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How Josh Mandel, "Misused The Treasurer's Office In Exchange For $100,000 From A Crooked Businessman"

In Ohio’s State Treasurer’s contest the Democratic challenger, Connie Pillich, has a tough ad accusing the incumbent, Republican Josh Mandel, of “misusing the treasurer’s office in exchange for $100,000 from a crooked businessman.”

The businessman in question is Ben Suarez, owner and founder of Suaez Corporation Industries, a direct marketing company. The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article in June describing Suarez’s schemes —selling hundreds of products that include:

  • weight-loss and dietary supplements, jewelry, collectible coins, cleaners and space heaters,
  • diet aids that the Suarez company claimed could prevent heart attacks, cancer and other diseases,
  • a get rich book
  • “unclaimed funds” from government accounts

In 2011 Suarez was in trouble in California. This article reports, “District attorneys there sought $4 million in civil penalties plus $2 million more in restitution, alleging false and misleading advertisements on the labeling of 17 Suarez Corp. Industries (SCI) products and the distribution of misbranded foods, drugs and medical devices in the state. One product in particular got special attention Suarez’s“Foot Choice Infrared Heat Massager.”

The conclusion of the letter Mandel sent to Bill Lockyer,  the Treasurer of the State of California. Lockyer replied to Mandel: "It has been my experience that California prosecutors give the highest priority to putting an end to unfair business practices, preventing future abuse and where possible, recovering monies for consumer victims."

The conclusion of the letter Mandel sent to Bill Lockyer, the Treasurer of the State of California. Lockyer replied to Mandel: “It has been my experience that California prosecutors give the highest priority to putting an end to unfair business practices, preventing future abuse and where possible, recovering monies for consumer victims.”

Suarez wanted to find some political influence to make the California District attorneys to back off of their prosecution and so he turned to Josh Mandel. Laua Bishoff in her DDN article explains: “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel wrote two letters advocating for Suarez Corporation Industries’ business interests in California at the same time that company founder Ben Suarez was raising $100,000 for Mandel’s campaign for U.S. Senate, according to records released by Mandel’s office to the Dayton Daily News.”

Joe Vardon & Darrel Rowland of the Columbus Dispatch in their article explain:

When longtime GOP donor Benjamin Suarez needed help from the Ohio treasurer’s office, he turned to Scott Guthrie to get it.

Only Guthrie wasn’t employed by Josh Mandel, treasurer of the state of Ohio. He was the campaign fundraiser for Josh Mandel, candidate for the United States Senate.

So why is a major businessman asking for favors from Treasurer Mandel through a fundraiser for candidate Mandel? That is one of the central questions remaining from the federal trial of Suarez that ended this week in Cleveland.

A spokesman for Mandel says it is “common throughout Ohio and America that constituents contact an official office for something unofficial or contact someone outside the official office for something official.” However, two legal experts say Guthrie’s interactions with Suarez and the treasurer’s office are suspicious and merit further investigation.

While Suarez was found not guilty of making illegal campaign contributions in 2011, no one is questioning that he gathered $100,000 for Mandel’s Senate campaign. And no one is questioning that Mandel took up Suarez’s cause in a California legal battle at the same time. …

It was Guthrie who executed the two favors Suarez sought from Mandel: two letters on the state treasurer’s official letterhead written to help Suarez Corp. Industries of North Canton fight its legal troubles in California.

And Guthrie twice helped Mandel solicit campaign money from Suarez: $30,000 in one instance, $100,000 in another. Guthrie personally picked up an envelope containing the $100,000 in checks after hours at Suarez’s company.

Guthrie’s actions don’t prove the existence of a quid pro quo — politicians trading favors in exchange for money — and in court Guthrie and others denied that there was any link between the letters and the campaign contributions.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that (the letters and the contributions) had nothing to do with each other,” he testified on June 19.

But the question of quid pro quo remains, according to legal experts, because of another central question raised by Guthrie’s testimony: If there is no link between the letters and the Suarez donations, why was Guthrie — and not a treasurer’s office employee — tasked with writing the letters Suarez sought?

“Certainly ordinary people would look at that and say it stinks,” said Ohio State University law professor Daniel P. Tokaji, an election-law specialist who read the 86-page transcript of Guthrie’s testimony.

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Outrageous Republican Ad Smears Dee Gillis With Outright Lies — Where Is The Public Backlash?

The Republican ad smearing Dee Gillis shows her as a cigar smoking, martini swilling politician who voted herself a big raise. The DDN article points out her vote “would actually cost her $13,078 annually in lost compensation.”

I loved The Sunday DDN article written by Laura A. Bischoff and Lynn Hulsey — Law’s limbo means gloves off in hot race — about the outrageous lies told by the Republicans in the contest for the Ohio Senate’s fifth district.

Four years ago Republican Bill Beagle become senator for the fifth district by pouring money into negative ads against Democrat Fred Strahorn. Beagle raised only

…continue reading the article Outrageous Republican Ad Smears Dee Gillis With Outright Lies — Where Is The Public Backlash?

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Democrat Rob Klepinger Says He's Running For Congress Because He "Got Tired Of Yelling At The TV"

In a 55 second video that he recorded for the Dayton Daily News, Rob Klepinger, the Democratic candidate seeking election to congress to represent Ohio’s 10th District, says he decided to oppose the incumbent Republican Mike Turner, because he “got tired of yelling at the TV.” Klepinger has taught chemistry in a local public high school for 20 years. He is 46 years old. Here is a transcript of his video:

Hello. My name is Robert Klepinger and I’m running for congress. I won the Democratic Primary of May 6 and I’m your candidate for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District. I’m running for congress

…continue reading the article Democrat Rob Klepinger Says He’s Running For Congress Because He “Got Tired Of Yelling At The TV”

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DDN Reporter Laura Bischoff Shows How DeWine’s “Pay To Play” Scheme Awarded Contributor Valuable Contract

In Ohio’s Attorney General Contest, challenger David Pepper is accusing the incumbent Mike DeWine of unfairly rewarding contributors with valuable contracts. In her DDN article this morning — Charges fly in spirited AG race — Laura Bischoff reports about Pepper’s “pay to play” accusation and cites a great article that she wrote in July that somehow I had missed.

Bischoff’s July article — Vendors gave big to DeWine, GOP — deserves a lot of attention and discussion. The article obviously was the result of many hours of research and outlines a strong a strong case that Mike Dewine, Ohio’s current Attorney

…continue reading the article DDN Reporter Laura Bischoff Shows How DeWine’s “Pay To Play” Scheme Awarded Contributor Valuable Contract

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A Step Backward For Democracy — Judge Black Rules Ohio's Law To Stop Campaign Lies Is Unconstitutional

District Judge Timothy Black was appointed to his position by President Obama in 2009. Judge Black ruled that a key portion of Ohio law that outlaws deliberate lying in political campaign advertisements is unconstitutional

In this campaign season with negative ads in full attack mode filling our TV’s, I’ve been wondering why there have been no reported complaints to the Ohio Election Commission (See Below). An article in this morning’s Columbus Dispatch explains that on September 11, U. S. District Judge Timothy Black declared unconstitutional a key part of Ohio’s campaign law that prohibited campaign lying and provided for complaints to

…continue reading the article A Step Backward For Democracy — Judge Black Rules Ohio’s Law To Stop Campaign Lies Is Unconstitutional

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Candidates Seeking Election To The State Board Of Education Should Tell Their Vision and Objectives For Public Education

According to the State Board of Education website, the focus of the state board is to deliver an education that will make “all students well prepared for success.” The definition of “success,” according to the state board, evidently is the acquiring of skills needed to earn a living, the skills needed for industry. What bothers me about the vision and objectives articulated by the leaders of Ohio education (see below) is that this vision / objectives for Ohio’s public education could just as easily be articulated by the ministry of education in North Korea explaining the vision / objectives for North

…continue reading the article Candidates Seeking Election To The State Board Of Education Should Tell Their Vision and Objectives For Public Education

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Dee Gillis Should Challenge Beagle To Debate This Question: “We Should Make Ohio’s Tax System More Progressive”

Democrat Dee Gillis is campaigning to replace Bill Beagle as senator for Ohio’s District 5. (This district covers most of Dayton and all of Preble County.)

Beagle is bragging in his TV ads that he voted with the Republican majority to reduce taxes by over $3 billion each year.

Gillis needs to respond to Beagle’s boast of reducing taxes. She needs to challenge Beagle to a debate about taxes. She should make these three points:

In order to reduce taxes at the state level the Republicans cut funding to local schools and local governments. These reductions have forced local communities to

…continue reading the article Dee Gillis Should Challenge Beagle To Debate This Question: “We Should Make Ohio’s Tax System More Progressive”

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Advice To Rob Klepinger: Make Your Passion For Democracy The Message Of Your Campaign

This is my note giving advice to Rob Klepinger, Democrat seeking election to the U. S. Congress to represent Ohio’s 10th District — Montgomery and Greene Counties. Rob is challenging the Republican incumbent, Mike Turner, congressman for the 10th (formerly the 3rd) for 12 years. Rob is 46 years old. He currently is employed as a high school chemistry teacher at a public high school. He has worked as a teacher for the last twenty years.

Rob Klepinger, Democratic candidate seeking election to congress to represent Ohio’s 10th District

Motivation is tough to discern, but, as I study your campaign, it seems

…continue reading the article Advice To Rob Klepinger: Make Your Passion For Democracy The Message Of Your Campaign

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Representative Roland Winburn Should Demand His Opponent Disavow Negative Attack TV Ad

If Ohio law has any meaning, the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) should immediately remove the current TV attack ad that slimes Democrat Roland Winburn — representative for District 43 in the Ohio House. It claims that Winburn, “Ripped us off.” This ad is nonsense — laughable in its extreme efforts to confuse and misinform listeners — it degrades the whole political process and provokes new levels of cynicism.

Winburn’s opponent is Republican attorney Jeff Rezabek. His website says, “Jeff shares our principles.” Does Rezabek approve of this trash produced by the OHROC that slimes Winburn and completely misrepresents the facts? You’d

…continue reading the article Representative Roland Winburn Should Demand His Opponent Disavow Negative Attack TV Ad

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Maps Show — Precincts With Lots Of Dems Will Have No Representation At The MCDP Reorganization Meeting

Of the total 360 precincts in the county, only 132 precincts (37%) — shown in yellow — are participating in the May 4 Democratic Primary to elect a member of the MCDP Central Committee. The first task of these elected members will be to act as a voting delegate to the reorganization meeting where the leaders and the direction of the party for the next four years will be determined.

The map shows that many of the 228 precincts without a candidate — shown in shades of blue — have a lot of Democrats. One

…continue reading the article Maps Show — Precincts With Lots Of Dems Will Have No Representation At The MCDP Reorganization Meeting

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