Ohio Republicans Admit Under Oath They Didn’t Do Their Jobs before Turning Around and Voting for Unconstitutional Maps

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Ohio Republicans Admit Under Oath They Didn’t Do Their Jobs before Turning Around and Voting for Unconstitutional Maps

Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, GOP politicians in Ohio continue to ignore their day jobs and play politics with the future of Ohio. On Monday, Cleveland.com published new court documents showing Mike DeWine, Frank LaRose and Keith Faber all admitted in a sworn deposition they had no role in drawing new statehouse maps, something they’re all constitutionally charged with doing. And even though they only saw the maps at the 11th hour — ‘as a courtesy’ — and even admitted the maps were probably unconstitutional, they all still voted for them anyway because they’re more concerned with their own political futures than the future of our state.  

Ohio voters called for fair districts in order to move our state forward on issues ranging from education to the economy to health care. However, these Republican politicians couldn’t even be bothered to do their jobs and get involved in the process that will determine the future of our state for years to come, because politics will always win the day for these guys. 

“The trove of documents paint the picture that while the process established by a 2015 constitutional amendment to reform the state’s redistricting process was supposed to include all seven members of the bipartisan commission, only two participated,” writes Cleveland.com. 

“These guys had literally one job, and they couldn’t even be bothered to do it. Yet they all still voted for gerrymandered maps, because their political ambition will always come first, and they’re too scared of standing up to their own party to do what’s right for Ohioans,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes. 

You can read more from Cleveland.com here and below: 

  • Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Auditor Keith Faber, the three statewide Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission – each acknowledged in sworn statements released Friday that they “had no involvement” in drafting or creating of Ohio’s new legislative maps.
  • The trove of documents paint the picture that while the process established by a 2015 constitutional amendment to reform the state’s redistricting process was supposed to include all seven members of the bipartisan commission, only two participated.
  • Huffman and Cupp, both Lima Republicans, repeatedly evaded and objected to questions from the plaintiffs’ lawyers about how they worked behind the scenes to create and pass the new Ohio House and Senate maps. Multiple commission members said the new maps were created by Republican legislative staffers.
  • DeWine, Faber and LaRose, responding to a question from the Ohio Organizing Collaborative’s attorneys, used identical language in some cases, such as when they asserted they were “not involved in the process of drawing the Commission’s proposed or adopted maps.”
  • DeWine’s reply stated that the governor was only shown the proposed redistricting plan “as a courtesy” after it was completed but before it was made public.
  • Vernon Sykes, according to the filings, “was entirely excluded from the map-drawing process.” He accused Republican members of the Commission of failing to act in good faith with him and Emilia Sykes in the map-drawing process.
  • The Ohio Constitution says that legislative districts must politically “correspond closely” to statewide election results over the last 10 years. But while Ohio Republican statewide candidates have won about 54% of the vote during the past decade, the new legislative maps would likely give Republicans two-thirds of legislative seats.
  • The documents also reveal that Huffman and Cupp hired two political science professors – Michael Barber of Brigham Young University and M.V. Hood III of the University of Georgia – at $400 per hour to write reports defending the new legislative district lines.

ROUNDUP: The #OHSEN GOP Primary Just Got More Crazy, Nasty, And Expensive  

Columbus, OH — This weekend, the Ohio GOP Senate primary got more crazy, nasty, and expensive with new attack ads and pathetic lows from the out-of-touch millionaires. And we learned Ohio is the third-most-expensive Senate primary in the country.

On Saturday, Mandel allies, USA Freedom Fund and Club for Growth Action, launched two ads worth nearly a $1 million ad buy hitting Vance for his past anti-Trump statements that illustrate just how much of a fraud he is. This follows USA Freedom Fund creating websites attacking J.D. Vance and Jane Timken. 

Ohio’s GOP Senate primary is expensive because of the large amount of self-funding millionaires in the race. Three multi-millionaires – Bernie Moreno, Jane Timken, and Mike Gibbons – have collectively put nearly $13 million into their own campaigns. With $22.5 million raised, these candidates have plenty in their war chests to launch attacks against their fellow millionaires. And it’s clear this crowded primary is getting more crazy, nasty, and expensive by the day. 

“With more than six months until the GOP Senate primary, the out-of-touch millionaires are doing everything they can to make this primary crazier, nastier, and more expensive. They’re turning off Ohio voters with each day they continue to make their campaigns about their petty feuds rather than the issues Ohioans care about,” said Michael Beyer, a spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party. 

CRAZY: 

Washington Post: Opinion: A crazy GOP primary shows how worship of Trump warps reality

Greg Sargent 

October 25, 2021 

  • J.D. Vance is running for the GOP nomination for Senate in Ohio, but he has a problem: He has criticized Donald Trump, which for many GOP primary voters is immediately disqualifying. So he’s atoning for his heresies by positioning himself as the true keeper of the flame of Trumpism.
  • All this arises from a remarkable new Politico report on the battling between Vance and the leading contender for the nomination, former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel. This war is all about who is more slavishly loyal to Trump and his legacy.
  • Two super PACs supporting Mandel have launched nearly $1 million in ads hammering Vance’s past criticism of Trump. These include Vance’s admission that he didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, and Vance’s descriptions of Trump as “noxious,” “reprehensible” and “an idiot.”
  • Vance has groveled for forgiveness for his anti-Trump apostasy, but those quotes live on. So he’s now arguing that he’s much more faithful to the ideology of Trumpism than Mandel is.

NASTY: 

Politico: ‘My god what an idiot’: J.D. Vance gets whacked for past Trump comments

Natalie Allison 

October 23, 2021 

  • Two super PACs have launched a nearly $1 million coordinated ad buy attacking “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance in Ohio, aiming to tear him down for his previous opposition to Donald Trump.
  • Club for Growth Action and USA Freedom Fund, both of which back former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, are each spending $470,000 to make Republican primary voters aware of Vance’s harsh rhetoric toward the former president. Vance has publicly said he did not cast a vote for Trump in the 2016 election.
  • In a contentious Republican primary that hinges on loyalty to Trump, Mandel for months has been on the attack against Vance.
  • “I’m a Never Trump guy,” Vance said in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2016, a clip used in both the new ads. “I never liked him.”
  • Both ads also feature a screenshot of a Vance tweet from October 2016. “My god what an idiot,” he wrote, referring to Trump.
  • Vance expressed a similar sentiment in other interviews and since-deleted tweets from that time, including publicly mulling the idea of supporting Hillary Clinton, calling Trump “noxious” and “reprehensible.”
  • The ads will play back those comments to viewers watching NFL and NCAA games in the Cincinnati television market, with a smaller buy on Fox News and a corresponding radio spot.

EXPENSIVE: 

Cleveland.com: Thanks to self-funders seeking rare open seat, Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate primary is one of nation’s costliest

Andrew Tobias 

October 23, 2021 

  • Thanks to a rare mix of factors – an open seat, several independently wealthy candidates funding their campaigns and one billionaire super donor — Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate primary stands out as one of the costliest elections in America.
  • With more than six months before the May primary, Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates had spent $9.5 million, the third-most of any partisan Senate primary in the country for the 2022 election cycle, according to data compiled by Political Moneyline, a campaign finance data service. The Buckeye State ranks just below Georgia’s Republican and Democratic U.S. Senate races, which are inflated compared to any other state thanks to a consequential January special election that gave control of the Senate to Democrats.
  • In terms of fundraising, Ohio’s GOP Senate candidates have raised the third-most of any primary nationally, bringing in $22.5 million, ranking below Georgia and New York Democrats, where Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is the Senate majority leader, responsible for raising money for the entire Democratic caucus. Adding in Democratic candidates Rep. Tim Ryan and Morgan Harper, Ohio Senate candidates have raised $28.6 million, again ranking only below Georgia.
  • Ohio’s number doesn’t even include the $10 million a Super PAC backing one of the candidates, Republican Senate candidates, JD Vance, received from Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who funds libertarian and right-wing nationalist political causes. Counting their affiliated committees and PACs, the Republican candidates are sitting on more than $27 million heading into the final six months before the election.
  • When only counting outside individual donations, though, the Ohio Republican primary ranks much lower (14th nationally). That’s because candidates Mike Gibbons ($7.9 million), Bernie Moreno ($3 million) and Jane Timken ($2 million) cumulatively put nearly $13 million of their personal fortunes into their campaigns.
  • Two groups backing Mandel — Freedom Partners USA, a dark-money political group indirectly set up by Mandel campaign aides, and Club for Growth, a Washington, D.C. anti-tax organization — this week reserved $825,000 in campaign commercials airing in Cincinnati between Oct. 23 and Nov. 19, according to Medium Buying, a Columbus political advertising firm. The ads attack Vance for his past anti-Trump statements, according to Politico.
  • And starting Friday, Timken launched her first TV commercials since April, reserving $564,000 in ads on Fox News that will run through Dec. 16, according to Medium Buying.
  • That’s where the $10 million comes in that Thiel gave his [Vance’s] affiliated super PAC. The PAC, Protect Ohio Values, also got $150,000 from Rebekah and Robert Mercer. Like Thiel, the Mercers are billionaires known for funding right-wing, nationalist political causes. And Thiel is the largest Super PAC donor in the country for the 2022 election, according to Political Moneyline, having also given $10 million to Blake Masters, an executive at his venture capital firm running for Senate in Arizona on a similar platform as Vance.
  • USA Freedom Fund has shown signs of serving as a campaign attack dog for Mandel. The group has disclosed spending around $173,000 on ads. That includes political mailers support Mandel and attacking Moreno, Timken and Vance, and TV ads in April that boosted Mandel while attacking the other candidates. It doesn’t include the $445,000 worth it has scheduled to air soon.
  • The group also registered two websites attacking Timken and Vance, which the mailers promote. The anti-Timken site includes misleading references to outsourcing performed by Timken Co, a company formerly run by Timken’s husband. And the anti-Vance site lists some of the numerous past statements Vance made attacking former President Donald Trump.
  • Also like Gibbons, Timken is self-funding her campaign, although not to the same degree. Part of the politically connected Timken family in Canton, she’s loaned herself $2 million. But she’s also has raised $3.2 million in donations, including those from an affiliated campaign committee.
  • Moreno, a Cleveland luxury car dealer and entrepreneur, is the third self-funder in the race. He loaned himself $3 million, adding to the $2.8 million he’s raised from individual donors.

“Not My Job,” “Double Corruption,” “Renacci’s Jungle” and “‘Wrighting’ a Wrong:” What’s Making Headlines With Republican #OHGOV Candidates This Week

Good Monday afternoon, and welcome to the first edition of Mike Check, your weekly source of all the infighting, conspiracy spewing and corruption that’s making headlines in and around the Republican governor’s race and Mike DeWine’s statehouse, courtesy of the Ohio Democratic Party. 

As the gubernatorial race heats up, Republicans are in disarray with Mike DeWine’s popularity dropping by the day, facing attacks both inside and outside of the Republican Party, and having to answer for the largest public corruption scandal in state history. It’s hard to keep up with all of the corruption and mess surrounding Mike DeWine and the GOP gubernatorial primary, so here are some stories you may have missed:

WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY? That’s the big question this week when it comes to state redistricting maps. Mike DeWine, in a sworn deposition, ducked questions and denied any involvement in the map-making process. Admitting under oath they couldn’t be bothered to do the jobs they were all elected to do, DeWine joined Frank LaRose and Keith Faber to all say they “had no involvement” in the mapmaking process, yet decided to vote for the unconstitutional maps anyway, because once again, they’re only looking out for themselves. We can’t imagine many hard-working Ohioans get to duck their jobs and then shift the blame to someone else, neither should their elected officials.  

DEWINE’S CORRUPT FAMILY TREE Mike DeWine’s son and Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Pat DeWine, took a page out of dear old Dad’s political playbook this week by following his own ambitions instead of doing what’s right for Ohio. In case you missed multiple news reports, Pat DeWine continues to refuse to recuse himself from lawsuits surrounding blatantly gerrymandered redistricting maps that directly involve his father. It’s a move so outrageous, Cleveland.com (among others) said the refusal to act may even be “unprecedented.” 

SMELLS LIKE STATEHOUSE CORRUPTION. The overarching question for the week: Does Mike DeWine still think Sam Randazzo ‘did a great job?’ Last Thursday, text messages obtained by the Ohio Consumers’ Council show DeWine’s good buddy overruled others on the Public Utilities Commission to secure policies that benefited FirstEnergy. Yes, the same FirstEnergy that admitted to bribing Randazzo with $4.3 million for friendly administrative rulings. Oh, we almost forgot, the messages also show Randazzo successfully “burned” a final PUCO audit into a FirstEnergy customer charge the Ohio Supreme Court ruled should never have been approved by Randazzo and PUCO in the first place. Doesn’t sound so much like a ‘great job’ to us.  

RENACCI ON THE ATTACK. We had to watch this ad several times just to tell you it might be one of the “wildest” we’ve seen in a few campaign cycles. 

JUST ONE MORE THING TO MAKE ‘WRIGHT’. We couldn’t let the newsletter end without mentioning yet another major blunder for the DeWine administration, as the governor and his team had to find a way to ‘Wright’ a pretty big wrong on Ohio’s new license plates. In what should have been a fun event Thursday, DeWine took the wraps off of a new license plate design. Yet, anyone who has been to the Smithsonian or read a history book realized something wasn’t quite ‘Wright’ with the first design, with the iconic Wright Flyer facing the wrong direction. The DeWine administration had to embarrassingly and quickly try to fix their mistakes, walk back the design and reissue a new license plate. Here’s hoping they’ll do PUCO next.  


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