FROM: Andrew Zucker, Press Secretary
TO: Interested Parties
DATE: June 14, 2012
RE: On Cronyism, Staff Resumes, Gov. Kasich An Unlikely Foil To Josh Mandel
During his 2010 campaign for Treasurer, Josh Mandel repeatedly slammed incumbent Kevin Boyce for alleged cronyism, promising that, if elected, he would operate his office differently by hiring only “qualified financial professionals.”
In an effort to hold Mandel accountable for his campaign pledge, the Ohio Democratic Party filed its first of nine public records requests for the resumes of Treasurer’s office staffers Mandel hired in April 2011, nearly 14 months ago.
Meanwhile, a March 2012 investigative story by The Dayton Daily News found that, after campaigning furiously against cronyism, Mandel broke his pledge to voters, hired numerous unqualified political cronies and awarded them with high-powered jobs and taxpayer-funded raises. Despite the blockbuster report, in response to our numerous and specific requests, the Treasurer’s office has sent incomplete and unnecessary information, or has yet to even respond.
All-in-all, they still have not disclosed the resumes of 34 staffers Mandel hired, nearly half the total number he has hired since his swearing in.
34 MISSING RESUMES
In May 2012, Mandel’s office spokesman Seth Unger told The Toledo Blade that the Treasurer’s office did not have the 34 missing resumes in question:
“The resumes of individuals who applied, interviewed, and were hired prior to the Treasurer taking office were never brought into office. The Treasurer’s office is unable to produce records that it does not have in its possession.”
The implication by Unger is that the resumes collected during Mandel’s transition, or more accurately, by the now-defunct Josh Mandel Transition Fund, were not transferred over to Mandel’s official state office, nor are those resumes considered public records.
Their claim is that Mandel’s Transition Fund, which was terminated nearly 15 months ago in March 2011, is a black hole, from which the resumes of staffers who were ultimately awarded taxpayer-funded salaries can be permanently hidden from taxpayer scrutiny.
More than simply wrong, that’s flat-out absurd. Don’t just take our word for it — ask Gov. Kasich.
GOV. KASICH VS. JOSH MANDEL
Upon his election as governor in 2010, Kasich was repeatedly asked to disclose the resumes of job applicants for positions in state government being collected through his transition. Through a spokesman, he claimed that resumes of staffers submitted to his transition team website “are not subject to public record demands.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/19/10]
However two weeks later, in December 2010, he changed his tune. Citing legal advice from his attorneys and advisers, Kasich concluded that that the resumes submitted to his transition group would have to become public records once he was sworn in. “Ultimately, I’m going to lose this battle … it’s clear from Supreme Court rulings, at least at this point, I’m not going to win that,” he said, adding that, “unless there’s some legal way in which I can do this, these documents will have to be made public.” [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 12/1/10 & Daily Record, 12/2/10]
Sure enough, he transferred the resumes of thousands of applicants for state jobs from his transition group to his official state office, where they were released as public records in January 2012. [Associated Press State & Local Wire, 1/20/11]
An important distinction: Gov. Kasich sought to hide the resumes of job applicants; Mandel has sought to hide the resumes of actual office hires.
The contrast couldn’t be clearer. Gov. Kasich disclosed the resumes of thousands of applicants who applied for state jobs during his transition out of legal obligation; meanwhile, Josh Mandel continues to use his Transition Fund to hide the resumes and qualifications of staffers he has hired.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Ohioans deserve answers.
Either the resumes of up to 34 staffers Josh Mandel hired exist, and he’s using his now-defunct Transition Fund to hide them from the public eye, or worse, they do not exist, which means Mandel forewent a standard hiring process and carelessly awarded taxpayer-funded salaries to nearly half his employees without ever seeing their resumes.
Regardless, by skirting the law and attempting to shield the resumes and qualifications of staffers he has hired from taxpayer scrutiny within his shadowy, defunct Transition Fund, Josh Mandel has stooped to new lows, surpassing even Gov. Kasich as a politician Ohioans can’t trust.
Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman