• It appears that Republicans Josh Mandel and Jim Renacci are in the news!
The FBI is investigating campaign payments to two Ohio Republicans made by employees of the Suarez Corporation Industries, the New Republic reports.
The direct marketing company is owned by Benjamin Suarez, a major Republican donor. The Toledo Blade reported back in August that 17 employees of the company had given large sums of money to Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH). That raised suspicions that Suarez might have been illegally reimbursing the employees for their donations to the campaigns.
Alec MacGillis reports for the New Republic that the FBI is looking into it:
I visited the home of Michael Blubaugh, a copywriter at Suarez who had given $5,000 each to Renacci and Mandel last year—and whose wife, Donna, had done the same. They live in a modest subdivision, in a home valued by Zillow at about $142,000. When Donna came to the door, she said she had already been asked about the donations by the FBI. The inquiry had caught her by surprise, she said, “because I didn’t know about the rules, so I was like, ‘What?’” But she said the $20,000 had been given of her and her husband’s free wills. “Our house may not look it, because we’re saving for retirement, but my husband makes good money as a copywriter,” she said. But why give so much to the candidates? “My husband made the decision, not me,” she said.
There is more from the ToledoBlade:
....The investigation comes after The Blade reported in August that 17 employees of Canton-based direct marketing magnate Benjamin Suarez gave tens of thousands of dollars to the two candidates.
Each contributed $5,000, the maximum allowed by federal election law, to the campaigns of one or both candidates. Six of their spouses also made maximum contributions.
For some of the employees and their spouses, that adds up to $20,000. Many had never before given to federal campaigns. In all, Mr. Suarez, the 16 employees, and their spouses gave $100,000 to Mr. Mandel’s campaign and $100,000 to Mr. Renacci’s campaign, according to campaign filings....
••• According to Josh Mandel, he tax cuts for residents of his small town of Lyndhurst. The 2010 U.S. Census noted that Lyndhurst had a population of 14,001.
I did some digging, and here is what I found.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland.com, published the following story on January 27, 2005, when Josh Mandel was a city council member in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The article was written by Thomas Ott:
.....Josh Mandel said the city could give out 6,300 tax rebates and still have nearly half of the $4.7 million surplus that it carried into this year. He said the remaining cushion in the city's $18 million budget would provide ample comfort.
Mandel, a 27-year-old first-term councilman, announced the plan in a letter mailed to residents this week, paying the postage with nearly $1,800 from his campaign fund. He said he is not worried about charges of grandstanding......
In 2005, Mandel sent letters to the homeowners in Lyndhurst and said that they should be able to get a tax rebate from the city. At the time he sent out the letters to homeowners, members of the city council and the mayor allegedly knew nothing about his proposal until after the letters were sent out and Mandel told them. Did Josh Mandel purposely go behind the backs of the city officials to get publicity? In 2006, he was a candidate for the Ohio House.
After going through their finances, Lyndhurst city officials came to the conclusion that Josh Mandel had overstated the city's finances. In another article from the Plain Dealer, published March 4, 2005, and written by Tasha Flournoy, the decision was made to give a smaller tax rate rollback to homeowners, instead of the $400 cash proposed by Mandel. The tax rate rollback was approximately $75.
It is apparent that Josh Mandel, the Republican Party, and Josh Mandel's Tea Party followers have inflated Mandel's role in a tax cut to Lyndhurst homeowners.
• If you know anything about the way that Josh Mandel campaigns, you are aware of how Politifact Ohio has ruled on Mandel's inability to tell the truth. Those of us who witnessed the 2010 smear campaign Mandel used against Democrat Kevin Boyce, might not be aware that Josh Mandel used similar dirty politics in his campaign for the Ohio House in 2006.
On October 6, 2006, the Cleveland Plain Dealer (www.cleveland.com/weblogs/openers) published this opinion by Brett Larkin:
...In his campaign against Democrat Roger Goudy, Mandel takes a cheap shot at his opponent, using grainy black-and-white video footage of the Solon councilman and words that depict Goudy as a big taxer.
Mandel may indeed prove to be a new breed of officeholder, but his initial venture into the big-time world of television advertising is a disappointment.....
Doesn't the "...grainy black-and-white video footage..." sound familiar? More recently, those promoting Josh Mandel used the same tactic in ads against Sen. Sherrod Brown.
>>>> At least we know where Josh Mandel will be on Monday, June 18, 2012: in Washington, DC at a fundraiser!!! (see Scribd and PoliticalPartyTime)