Renacci Gave Back the Money “Sooner than Planned”
COLUMBUS, OHIO– Today, Rep. Jim Renacci announced that after becoming aware of an FBI investigation into $100,250 in allegedly illegal donations to his campaign nearly six months ago, he has finally been publicly shamed into returning the money.
“The people of the 16th district to deserve to know why Jim Renacci didn’t return the $100,250 in alleged illegal campaign donations when he first learned of them, at least six months ago,” said Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern. “Renacci has also failed to disclose whether he solicited these contributions that brought about a federal investigation. In fact, the only thing Jim Renacci has told us is that if it weren’t for his recent public shaming, he’d proudly hold on to this dirty money even longer than he already has.”
Jim Renacci should honestly answer the following questions about his role in the ongoing fundraising scandal:
1. When Did Jim Renacci First Learn About the FBI Investigation of His Donors?
2. Why Didn’t Jim Renacci Return the Tainted Campaign Contributions As Soon As He Learned About the Investigation?
3. Did Jim Renacci Solicit the Contributions Now Under Investigation by the FBI?
Renacci’s Chief Of Staff Confirmed U.S. Attorney’s Office Contacted Campaign In January Or February. James Slepian, Renacci’s chief of staff, confirmed that the U.S. Attorney’s office, sometime around January or February, asked Renacci’s campaign treasurer for records of contributions and when they were made from Suarez employees. [Canton Repository, 5/21/12]
Renacci Gave the Alleged Illegal Contributions Back Sooner than he had Planned. Toward the end of his seven-paragraph missive, which accused Sutton of “gutter politics,” Renacci wrote that he gave back the money sooner than planned to “take that tool from your hands” and deprive her of a campaign issue. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/23/12]
Josh Mandel Faces Similar Questions Stemming From His Acceptance of Allegedly Illegal Contributions
Suarez Corp. President Claimed Renacci and Mandel Requested Suarez Ask His Executives If They Would Donate. Benjamin Suarez ”said that, at the request of the campaigns of Renacci and Mandel, he asked his executives if they would be interested in donating.” [Canton Repository, 5/21/12]
Suarez Asked Chief Financial Officer To Check If Employees Would Contribute To Mandel. In May 2012, The Canton Repository wrote “At the request of Renacci and Mandel’s campaigns, Suarez said, he called [Chief Financial Officer] Giorgio and asked him to find out if any employees wanted to contribute to the campaigns.” [Canton Repository, 5/24/12]
Mandel Returned Contributions After FBI Investigation Became Public. In May 2012, the Toledo Blade reported “Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has returned $105,000 in campaign contributions that are under investigation by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations. The money came from the employees of a North Canton business and their spouses and had sparked questions because contributions were made by individuals who did not have a record of making campaign donations and who did not appear to have high incomes.” [Toledo Blade, 5/24/12]