Will Brewing Corruption Scandals in Ohio Have an Impact on November’s Election?

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Will Brewing Corruption Scandals in Ohio Have an Impact on November’s Election?

Alternet – Ohio governor John Kasich has taken some hits since his election in 2010’s Tea Party wave; the most famous was the “Citizen’s Veto” of his anti-union legislation. 313,000 more people voted to overturn the law than had voted for Kasich himself a year earlier—and that was in an off year, with no big-ticket candidates on the ballot.

And now he’s reportedly become the target of an FBI investigation looking into allegations that he abused his power and offered “influence” to a state Republican Party official if he would step down and allow someone loyal to Kasich to take his place.

This, combined with another investigation into campaign donations to Republicans Josh Mandel (running against Senator Sherrod Brown) and Congressman Jim Renacci, shows a Republican party in turmoil—but will it be enough to make a difference in the upcoming election? Ohio is one of the focal points of a presidential campaign all but guaranteed to get messy, and Democrats will be looking for any advantage. A split within the GOP, combined with FBI agents nosing around campaign finance records and political backroom dealings, could be something with which a savvy candidate can make hay.

Political parties often function as a back-door way around campaign finance limits. Federal candidates are limited to $5,000 from one person—the limit that triggered the investigation into contributions from employees at Suarez Corporation Industries to Jim Renacci and Josh Mandel. A handful of workers who make only a modest salary at Suarez, along with their spouses, had mysteriously maxed out their contributions to Renacci and Mandel. (Mandel has returned the money.) The question is whether those employees really gave such large sums of money out of their own pockets, or whether perhaps their employers were funneling money through them.

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