Posts Tagged ‘Ohio Treasurer’

Corrupt Fundraising Practices, Treasurer Boyce Can’t Outraise Josh Mandel

June 11th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Josh Mandel reports nearly a 2.5:1 cash-on-hand advantage, even though Boyce has used the power of his office to push banks and financial services companies into donating heavily to his campaign.:

Building on his growing momentum and powered by his grassroots donor base, Marine Veteran and State Representative Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst) announced today that his campaign for State Treasurer reported more than $2.5 million cash on hand ? raising $393,000 since the last reporting period. Mandel, the challenger, maintains a nearly 2.5:1 cash advantage over incumbent Kevin Boyce.

?Today’s filing report is just another example of the overwhelming support we have received across Ohio,? said Mandel. ?Our message of integrity and fiscal responsibility is resonating with Republicans, Democrats and Independents who want real change in our state government. The fact that supporters so generously open their pocketbooks to help spread our message encourages me to work even harder,? Mandel continued.

Mandel earned his reputation as a grassroots campaigner in his first election for State Representative, knocking on 19,679 doors and wearing out three pairs of shoes. Continuing his energetic and grassroots style in the campaign for State Treasurer, Mandel has visited 80 of Ohio?s 88 counties and has traveled 87,418 miles across the state listening to the concerns of Ohioans.

Mandel has received more than 4,100 individual campaign contributions and this period received more than three times as many contributions as his incumbent opponent Boyce.

If Boyce wants to employ any more of his friends in his office, he better do it now as his time in office is going to be limited.

Josh Mandel Sends Feisty Letter Demanding Answers About State Street

June 9th, 2010 Matt View Comments

As the parties involved are being tight lipped with Ohio newspaper reporters, Treasurer candidate Josh Mandel is demanding answers from Boston-area State Street bank, a bank which California’s Attorney General called “crooks”, to ask questions about the manner in which  Treasurer Kevin Boyce awarded three contracts to them.

Here is the letter:

Letter to State Street Bank

Treasurer Boyce Uses Questionable Boston Bank after Hiring Boyce Donor, And He Only Announces Job Openings at Mosques?

June 8th, 2010 Matt View Comments

As an update to the important investigation started by Laura Bischoff of the Dayton Daily News, Joe Guillen of The Plain Dealer had a fascinating update on Sunday that I failed to note in a timely fashion. (emphasis added):

Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce recently picked a Boston bank that is accused of defrauding California’s two largest public pension funds to hold more than $32 billion in assets belonging to three Ohio public retirement systems.

While California’s treasurer has gone as far as to call the firm “crooks,” Boyce’s office said the Ohio pension funds’ assets will be safe. In addition, Boyce’s office has estimated the contracts with the bank, which were competitively bid, will save the Ohio pension funds $7.3 million.

About five months before Boyce selected State Street Corp. of Boston to hold the pension funds’ assets, California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. accused the firm of raiding two California public pension funds of more than $56 million. Brown’s lawsuit alleges State Street took the money when it exchanged various foreign currencies for U.S. dollars or other foreign money and falsified the exchange rates.

State Street has denied wrongdoing. Boyce, a Democratic appointee who is seeking election to his office this November, would not comment on the lawsuit, which has not been resolved. Boyce’s staff said he was aware of the lawsuit when he chose to hire State Street in March through the bidding process

State Street’s lobbyist in Ohio is a friend of Boyce’s top deputy, Amer Ahmad, and once had a business relationship with him.

State Street hired the lobbyist, Noure Alo, a Columbus immigration attorney, in February, eight days after the firm’s bids were due to the treasurer’s office. Boyce also hired the lobbyist’s wife, Walaa Waeda, to be an office assistant about a month earlier.

Ahmad said in a recent interview that his friendship with Alo played no role in State Street securing the trio of contracts worth a total of more than $2.5 million over two years.

Make sure to read the rest here. So Ohio is hiring a bank that the California Treasurer calls CROOKS!

Also, the most interesting new detail is that was that when Boyce hired Alo’s wife, the job was only announced at Ahmad’s mosque. I suppose if Ohioans who are out of work want to work for the state treasurer, the would be wise to covert to Islam?

And this isn’t the first time Boyce has made sure his close friends are employed. For example, he hired a number of perhaps unqualified staffers who were children of Pari Sabety and Liam Shanahan, advisors to Gov. Ted Strickland (whoes previous jobs were at a water park and a zoo), the 22 year old daughter of the former mayor of Toledo Jack Ford , and the sister of a former mayor of Cincinnati Charlie Luken.

And Key Bank certainly sympathizes with State Street, as they had to host a fundraiser for Boyce almost immediately after receiving a contract from his office.

Kevin Boyce embodies the type of corruption that Ohio cannot afford. Ohio needs a treasurer who will handle Ohio dollars wisely, in ways that bring a fair return and encourage economic growth- And not in a way that only enriches Boyce’s close friends.

CORRUPTION: Bank Hired Lobbyist with Boyce Ties Days before Landing State Contract

May 24th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Treasurer Kevin Boyce was only appointed to his office 5 months ago, but as Laura Bischoff reports, he has quickly embraced the worst kind of shady activity:

Boston-based State Street Bank won work worth $1.27 million from Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce’s office this year after hiring a lobbyist with personal connections to Boyce’s deputy treasurer.

State Street Bank was the low bidder on a subcontract to be the custodial bank for global assets at three of Ohio’s five public pension systems — a job that entails keeping track of more than $23.6 billion in assets.
No laws were broken and Boyce’s office makes a solid business case why State Street got the work. But just two days before proposals were due, the bank hired an immigration attorney with little experience in banking or lobbying to lobby for the contract.

In fact, Noure Alo’s only lobbying contract is with State Street, according to records filed with the Joint Legislative Ethics Commission.

Alo, who lives in Dublin outside Columbus, also appears to have ties to Amer Ahmad, Boyce’s deputy treasurer. They are Facebook “friends” and follow one another on Twitter. Their wives, too, are Facebook friends, and their children are pictured together on the social networking site. Alo and Ahmad’s wife attended Ohio State University law school together.

State documents also show that Alo acted as statutory agent for Five Rivers Partners LLC, a business in which Ahmad owns an interest. Alo contributed $500 to Boyce’s campaign last summer and attended a Boyce fund-raiser in January at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton.

And this isn’t the first time Boyce has made sure his close friends are employed. For example, he hired a number of perhaps unqualified staffers who were children of Pari Sabety and Liam Shanahan, advisors to Gov. Ted Strickland (whoes previous jobs were at a water park and a zoo), the 22 year old daughter of the former mayor of Toledo Jack Ford , and the sister of a former mayor of Cincinnati Charlie Luken.

And Key Bank certainly sympathizes with State Street, as they had to host a fundraiser for Boyce almost immediately after receiving a contract from his office. Playing politics is just part of the business, I suppose.

But have no fear, as it becomes increasingly clear that the next economic disaster in Ohio involves the overly-generous/under-funded public pension plans, Treasurer Boyce will always make investment decisions with the state’s best interest in mind… as long as he and his buddies sufficiently cash in.

Josh Mandel on CNBC’s Squawk Box

April 13th, 2010 Matt Comments off

Here is Treasurer Candidate Josh Mandel with the Street Sweetie, Erin Burnett to discuss divesting from Iran:

It’s a nice thought, but the reason why Ohio pensions and others ended up killing the bill in Ohio is that cutting off investment to any particular country is quite expensive, but is still a futile effort as money is fungible. And it creates awkward situations, such as when Mandel ended up being criticized for investing in General Electric, which is a fantastic American company.

In addition, economic sanctions anywhere in the world have a poor track record of success. A commonly used counter example is when 24 states passed laws to divest from South Africa during the apartheid era, and economic pressure is widly credited for ending apartheid in 1994. However, South America was semi-democratic (answerable to an electorate of about 5 million whites), while Iran is an irrational regime with little sympathy for any hardships economic sanctions would inflict on Iranian people.

A big reason why American sanctions don’t work is that even though America is still the economic engine of the world (no matter how much President Obama would like to change that), we roughly account for 13% of the world’s merchandise exports and 15% of imports. So even if every state prohibits companies from investing in, and doing business with Iran- Other companies in the world can quickly fill the gap, while American companies suffer.

Instead, I think that increased, not decreased, economic engagement is preferable and more likely to improve the lives of the Iranian people without American military action.

This issue has fascinated me ever since Rep. Mandel and now-Senator Shannon Jones’ bill was introduced, as it’s an issue that divides the conservative movement with more hawkish think tanks like AEI and the Heritage Foundation on one side and with libertarian CATO on the other. It’s entirely possible that I’m being too soft and ideological on this issue, and a more aggressive posture like Mandel advocates for is necessary. Especially with the weak foreign policy posture President Obama recently announced.

Regardless, as Treasurer, Mandel will oversee the state of Ohio’s money, and with that fiduciary responsibility he has made it crystal clear that all investment decisions will be held to the highest ethical and moral standards. Considering that current Treasurer Kevin Boyce’s only consideration in investments is who donates the most to his campaign, having someone in that job as principled as Mandel would be a refreshing change.

Josh Mandel Takes the Gloves Off & Sucker Punches Boyce

March 15th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From Joe Guillen in The Plain Dealer:

State Rep. Josh Mandel is questioning whether Treasurer Kevin Boyce is waiting to sign a group of state banking contracts as a way to raise more money to win election in November.The State Board of Deposit, which Boyce chairs, recently postponed a decision to choose banks the state will do business with because it needs more time to review the contract proposals, a spokeswoman for Boyce said.

But Mandel, a Lyndhurst Republican running to unseat Boyce, a Democrat, said the new April 29 deadline seems suspicious because it is one week after candidates must file campaign finance reports.

The implication is the extra time will allow Boyce to raise more campaign cash from banks looking to get state contracts.

“As with most of the decisions Treasurer Boyce has made, it just smells really bad,” Mandel said in an interview. “At the least, it’s incompetence.”

Both candidates must file their pre-primary campaign finance reports on April 22, detailing contributions through April 14. The last filing in January showed Mandel with $2.04 million on hand, compared to Boyce’s $646,524. Mandel’s filing showed contributions from individuals working in finance, but it lacked large donations from financial corporations. Records show Boyce’s contributions included a $10,000 donation from a JPMorgan Chase & Co. political action committee.

Treasurer Boyce who has given jobs away as favors to children of Gov. Strickland’s key advisors, likes to spend 6-figures on office swag with his name on it, has shown himself willing to sell lucrative state contracts for campaign contributions.

It is an easy job to check the qualifications of financial institutions, but Boyce has to delay and do everything he can to shake the fundraising money tree, as Chris Redfern has pretty much written this race off. This delay tactic is common practice, but it is either arrogant or sloppy to put the deadline right at the fundrasing report cutoff.

Josh Mandel at CPAC

February 20th, 2010 Matt View Comments

Here is video of State Rep. Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for Ohio Treasurer, at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Two standing ovations from a room full of movement conservatives. What a rock star!

(The “Steve” Mandel refers to is Steve Baldwin, who was the previous speaker.)

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