business with the office,’ Sammon said. ‘To me, that’s a very serious offense.’ An attorney for Sagun did not return messages seeking comment. ” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]

 

INAUGURAL COMMITTEE SOLICTATIONS

2010: Borges Was Hired As Executive Director Of Kasich’s Inaugural Committee Around The Same Time He Was Hired By Roetzel & Andress As Government Relations Director. According to The Plain Dealer  “Matt Borges… was hired last month as [Roetzel & Andress] government-relations director, about the same time he was picked by Kasich as executive director of the inaugural committee.” [The Plain Dealer, 1/5/11]

Roetzel & Andress Solicited Contributions For Up To $10,000 For To Attend An Event For Kasich’s Inaugural Committee; Tickets Were Available For $150 At The Official Website.  According to The Plain Dealer “An Ohio law firm solicited contributions of up to $10,000 for John Kasich’s inaugural committee for access to tickets for the incoming Republican governor’s black-tie inaugural bash next week. But tickets to the event have been available at NewDayOhio.com, Kasich’s official inaugural website, for about a month for $150 a person or $250 per couple with no additional fee or contributions required. Roetzel & Andress had a full page dated Dec. 2, 2010, on its website Tuesday that said those who had not contributed at least $1,000 to Kasich’s gubernatorial run would have to cough up between $1,000 and $10,000 to become an official sponsor of the gala for the privilege to purchase tickets. It made no mention of the official website.  ” [The Plain Dealer, 1/5/11]

RECORD ACCUMULATING MORE THAN $500,000 IN DEBT AS A HABITUAL TAX CHEAT

April 2014: Borges Owed $493,624.14 In Federal Taxes; Had Federal Tax Lien Filed Against His Property. [Franklin County Recorder’s Office, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

 

April 2014: Borges Owed $98,397.50 In Ohio Taxes; Had Three Tax Liens Filed Against His Property. [Franklin County Clerk of Courts, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

 

Date filed: Document Type Lien Released? (y/n) Amount Status Date released For tax period(s) ending on:
3/28/2011 Notice of Federal Tax Lien N $493,624.14 Active as of 4/20/13 12/31/2005 through 12/31/2009
3/18/2003 Notice of Federal Tax Lien Y $19,767.30 Lien Released 9/15/2004 12/31/2001
4/10/2008 Notice of Federal Tax Lien Y $13,049.31 Lien Released 6/24/2009 12/31/1999 & 12/21/2004
2/29/2012 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $9,041.61 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement
4/9/2012 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $76,282.67 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement
10/6/2010 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $13,073.22 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement

[Franklin County Recorder’s Office, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13; Franklin County Clerk of Courts, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

April 2012: Matt Borges Owed $493,624 In Federal Taxes And $98,397 In State Taxes. According to The Dayton Daily News “Ohio GOP Executive Director Matt Borges, who is in line to become state party chairman later this month, owes $493,624 in federal taxes and $98,397 in state taxes, according to public documents filed in Franklin County.” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

 

Kasich’s Spokesman On Borges’ Tax Problems: ‘We’re Aware Of It And Understand That He Disputes The Accuracy Of It. It’s In The Process Of Being Resolved And We Don’t Think It’s An Issue.’  According to The Dayton Daily News ” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said, ‘We’re aware of it and understand that he disputes the accuracy of it. It’s in the process of being resolved and we don’t think it’s an issue.’ ” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

April 2013: Borges’ Attorney Claimed His State Tax Liens Had Been Paid; Still Owed $124,000 In Federal Taxes. According to The Associated Press “A lawyer for an Ohio Republican leader says his client has paid off his state tax liens. Attorney Robert Onda told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Matthew Borges has paid off the more than $24,300 that he owed in state taxes after adjustments. Borges is running to be the next chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. Elected officials who have endorsed Borges’ bid have asked him to resolve and explain the tax liens he’s accrued before the GOP State Central Committee votes for chairman on Friday. Onda said his client still owes at least $124,200 in federal taxes, which he said Borges plans to pay in full on Thursday. Onda said the amount of a 2006 lien is still in dispute.” [The Associated Press, 4/24/13]

Borges Claimed To Be On A Payment Plan For Some Of The Back Taxes; Was Disputing The Bulk Of The Liens. According to The Dayton Daily News “Borges said he is on a payment plan for some of the back taxes but is disputing the bulk of the liens. ‘I’ve been working with counsel on this issue for years and I’m going to get it taken care of. Hopefully, it’s going to get resolved soon,’ Borges said. ‘There is a large portion of that that I don’t owe.’” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

TAX BILL REDUCTION

4/13/13: Borges Announced That His Tax Bill Had Been Reduced To $168,161, Down From $493,624. According to The Dayton Daily News “Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Matt Borges learned Friday that his federal tax bill was reduced to $168,161, down from $493,624. Bob Onda, Borges’ newly retained tax attorney, said the IRS adjusted the bill in October but Borges’ old attorney did not deliver the news to him. Onda said he will meet with state Department of Taxation officials next week to resolve a $98,397 state tax lien against Borges that is related to the dispute he had with the IRS. The state tax bill will likely be reduced to about $8,500, Onda said.” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/13/13]

 

###

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.