SIDE-STEPPING OHIO'S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
THE UGLY TRUTH
When a donor makes a maximum contribution to a gubernatorial (or other statewide) campaign - they can no longer give any more money to their candidate of choice. However, they can give much more of their money to their party's SCF(Statewide Candidate Fund). Donors to the SCF are supposed to have no guarantee as to which candidate money is dispensed. Earmarking these funds by the party to specific candidates for donors is illegal as doing so would evade Ohio's campaign finance laws.
HERE IS HOW IT WORKS
We have a special interest that is dependent upon the State of Ohio in one form or another. It could be road construction, nursing homes, etc..etc. In this example, we'll use a big hospital network that gets reimbursed by Medicaid which is approved by the Ohio legislature and the Governor. The target candidate we'll select is the Governor. The Big Hospital Network wants to keep politicians happy so they get the maximum reimbursement.
In this case, the Big Hospital Network has contributed a maximum amount to the Governor's campaign through individuals working for the hospital. The candidate has a secret (and illegal) agreement with the chairman of the Republican party that if they get donors to donate to the SCF that the party will donate that money back to their campaign (this is earmarking and is illegal in Ohio). It is then the job of the Chairman of the party to get SCC members to agree to pass on the amounts that the Statewide candidates raised into the SCF (or misappropriate the funds himself)
THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
The State Central Committee (SCC) chairman either has to unilaterally ensure funds are transferred to candidates - or- the gubernatorial candidate (or another statewide candidate) has to have confidence that the SCC will disburse the funds to them. Statewide candidates normally endorse or make appointees of members on the State Central Committee to ensure these funds are transferred without a problem.
What we saw in the 2022 primary was the chairman of the Ohio Republican party unilaterally making over a million dollars in disbursements without the approval of the SCC to incumbent candidates that were not yet endorsed. The amount and timing of these disbursements were very specific. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of dollars were disbursed in in-kind contributions to these statewide candidates.
THE MONEY LAUNDERING SUCCESS COSTS US ALL
The Big Hospital Network and candidates were able to sidestep campaign laws due to a secret illegal agreement (earmarking funds) that candidates have with the chairman of the party. This allows the Big Hospital Network to support a candidate that will keep the taxpayer dollars flowing into their coffers. Smaller hospitals and clinics may not get the same type of Medicaid reimbursement because they have not donated to political campaigns. It is in this way - that these illegal relationships help the rich to get richer and prevent the poor from competing on a level playing field.
This happens with road construction companies, nursing homes, and many other businesses that do a significant amount of business with the State of Ohio. This makes Ohio a pay-to-play state and keeps meaningful reform from happening. This costs Ohioans $billions each year.
SCC MEMBERS NEED TO BECOME LEADERS
In 2021 Chairman Paduchik, in many a Republican's opinions, clearly worked with the treasurer of the party to misappropriate more than $1 million for incumbent candidates that had not been endorsed by the party. The ORP Bylaws clearly did NOT allow Chairman Paduchik to do what he did unilaterally. Longstanding traditions do not trump the party's bylaws in giving the chairman unlimited discretionary spending. Yet, with all the attorneys on the State Central Committee, they were content to ignore the misappropriation of funds, and no criminal charges for misappropriation of funds or civil charges were pursued.
With the Chairman having an unlimited amount of discretionary spending - he doesn't need the SCC to endorse anyone for him to give them money.
Are Ohio campaign finance laws ignored and the SCC is seemingly okay with this type of unethical and illegal behavior? Should this illegal activity continue? In our opinion, SCC members need to have a no-tolerance policy for unethical behavior. The optics of this transgression leave only the most naive' believing that there are not some back door deals going on to get around Ohio's campaign finance laws. The only thing left needed to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their malfeasance is to hear an admission in their own words.
Article III Section from the Ohio Republican Party's bylaws
Bob Paduchik Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party
Dave Johnson Treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party
THE BACKDOOR DEALS MUST STOP
The State Central Committee members know this activity is going on and they have a duty to not bury their heads in the sand and ignore the illegalities. We have laws for a reason. We are supposed to be a nation and a state of laws. While we may not agree with the law, it nevertheless remains the law. We, as Republicans, should set an example and violate the law. If we disagree with the law then we should change the law.
A foundation of corruption - leads to a legacy of corruption.
Governor Bob Taft was Ohio's first sitting Governor to be convicted of criminal charges
Senator Cliff Hite resigned in disgrace after he was caught red-handed in a sex abuse scandal
Wes Goodman resigned in disgrace after he was caught red-handed in a sex abuse scandal
Cliff Rosenberger (Speaker of the House) resigns after FBI investigates his lavish lifestyle.
Tom Noe - a Republican fundraiser for the Ohio Republican Party sentenced to prison for the CoinGate scandal
Larry Householder (Speaker of the House) implicated in a $60 million First Energy bribery scandal.
Matt Borges threw away $650k of Republican Party money to a Kasich donor. Was implicated in First Energy Scandal. Disenfranchised Ohio Republicans by working for the Lincoln Project to get Democrat Joe Biden elected President.
Governor John Kasich worked hard to disenfranchise Ohio Republican voters by working directly with Joe Biden and the DNC to ensure Republican Donald Donald Trump did not win re-election.