FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Hired Unqualified Political Cronies And Friends In The Treasurer’s Office & Even Promises To Take Them To Washington.

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FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Hired Unqualified Political Cronies And Friends In The Treasurer’s Office & Even Promises To Take Them To Washington.

JOSH CLAIMS: He hired qualified financial professionals.

THE TRUTH: Josh Mandel promised Ohioans that he would hire “qualified financial professionals” in the Treasurer’s office. Instead, he hired unqualified political cronies and friends even promised to take them to Washington.

1. Josh Mandel campaigned furiously against cronyism during his 2010 campaign for treasurer, promising to behave differently by hiring “qualified financial professionals.” [Dayton Daily News, 10/7/2010]

2. Josh Mandel then broke his promise to Ohioans by hiring unqualified campaign workers and friends in the Treasurer’s office, awarding them with high-powered jobs and taxpayer-funded raises. [Dayton Daily News, 4/1/12]

3. Josh Mandel hired 26-year old Joe Aquilino as Ohio’s Director of Debt Management even though he had no experience in finance. [Dayton Daily News, 4/1/12]

4. Joe Aquilino was so unqualified that he was sent to a “beginner’s seminar” on finance. [Huffington Post, 04/05/12]

5. Unbelievably, Josh Mandel has promised to take his unqualified political cronies with him to Washington if he becomes a Senator. [City Club Debate, 10/15/12]

Josh Mandel:  “I Will Ensure That My Staff Is Comprised Of Qualified Professionals – Rather Than Political Cronies And Friends.”  In October 2010, the Dayton Daily News published an answer to a voter guide from Mandel. The question was: “What additional safeguards will you put in place to protect public investments? What are your investment strategies that would safely maximize the rate of return?” Mandel answered: “Unlike the current officeholder, I will ensure that my staff is comprised of qualified financial professionals – rather than political cronies and friends – and that investment decisions are based on what is best for Ohioans. The state investment scandals showed us all that we must be vigilant about potential abuses of taxpayer dollars.” [Dayton Daily News, 10/7/2010]

Mandel Hired Six Campaign Staffers To Positions Ranging From Debt Management And Policy Advising To Community Outreach.  In April 2012, The Dayton Daily News reported “To see if Mandel was fulfilling his pledge not to hire political friends the Daily News reviewed personnel files and other records from the treasurer’s office. The review showed that Mandel put qualified, experienced staff members in some top positions, but also hired six campaign workers whose average age is 26 and assigned them duties ranging from debt management to policy-advising to community outreach.”  [Dayton Daily News, 4/1/12]

Cleveland Plain Dealer:  Josh Mandel’s Hires Fit His Own Definition Of “Partisan Patronage.”  In an April 2012 editorial, The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that a recent Dayton Daily News article “reported that Mandel did indeed put ‘qualified, experienced staff members in some top positions.’ But Ohio’s supposedly reformist Republican state treasurer also ‘hired six campaign workers whose average age is 26 and assigned them duties ranging from debt management to policy-advising to community outreach.’ If Democrat Boyce ever in fact made such hires, that would be Mandel’s very definition of partisan patronage. Yet now, with Mandel himself hiring pals and supporters, Ohioans are somehow expected — by Mandel and his allies — to believe that’s just good government.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, Editorial, 04/14/12]

Joe Aquilino, Mandel’s Political Director During The 2010 Campaign, Was Hired As Director Of Debt Management And Paid $90,000 Per Year.  In March 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “One of Mandel’s first hires was the then-26-year-old Joe Aquilino, who emerged from his role as political director during the 2010 treasurer’s race to become director of debt management at a salary of $90,000 a year.”  [Dayton Daily News, 03/31/12]

  • National Municipal Bond Expert: “It Sounds Like Pure Patronage To Me, And If It Were In My State I’d Be Ashamed Of It.” In April 2012, The Huffington Post wrote “The premier speaker for the National Association of Bond Lawyers seminar this year is Ben Watkins, bond finance director for the state of Florida — a position he has held since July 1995. Despite a difference in title, Watkins holds the same job that Aqulino did for the Ohio Treasury — except that Watkins is leading the seminar, while Aquilino was attending it. When asked about Aquilino’s experience and his position working for Mandel in the Treasury and now for Mandel’s Senate campaign, White said, ‘It sounds like pure patronage to me, and if it were in my state I’d be ashamed of it.’”  [Huffington Post, 04/05/12]

Many Of The Campaign Staffers Hired To Work In The Treasurer’s Office Were Given “Sizable” Raises.  In March 2012, The Dayton Daily News wrote “Many of those with campaign ties were given sizable raises to work in the treasurer’s office.”  [Dayton Daily News, 03/31/12]

The Analysis Adds To The Perception That Mandel Filled Jobs In His Office With Political Cronies.  In April 2012, The Toledo Blade reported “The analysis, done by the U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown re-election campaign and confirmed by The Blade, adds to the Democrats’ portrayal of Mr. Mandel — the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate — as having filled jobs in his office with well-paid political ‘cronies.’”  [Toledo Blade, 04/16/12]

Mandel Said He Would Take His Cronies To Washington.  At the City Club debate in Cleveland when asked about his hiring of unqualified cronies and campaign workers, Mandel said “I will take the team of qualified professionals we have in our office, I will stack them up against anyone in your office and I will take them to go change Washington as well.” [City Club Debate, 10/15/12]