Mike DeWine Apparently Wants to Run as the Corruption Candidate
August 23, 2021
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, Ohio Capital Journal wrote today about more shady dealings involving Mike DeWine, even as he finds himself embroiled in the biggest public corruption scandal in state history.
Marty Schalden writes about DeWine’s recent move to restart a major contract with Centene — a company responsible for defrauding Ohio taxpayers out of millions of dollars — after the company hired one of DeWine’s buddies to lobby for them. Earlier this year, Centene paid a more than $80 million settlement over claims the company defrauded the state’s Medicaid program out of tens of millions of dollars. But once the company hired DeWine’s longtime friend, the company once again secured a lucrative state contract.
“So you might think — especially heading into a tough election year — that DeWine would want to avoid any appearance of impropriety or special dealing. But it turns out that Centene hired an old friend of the governor to lobby on its behalf just as Yost’s lawsuit was about to be filed,” writes Schalden.
And, as is par for the course for DeWine and his Administration, they’re not answering any questions about the shady dealings, thinking that if they just continue to ignore these scandals, they’ll go away on their own. But Ohio voters deserve answers and Ohio Democrats are going to continue to push for them.
“It’s hard to keep up with all of the corruption scandals Mike DeWine finds himself at the center of. DeWine’s statehouse is mired in bribery schemes, shady dealings involving multi-million dollar contracts for friends of the governor and the biggest public corruption scandal in state history. Ohioans deserve answers, and while DeWine seems to believe he’s above the rules, Ohio Democrats won’t stop pushing for them until DeWine is held accountable,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Read more from Ohio Capital Journal HERE and below:
- The administration of Gov. Mike DeWine had just restarted a massive contract with Centene Corp. Only six months earlier, Attorney General Dave Yost agreed to accept $88.3 million from the company to settle claims that it had defrauded the state’s Medicaid program of tens of millions of dollars.
- DeWine was already embroiled in a historic energy scandal in which his appointee to the state’s utility regulator took what Yost called a $4.3 million bribe and did favors worth hundreds of millions to FirstEnergy, the company that paid it, the company and federal prosecutors said in a deferred prosecution agreement. It was part of a broader conspiracy to pass a $1.3 billion bailout law that DeWine signed.
- So you might think — especially heading into a tough election year — that DeWine would want to avoid any appearance of impropriety or special dealing.
- But it turns out that Centene hired an old friend of the governor to lobby on its behalf just as Yost’s lawsuit was about to be filed.
- Kiggin and DeWine’s spokesman didn’t respond to questions for this story — including whether it’s proper for an old, close friend of DeWine to hire himself out to big corporations to lobby the governor on their behalf. But it’s clear that Kiggin and DeWine go back.
- As with Kiggin and DeWine, Centene won’t say what DeWine’s friend did on the corporate dime. But Kiggin was on the Centene payroll during the critical period in March when, just after Yost accused the company of massive fraud, the state Medicaid department suspended a contract it was negotiating with Centene’s subsidiary for 2022.
- In addition to Kiggin, Neidorff and Centene have paid some others connected to DeWine.
- They include Dan McCarthy, who is now DeWine’s legislative affairs director. In 2018, while he was still president of the lobbying firm the Success Group, McCarthy was registered to represent Centene.
- Now two of McCarthy’s former Success Group colleagues — Mike Toman and Anthony Aquillo — continue to lobby the DeWine administration on Centene’s behalf.