FACT CHECK: Mandel Is Lying When He Claims No Ties To Secretly Funded Third Party Groups Running Ads On His Behalf

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FACT CHECK: Mandel Is Lying When He Claims No Ties To Secretly Funded Third Party Groups Running Ads On His Behalf

JOSH CLAIMS:  His campaign has nothing to do the dark-money outside groups spending in this race.

THE TRUTH:  A Josh Mandel crony-turned-lobbyist left the Treasurer’s office to work for Cap Square Solutions which is tied to the Government Integrity Fund, a secretly-funded outside group that has spent more than a million dollars to attack Sherrod. 

1. Government Integrity Fund, a previously unknown group, has spent over $1 million against Sherrod. [Pro Publica, 9/7/12]

2. Government Integrity Fund is run by a lobbyist who employs former Mandel aide and crony Joel Riter. [Pro Publica, 9/7/12]

3. Josh Mandel’s Former Campaign Manager And District Director Has Admitted To Helping The Government Integrity Fund. [Pro Publica, 10/4/12]

In May, A Previously Unknown Group Called Government Integrity Fund, Started Pouring Money Into The Ohio U.S. Senate Race.  In September 2012, Pro Publica wrote “In May, a previously unknown group started pouring money into Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, considered one of the most important in the country and currently the nation’s most expensive.  The group, the Government Integrity Fund, has spent over $1 million so far on TV ads bashing Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown and praising his Republican opponent, Josh Mandel.”  [Pro Publica, 9/7/12]

  • Government Integrity Fund Is Run By A Lobbyist Who Employs Former Mandel Staffer, Joel Riter.  In September 2012, Pro Publica wrote “previously unreported documents filed with an Ohio television station pull back the curtain a bit: the Government Integrity Fund is run by a state lobbyist who in turn employs a former top Mandel staffer. The lobbyist, Tom Norris, is listed as the Government Integrity Fund’s chairman and treasurer. Norris owns an Ohio lobbying firm, Cap Square Solutions, and last year hired a top Mandel aide, Joel Riter, to work at the firm.” [Pro Publica, 9/7/12]

Mandel’s Former Campaign Manager And District Director Admitted To Helping The Group Find Board Members.  In October 2012, Pro Publica reported “A dark money nonprofit group that has run more than $1 million in ads in the Ohio race for U.S. Senate told the IRS last year it did not plan to spend any money to influence elections when it applied for recognition of its tax-exempt status. ProPublica first reported on the group, the Government Integrity Fund, after information from television station political ad files became available online (see our Free the Files project), showing extensive spending by the Fund.”Pro Publica continued, “The Fund’s application for tax-exempt status also sheds a bit more light on who is running the group. It names four men as board members, including Norris. Another of the board members, Jeffrey L. Dean, referred questions to Jonathan Petrea, who was campaign manager and district director for Mandel when he ran for the state legislature.  Petrea told ProPublica he had no official role in the Fund, but helped Norris find potential board members.”  [Pro Publica, 10/4/12]