2012 Campaign donation controversy - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

2012 Campaign donation controversy

(WOIO) -

Is there some funny business going on in Ohio politics and campaign donations?  

The Feds are zeroing in on the fundraising of Congressman Jim Renacci and Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

It appears the Feds probe is over $200,000 of campaign donations from more than a dozen employees from The Suarez Corporation located in North Canton to U.S. Representative Jim Renacci and U.S. Senate candidate and current State Treasurer Josh Mandel.

The Suarez Corporation is a direct marketing company and it's been reported more than a dozen employees gave the max donation of five grand. The question is: Did these employees give their own donations or were others funneling the cash to the campaigns?

Sherrod Brown is running against Mandel in November and Brown's Campaign Director tells reporter Scott Taylor that Josh Mandel has repeatedly demonstrated he's nothing more than a politician who can't be trusted, but the fact that his campaign is now part of a federal investigation -- over $100,000 in questionable contributions that Mandel solicited while ignoring his job -- is a new low, even for him.

Josh Mandel's campaign says, "We are aware of the investigation and  are fully cooperating. Neither the campaign nor anyone associated with it is a subject of the investigation. Our campaign is setting aside $100,000 in a separate account pending the outcome of the investigation. The money may be returned or donated to charity."

Jim Renacci's campaign says Jim nor anyone involved in his campaign is the target of this investigation.   However should we  discover at any point that donations made to our campaign were not made in full compliance with the law -- they will be returned.

Betty Sutton, Renacci's opponent in November, says "given the seriousness of the investigation into a pattern of highly irregular contributions to Congressman Renacci, he should return the questionable contributions immediately."

Suarez officials have not commented.


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