Mandel Scandals Erupt So Fast I Can’t Keep Up
I apologize. My schedule's been tight, and I haven't been keeping up with all the of Josh "the Empty Suit" Mandel scandals. He seems to be trying to see some kind of record for scandal, lying, and devious tactics. I think I am three or four Mandel scandals behind now — and that’s in a single week. I wish he would slow down just a little.
It’s clear why the Plain Dealer called his “one of the nastiest campaigns ever waged’ in Ohio.
For instance, there’s this one from about two weeks ago:
“Josh Mandel may have misclassified staff as freelancers to dodge taxes.”
According to Salon.com,
As Mandel ran for state treasurer in 2010, he classified at least nine of his senior staffers as independent contractors instead of full-time employees, according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed by Salon, which allowed him to forgo paying some taxes to the state and the IRS.
These people appeared to be exclusively working for Mandel, which made them full-time employees. And of course they tie in to previous Mandel scandal, the one where he hired cronies for jobs they weren’t qualified for:
Incidentally, many of these same people were later hired by Mandel after he won, despite having questionable qualifications.
Well, I personally would not have used the word “incidentally,” because I don’t think it’s so incidental.
Anyway, it appears that state treasurer Josh Mandel may have been shorting the state treasury. Nice move.
And I still haven’t gotten around to Mandel getting pushy with a tracker for Democratic organization. Trackers, for those who don’t know, follow opposition candidates around hoping to capture something they can use against them. Mandel got a little touchy when the tracker followed him into an elevator the Columbus office building where the treasurer's office is located (I'm surprised Mandel was actually going there). It's a public space. Columbus Dispatch reporter Joe Vardon and an unidentified woman were also in the elevator and witnessed Mandel shoving the camera.
But it wasn’t enough for Mandel just to lose his cool, oh no. He then had to go and LIE about. He said the tracker had attacked HIM. But there’s video and, although Mandel is claiming Vardon supported HIS version, that's not what Vardon wrote. It's almost like Mandel can't help himself. He gets up in the morning, and he starts lying.
And then of course, Joshie is neck-deep in the Murray Energy scandal, which I talked about in my last post, where it appears that owner Bob Murray coerced employees into making donations to his favored candidates. And Mandel is one of his favored candidates, a willing water boy for any special interest that wants to buy him.
If you recall, Mandel was also implicated in the dubious contributions made by employees of Canton’s Suarez Corp., contributions that attracted the attention of the FBI. These employees, with no track records of political contributions or involvement, suddenly made maxed out donations to two candidates — Mandel and 16th district congressman, Teabaggin’ Jim Renacci — favored by their employer. The donations were so large they consumed a large percentage of what these employees were most likely making (Because Suarez is a private company, there’s no way of knowing what their salaries were, but the Toledo Blade extrapolated from their job titles and the value of their homes, which are a matter of public record).
It is, of course, illegal to funnel contributions through other people, and certainly the size of these contributions relative to the employees’ likely salaries suggested that they were perhaps reimbursed in some way to allow their employer to exceed the legal cap of what he could give to his candidates.
Mandel ended up returning the contributions in May; Renacci dragged his feet until July.
But it’s a pattern. Mandel always seems to be on the receiving end of cash from these bully boys who like to own politicians. Mandel seems eager to be owned. If there’s a special interest doling out cash, Mandel always seems to be first in line with his hand out.
Meanwhile, the endorsements are pouring in — for Mandel's opponent, Sherrod Brown. And the newspapers are calling Mandel out on the campaign he's been running and his compulsive lying. Will he get the message? Stay tuned.