Ohio’s Top Elections Official Supports DeVos, Despite Election Law Violations
COLUMBUS — As Ohio’s top elections official, Secretary of State Jon Husted took a surprising stance last week when he publicly backed billionaire Betsy DeVos — someone whose political action committee, All Children Matter, was found to have violated Ohio election law and owes the state $5.3 million in fines and fees.
On the other hand, perhaps it isn’t a surprise since Husted was the top recipient of All Children Matter’s ill-gotten largesse.
“With the Senate set to vote on Betsy DeVos’s nomination today, there has been a massive outpouring of opposition to DeVos,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Jon Husted doesn’t care that her PAC owes Ohio millions or that thousands of Ohioans have asked their elected officials to oppose DeVos. Husted is choosing to stand with his campaign donors and billionaire Betsy and ignore her election law violations. Apparently the D.C. swamp reaches all the way to Columbus, and Jon Husted is down in the muck with Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump.”
The Ohio Elections Commission voted unanimously in 2008 that DeVos’s political action committee had illegally laundered money from a Virginia PAC (where there were no donation limits) to Ohio (which had caps on contributions).
In 2006, the Virginia PAC received $200,000 from Ohioan David Brennan, the founder of for-profit charter school operator White Hat Management, and then sent those funds back to the Ohio PAC, which then donated $10,000 to Husted — who had already received the maximum $10,000 contribution from Brennan and an additional $10,000 contribution from Brennan’s wife, Ann.
Since 2000, the Brennans have given Husted more than $185,000 in campaign contributions.
Husted Said He Supported Betsy DeVos’s Nomination. “Though two Republican senators said they will not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education, Husted said he supported her nomination because she would be a ‘disrupter,’ cares about children and she wants change. ‘I actually know Betsy DeVos fairly well, and Betsy DeVos is not an academic. She’s a crusader for giving kids those opportunities. … I think Betsy DeVos is fighting for kids who’ve been left behind by the system.’” [Canton Repository, Feb. 3]