- See transparent. easily seen through, recognized, or detected: Josh Mandel is not transparent.
Mandel’s Latest Lie Completely At Odds With Way He’s Run Treasurer’s Office And Campaign
COLUMBUS, OHIO – As Josh Mandel’s special interest friends have spent $10.6 million in ads that “garble the facts” to keep Mandel’s flailing campaign afloat, Mandel himself continues to skip work and peddle desperate and debunked lies. His latest? Claiming to believe in transparency, which, in itself, is a transparent lie.
Yesterday in Circleville, clearly saying what he thinks people want to hear, Mandel said, “I strongly believe in transparency. I think it’s an important component to our country and our political system.”
Seriously? Josh Mandel’s entire campaign has been an exercise in lying, hiding, and stonewalling on even the most basic requests.
- His Schedule – Josh skipped every single Board of Deposit meeting during his first year in office. What was he doing instead? Impossible to know since his public schedule is “virtually devoid of appointments,” and Mandel has refused to say where he was during a majority of the meetings.
- His Personal Financial Disclosure – Mandel was nearly 6 months late filing his personal financial disclosure forms that are required by law for Senate candidates.
- His Donations Connected To An FBI Investigation – This year, Mandel returned $105,000 in questionable campaign contributions that are connected to an ongoing FBI investigation, but he still refuses to answer basic questions about the donations including when he learned of the FBI investigation, why he didn’t return the money until news of the FBI investigation was public, and whether or not he solicited the contributions.
- His Cronies In The Treasurer’s Office – For more than a year, Mandel refused to disclose the resumes and qualifications of unqualified Treasurer’s office staffers he hired, despite receiving nine public records requests for them. Ultimately, it turned out Mandel was hiding resumes for more than half of his hires in his defunct transition fund.
- His Stances On Issues – Josh has earned a well-deserved reputation for bending over backwards to avoid taking positions on just about any issue or bill before the Senate, making it “difficult to gauge” what he would do if elected.
“The only thing Josh Mandel has been transparent about is his willingness to lie time and time again as he continues proving he’s a do-or-say anything politician who simply can’t be trusted,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “He won’t say where he stands on issues, for more than a year he refused to release the resumes of unqualified Treasurer’s office staffers he hire, he has refused to answer basic questions about the FBI investigation connected to his shady campaign cash and he still won’t disclose his whereabouts during the billion-dollar investment meetings he blew off, so for Josh Mandel to declare he strongly believes in transparency rings about as hollow as his broken pledge to hire ‘qualified financial professionals.’”
Mandel Wouldn’t Respond To Questions About What He Was Doing Instead Of Attending 14 Board of Deposit Meetings. In February 2012, after noting that Mandel’s schedule offered little insight into his whereabouts during the 14 Board of Deposit meetings Mandel has missed as Treasurer, the Huffington Post reported “Unger did not immediately answer a request for comment on the apparent gaps in his boss’s schedule.” [Huffington Post, 2/24/12]
Mandel’s Schedule Barely Acknowledged Board of Deposit Responsibilities. In February 2012, The Huffington Post reported “Josh Mandel, the Republican Ohio treasurer looking to move up to the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, appears to have skipped meetings of the state Board of Deposit for mysterious reasons.” Huffington Post continued, “According to the records, Mandel had nothing on his schedule on five different occasions when the board met. On two other occasions, Mandel blocked out time for the meeting, but a Democratic source said that the board’s minutes show Mandel did not attend. On four other days, Mandel’s schedule says he met with staffers at the time of the board meeting, but the staffers actually were at the meetings, not with Mandel, according to the minutes. One time Mandel did a radio interview instead of attending the board meeting, and last month he went to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., instead of presiding over the meeting. This past Thursday, he did not attend for unknown reasons, but traveled to another part of the state later in the day to meet with business leaders, according to the Columbus Dispatch.” [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]
Josh Mandel’s Public Schedule “Was Virtually Devoid Of Appointments.” In a January 2012 article The Associated Press reported that Josh Mandel’s “public schedule since taking office in January 2011 was virtually devoid of appointments outside of staff meetings and speaking engagements in a year when he appeared at numerous out-of-state fundraisers.” [Associated Press, 01/25/12]
Mandel Filed His Personal Financial Disclosure Form Nearly 6 Months After It Was Due. In November 2011, The Associated Press reported “Ohio Republican Josh Mandel on Friday made public his long overdue financial disclosure form in the 2012 race for U.S. Senate.” The Associated Press continued, “Democrats defending incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown have criticized Mandel incessantly for failing to file the report on time. It was due May 15. They have sought to link the tardiness to everything from sloppiness to deception to corruption.” [AP, 11/4/11]
Mandel Refused To Answer Any Questions About Contributions He Received That Are Now Under FBI Investigation. In July 2012, The Canton Repositorywrote “Mandel declined to answer questions about the $5,000 contributions to his campaign from several employees of Suarez Corporation Industries in Jackson Township that are being investigated by the FBI to determine whether someone was trying to funnel to the campaign more than the maximum allowed amount. Mandel declined to discuss his relationship with Suarez’s president, Benjamin Suarez, whether the FBI has interviewed Mandel or his staff and whether his campaign solicited the contributions.” [Canton Repository, 7/7/12]
Mandel Spokesman Would Not Respond To Questions About Why It Took So Long To Return The Contributions. In May 2012, WSYX reported “A letter sent this week to 21 people affiliated with the same North Canton, Ohio business reveals that Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel will return $105,000 in campaign donations.” WSYX continued, “A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the democrat whom Mandel is challenging, said the republican’s decision to return the contributions raises some ‘serious questions.’ ‘One, when did the FBI first contact Josh Mandel and let him know about the investigation? And whenever that was, why didn’t he return that money right away?’ said Friends of Sherrod Brown spokesman Justin Barasky. Mandel spokesman Travis Considine did not respond to questions about timing, but he did point out that no one involved with Mandel campaign is under investigation by the FBI.” [WSYX, 5/24/12]
Treasurer’s Spokesman Claimed The Resumes Had Not Been Public Records Because They Were Submitted To Mandel’s Transition Fund – Which Was Closed On March 18, 2011. In June 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “Treasurer’s office spokesman Seth Unger said the transition activity didn’t meet the statutory definition of ‘public office’ so any records produced or received during that time are not public record. Unger told the Dayton Daily News all the resumes released last week were from the transition fund, which officially closed March 18, 2011 according to Ohio Secretary of State records.” [Dayton Daily News, 6/20/12]
- … But Several Of The Resumes Were For Employees Starting After Mandel Took Office. In June 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “ODP argues 9 of the resumes in the last batch belong to employees who started after Mandel took office and therefore couldn’t have been part of the transition. Party spokesman Andrew Zucker provided the Daily News with two resumes listing employment through the end of the transition fund. ‘Like he has so many times before, Josh Mandel is lying,’ Zucker said.” [Dayton Daily News, 6/20/12]
- When Asked About The Employees Who Started Later, Treasurer’s Spokesman Reiterated They Were Resumes Submitted During Transition. In June 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “When asked about employees who started later in 2011, Unger again said all resumes released last week were submitted during the transition.” [Dayton Daily News, 6/20/12]
Mandel’s Refusal To Answer Questions About His Positions Makes It Difficult To Gauge How He Would Vote As Senator. In July 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “Mandel routinely refuses to answer media questions about his positions on pending bills before Congress, making it difficult to gauge how he might vote as a U.S. senator.” [Dayton Daily News, 7/7/12]
The Mandel Campaign Has “Flat-Out Refused To Take A Position On Issues.” In April 2012, The Youngstown Vindicator reported “Portman said he’s supporting Mandel because the latter has ‘better policies’ than Brown on issues such as tax relief, energy independence and trade. That’s interesting as Mandel and his campaign have been resistant to discuss the candidate’s policies in specifics, and in some cases, they have flat-out refused to take a position on issues. Maybe Mandel is telling Portman things he’s not yet told the rest of us.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 4/27/12]
“Mandel Has Taken Flak For Not Answering Press Questions On Specific Bills.” In April 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “Mandel has taken flak for not answering press questions on specific bills.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 4/28/12]
When Asked About Why He Won’t Say How He’ll Vote In The Senate “Mandel Fumbled For An Answer.” In January 2012 The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “Predicting what kind of senator he would be is made tougher by the fact that his spokesman has publicly discouraged reporters from asking for Mandel’s thoughts on active legislation. Mandel, the spokesman said, will not ‘pretend like he’s there and voting on every bill.’ Asked in a recent interview about this stealth approach, Mandel fumbled for an answer. ‘Certain issues that are brought up in Washington . . . if I choose to have my own plan and present my own plan later in the year, I would rather choose my own plan than have to pretend that I’m one of these politicians in Washington on some, on a bad plan,’ Mandel said.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, ellipsis original, 01/30/12]
Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman