That’s right. It would’ve been hard to miss the countless news headlines about the latest Republican scandals, but we wanted to give you an update as Ohio Republicans try to cover up their growing culture of corruption. In the wake of the groundbreaking story by The New Republic this week, headlines of a federal probe into shady campaign contributions to Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci just keep on coming.
Here’s a rundown of the GOP investigation’s coverage from around the state and country:
As reported by the Toledo Blade:
“Large campaign contributions from a Northern Ohio businessman and his employees to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel have prompted a federal investigation, the campaigns confirmed Monday.
“The probe is centered around more than $200,000 in campaign contributions from employees at the Suarez Corporation, a Canton-based direct marketing firm owned by Benjamin Suarez, a frequent financial supporter of Republican causes. The Blade reported in August that 16 of the company’s employees and some of their spouses gave maximum allowable $5,000 contributions to one or both candidates. Many of the employees had never given to federal campaigns before, lived in modest homes, and held job titles such as ‘copywriter’.
“The investigation began at least four or five months ago, according to James Slepian, chief of staff for Mr. Renacci.”
From the Dayton Daily News:
“The (Toledo) Blade reported in August that 17 Suarez Corporation Industries employees and some of their spouses gave a combined $100,000 to the Mandel campaign and $100,000 to the Renacci campaign. Some had never given to political campaigns before, lived in modest neighborhoods, and held job titles such as copy writer.
“It raised questions about whose money was being contributed and whether it was an attempt to steer around the $5,000 contribution limit. Giving campaign money in the name of another is illegal.”
The Plain Dealer dug further into the campaign finance details:
“Campaign finance records reviewed by The Plain Dealer indicate that eight company workers who never previously gave big political donations to federal candidates wrote $5,000 checks to Renacci’s campaign in late March and early April of 2011. On June 2, 2011, the same employees wrote $5,000 checks to Mandel’s campaign.”
Here’s Josh Mandel’s response to an inquiry of his shady campaign donations in a 2011 interview with Cleveland TV station WKYC:
“Citizens can choose to support whoever they want to choose to support and we appreciate that support and we always write ‘Thank You’ notes.”