LetOhioVote.org Sues Brunner for Political Witchhunt
Good! Jennifer Brunner, perhaps at the request of former advisor Sandy Theis (who before leaving to work for Strickland, was simultaneously working for Jennifer & MTR, the gambling company which owns the race tracks), has worked hard to oppose your right as a voter to approve or disapprove of slot machines in Ohio racetracks.
Jennifer Brunner wants LetOhioVote.org to disclose donors, even though there is no legal precedent for a 501c4 to have to turn over donors. She is lying when she says otherwise:
The group attempting to block Ohio horse racing tracks from getting slot machines is suing to try to stop a probe by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.
Brunner last month subpoenaed the principals behind LetOhioVote, hoping to force the conservative group to reveal its mysterious funding source and ensure it is complying with state campaign finance rules.
LetOhioVote on Monday countered by asking the Ohio Supreme Court to intervene and stop Brunner, saying that it is in full-compliance with Ohio’s laws and that the secretary is outside her scope of duty.
“Secretary Brunner is patently and unambiguously without authority to issue subpoenas, to compel testimony, to command production of documents, or to seek to enforce the subpoenas in furtherance of an investigation into whether LetOhioVote.org violated any campaign finance laws,” the group’s attorney, David Langdon, wrote in a brief to the court.
Brunner, a Democrat, said she expected LetOhioVote to run to the Supreme Court for help again.
“Going to court probably worsens its case in the court of public opinion,” Brunner said in a statement. “We believe the law requires disclosure, and that’s why we’ve undertaken an investigation that is required and authorized by law.”
LetOhioVote has already successfully taken a case related to the slots issue to the Supreme Court.
The group was created after Gov. Ted Strickland last year proposed allowing 17,500 slot machines at Ohio’s seven racetracks to raise money for the cash-strapped state budget.
LetOhioVote sued the Democratic governor, and the state Supreme Court sided with the group, saying Strickland’s plan was subject to a voter referendum.
The group then launched an effort to put the issue on the November ballot, which all but killed the governor’s plan.
But LetOhioVote has repeatedly dodged questions about where its funding is coming from. And when the group did finally have to file a campaign finance report, it listed all $1.55 million of its money as coming from one source — a Virginia-based outfit called New Models.
New Models was formed to engage in political activities but is required only to file reports with the Internal Revenue Service.
Tim Crawford is president of New Models. He raised money for former Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell’s 2006 campaign. Strickland beat Blackwell that year. Gene Pierce and Carlo LoParo, who are also active with LetOhioVote, also worked on Blackwell’s campaign that year.
The problem with this expected level of transparency would be to set various donors up for political retribution. Instead of being happy that voters can cast their ballot and decide if Gov. Strickland can put ballots into racetracks, Jennifer is working on behalf of gambling interests which funnel money to Democrats and is using the power of her office to expose what she likely expects to be are competing business or gaming interests.
In the end, she will lose in court and waste mountains of tax dollars in legal bills in the process. The goal here is to score cheap political points against former consultants to Brunner’s favorite punching bag, Ken Blackwell, while stop YOU from having a vote on state sponsored slot machines. I thought Democrats loved democracy?