Updating with comment of Seth Unger, spokesman for Treasurer Josh Mandel
Updating with comment of Ohio Democratic Party
The day that an Associated Press story ran in a number of Ohio newspapers about Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel missing all of the Ohio Board of Deposit meetings since being sworn in as treasurer, Mr. Mandel missed another one.
Mr. Mandel, who is running for U.S. Senate, was in Washington Thursday for an 8 a.m. fund-raising breakfast sponsored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) just two hours before a board of deposit meeting was scheduled i Columbus.
The Ohio Democratic Party has been bird-dogging Mr. Mandel and posted someone at the Board of Deposit meeting to see if Mr. Mandel would show up. (They had a spy at the fund-raiser in Washington, too.)
“Josh Mandel is not doing his job because of his overly ambitious personal agenda and this is irrefutable evidence of Mandel being completely and totally unfocused on the job he promised voters he would fulfill. One would be hard-pressed to find another Treasurer anywhere in the country more willfully neglecting their responsibilities as a public servant than Josh Mandel," ODP spokesman Justin Barasky said Thursday.
Seth Unger, Mr. Mandel's spokesman, said,
“Coming into office there was a lot to clean up from prior administrations in order to get the financial house in order. Due to this, Treasurer Mandel launched a top-bottom review that was able to replace manual check driving with electronic banking, reduce and eliminate waste, modernize banking practices, and safeguard state and local government investments even in a volatile economy. In short order, Treasurer Mandel was able to return a $400,000 surplus and reduce the budget by $1.2 million in General Revenue Fund operating expenses by hiring qualified financial professionals. Josh is the hardest working State Treasurer in America and has a record of accomplishments and high credit ratings to back it up. Through his time in the Marine Corps, Josh developed a strong appreciation for the importance of developing leaders by empowering them in leadership roles. He's always up to speed on the Board of Deposit, and has full confidence in his Chief Financial Officer to represent him on the board.”
Mr. Mandel’s fund-raiser was held at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, 101 Constitution Ave. Tickets to support his race against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) ranged from $500 for an individual to $2,000 for a “host.” Federal law allows an individual to contribute up to $2,500 per election, while political action committees can give up to $5,000.
The board of deposit decides where to invest the state's money. The official members of the board of deposit are the treasurer, attorney general, and state auditor, with the treasurer serving as chairman. The board’s last meeting was held Nov. 29 and all three sent representatives, as well as supporting staff. All three state officials sent representatives to each meeting from January through November. The board hasn’t posted minutes of its December meeting on the Web site yet.
Mr. Mandel’s predecessor, appointed Democrat Kevin Boyce attended at least four meetings of the board in 2010. Then-state Auditor Mary Taylor, a Republican, and Attorney General Richard Cordray, a Democrat, sent representatives to every meeting. The minutes of the April, 2010, meeting are missing from the board's Web site.
Here’s the AP story in Thursday’s Blade.