Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) – Not Transparent with Citizens
Written by Brian Massie – Concord Township
Let me share with you my encounter with Mr. Frank LaRose’s office.
We were trying to get clarification on the complaint that LaRose had filed with the Ohio Election Commission against Jamie Callender, State Representative for District 61.
Here is the background again for those not informed about what happened:
The U.S. Attorney – Southern District of Ohio office filed a criminal complaint against Larry Householder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and several of his inner circle political cronies. In addition, the criminal complaint stated that “Representative 3” (we determined from our research that it was Jamie Callender) “also received $18,700 in direct contributions to his campaign account from Company A” (First Energy).
Frank LaRose took that statement (shown on page 35 of the criminal complaint as a footnote) and filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission with this statement in the complaint: “Acceptance of direct corporate distributions” (R.C. 3599.03 (B) (1).
In our opinion, LaRose must know who “Representative 3” is because in his filing to the Ohio Elections Commission he named the entity “Campaign Committee of “Representative 3”. How could he investigate a campaign committee without knowing the name of the individual?
Here is a link to the Ohio Revised Code section in question: https://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3599
(B) (1) No officer, stockholder, attorney, or agent of a corporation or nonprofit corporation, no member, including an officer, attorney, or agent, of a labor organization, and no candidate, political party official, or other individual shall knowingly aid, advise, solicit, or receive money or other property in violation of division (A)(1) of this section.
If one, objectively, looks at the footnote in the criminal complaint and the wording of LaRose’s filing with the Elections Commission, you can see there is a difference.
- The U.S. attorney said that it was direct contributions to his campaign account, but LaRose just says that it was direct corporate distributions, without mentioning if the contributions went into his campaign account, or to Callender’s personal account. BIG DIFFERENCE!
- if the contributions went into his campaign account, which is permitted, then it must have been the amount that was received exceeding campaign finance law maximum in a given year.
What does the Ohio Revised Code say about campaign contribution limits?
(c) Ten thousand dollars to the campaign committee of any one house candidate in a primary election period or in a general election period; (d) Ten thousand dollars to any one political action committee in a calendar year; (e) Ten thousand dollars to any one political contributing entity in a calendar year.
3517.102 Dollar limits on campaign contributions. – Ohio
Campaign Contribution Limits: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3517.102
We heard from sources that LaRose’s complaint filed with the Election Commission was or will be dismissed. That is huge, if it is true. So we contacted the Secretary of State’s Press Secretary by email trying to get a clarification one way or the other.
Here is the email chain:
LFC Original email to S.O.S:
It has been brought to our attention that the complaint to the Ohio Elections Commission regarding Representative 3 accepting $18,700 in campaign contributions directly from “Company A” (First Energy) will be dropped.
Where do we go for answers?
(1) on the criminal complaint the wording is:
“Representative 3 also received $18,700 in direct contributions to his campaign account from Company A.”
(2) on the filing by the Secretary of State to the Elections Commission the wording is:
“Acceptance of direct corporate contributions (R.C. 3599.03 (B) (1)
Is the Secretary of State stating that Representative 3 took direct payments from Company A to his personal account, or to his campaign account?
Is the problem with the amount of the contribution exceeding allowable limits?
The citizens of District 61 need to know the truth. Will Mr. LaRose be transparent with the citizens of District 61?
The referral is based on the criminal complaint filed by the US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and has been made to the Ohio Elections Commission. I’d refer you to those two organizations for additional information.
This is not what we were expecting of a S.O.S. that claims to be transparent.
Mr. LaRose now controls the fate of, not only Jamie Callender, but the entire Lake County Republican Party. If Mr. Callender is not guilty of what LaRose alleged to the Elections Commission then he needs to immediately rescind that portion of his complaint. It is not honorable to hold exculpatory evidence that would free Mr. Callender.
If, however, the charges are not going to be dismissed then LaRose needs to tell the citizens before the August 10th deadline permitting candidates on the November ballot.
In our opinion, the possibility of a Republican candidate on the ballot with a unsettled Election Commission complaint will assuredly spell defeat for that candidate and possibly the entire Republican ticket, including President Trump.