Jim Renacci: Isn’t it time to come clean?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2021

Ohio now ranks Number one in corruption. This ranking has occurred under Mike DeWine’s watch. What did DeWine know, and when did he know it?

According to a newly-released book by a deceased lobbyist, Mike DeWine knows plenty about the largest bribery scandal in American history.

In fact, the book alleges that a lobbyist that has already pled guilty said that Mike DeWine agreed to support legislation for the company in exchange for a $5 million contribution to benefit his campaign.

Email newsletter signup

Quid Pro Quo is Latin for “something for something.” It is also another way of describing bribery.

In this example, it is alleged that Mike DeWine pledged to support a piece of legislation that would have provided a subsidy of $1.3 billion dollars to a large company. In exchange, that company, one of DeWine’s closest allies, would provide $5 million in corporate contributions in support of DeWine’s campaign for Governor.

The book alleges that part of this corrupt deal went down on Oct. 10, 2018, at the Columbus Club. DeWine’s spokeswoman has publicly acknowledged that he did meet with company officials on that day as part of a fundraiser for the Republican Governor’s Association.

It also appears that much of this money was received on DeWine’s behalf.

According to tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service, a secret, dark money nonprofit organization called Securing Ohio’s Future raised $4.2 million in 2018. $2.1 million of that money was transferred to Mike DeWine’s Super PAC, Securing Ohio’s Future Action Fund. This secret, dark money organization was formed in 2016 by Nicholas Wise, a former DeWine aide turned lobbyist.

Most of the rest of the money was spent to indirectly help elect Mike DeWine by the dark money organization. Tax records indicate that in 2018 another $300,000 was received from Partners for Progress Inc. and donated to Securing Ohio’s Future. Ohio newspapers have reported that the company in question donated $20 million to them. Partners for Progress Inc. was formed by lobbyist turned DeWine legislative director Dan McCarthy.

Ohioans are fed up with these pay to play scandals. And it is long past time that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine came clean about his involvement with them. Step one is for him to return these apparently tainted donations.

Jim Renacci is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor in 2022. He is a former U.S. representative.