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Yost/Morgan Campaign Update

February 24, 2010 at 9:15 am Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

This morning, the Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor campaign sent out a press release noting they were endorsed by Family First PAC:

Auditor of State candidate Seth Morgan, CPA was endorsed by Family First PAC for Auditor of State.

“Family First is honored to endorse Representative Seth Morgan CPA for Auditor of State. Seth Morgan has a proven record on the issues of limited government, school choice, pro-life, the sanctity of marriage, and responsible spending and taxation,” said Lori Viars, Executive Director of Family First.

“Seth has proven himself as a solid fiscal conservative and social conservative, as well as a man of integrity. With his credentials and experience as a CPA, Ohioans could not ask for a more qualified watchdog for our tax dollars,” Viars said.

Family First is a conservative political action committee serving Ohio and Northern Kentucky. More info can be found at www.familyfirstpac.org.

In other news, I’m quite concerned that Dave Yost’s campaign spokesman is Matt Borges. He recently worked on the John McCain campaign for President and has worked with Congressman John Boehner, but he is most famous for his role in the scandals that took place in the office of former Ohio Treasurer Joe Deters (Deters is now the Hamilton Count Prosecutor).

I don’t point this out, Seth Morgan and David Pepper would be more than happy to.

This is from The Cincinnati Enquirer (July 28, 2004):

COLUMBUS – Two top associates of state Treasurer Joseph Deters pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges involving campaign fund raising.

The guilty pleas of former Deters chief-of-staff Matthew Borges and former fund-raiser Eric Sagun conclude a year-long investigation by a grand jury in Cuyahoga County that threatened Deters’ ambitions to run for attorney general in 2006.

Deters, a former Hamilton County prosecutor and county Republican Party chairman, testified before the grand jury in June and will not face criminal charges, said Thomas Sammon, special Cuyahoga County prosecutor assigned to investigate the case.

Borges, 32, of Columbus pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office, a misdemeanor, and was fined $1,000 by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher. Court documents said he gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign.

Sagun, 35, of Columbus pleaded guilty to one count of election law violations and was fined $5,000.

Court documents said he solicited a $50,000 donation from Cleveland broker Frank Gruttadauria in December 2001 for the Hamilton County Republican Party when the two intended the money to benefit Deters’ re-election campaign.

At the time, Sagun was raising money for Deters and the Hamilton County Republican Party.

Gruttadauria is in prison for bilking his clients out of $125 million.

He has admitted masking the donation to Deters by running it through the county party’s operating fund – a secret account that can accept unlimited, undisclosed donations.

He also admitted to repaying clients and employees $7,000 for donations they made to Deters’ campaign.[...]

Sammon, who worked out the plea agreements, said if Borges is so convinced of his innocence, he should vacate his plea and go to trial.

“He pled guilty and is admitting to the charges,” he said. “How is he now saying he only did this for convenience sake?”

SG Cowen Corp. and Lehman Brothers Inc. hired Gruttadauria, and from 1999 to 2001 they did a combined $5.9 billion in investment trades with Deters’ office.

“If one reads what (Borges) admitted doing, he used the power of his office to gain favorable treatment for vendors that did business with the office,” Sammon said.

“To me, that’s a very serious offense.”

An attorney for Sagun did not return messages seeking comment.

Deters issued a one-sentence statement.

“I feel badly for Matt and Eric, but I understand why they wanted to bring this matter to an end,” Deters said.

I am all for redemption and second chances in life. Every one in life, at some point, sins and falls short of expectations.

But I don’t think you should get this type of second chance in public life if you are out there accepting $50,000 of kickbacks on behalf of state wide officials. And this was only what they could prove in court- PACs were set up to funnel in hundreds of thousands of dollars for firms that wanted to handle the tobacco money (the same money which Strickland is squandering), Firth Third Securities was fined $1 million for pay-to-play which also included $250,000 of donations in employee contributions to Deters, and 5 Columbus brokers exchanged $125,000 in campaign contributions for millions in state contracts. What happened in Joe Deters’ office, over and over again, was criminal, and certainly added to the toxic climate for Republicans that would eventually sweep them out of all but one state-wide office and out of the Ohio House majority in 2006.

The rumor is that this job was arranged by Jo Ann Davidson and the Franklin County GOP Chairman as a way to attempt to control Yost’s office if he is successful in November against the spoiled brat rich boy David Pepper. Other party insiders think that is a huge stretch to assume.

What would Borges end up being in the Auditor’s office? Yost’s official bribe taker? Dave Yost has such a fantastic record of fighting crime as a prosecutor and ensuring his office is run with the highest ethical scandals… so he really couldn’t have found someone more counter to his principles than Matt Borges.

Related posts:

  1. Morgan Believes Yost’s Proposal Would Create a Conflict of Interest
  2. Seth Morgan Endorsed by Miami County GOP Convention & Summit County GOP
  3. Seth Morgan “Welcomes” Dave Yost to the Auditor’s Race
  4. Seth Morgan Endorsed by Lake County GOP
  5. Seth Morgan endorsed by the Scioto County Republican Party and the Mansfield North Central Tea Party

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