If these allegations turn out to be true, the answer is “absofrickinlutely”.
Today, the Summit County and Franklin County Republican Parties jointly filed a complaint against Attorney General Richard Cordray with the Ohio Elections Commission.
“Richard Cordray is ignoring campaign finance law and getting away with it,” Summit County Chairman Alex Arshinkoff said. “The public will see that Cordray’s campaign was wiring money to Democratic leaders at the last minute in a frantic attempt to hold on to $765,000 of illegal money.”
The complaint stems from Cordray’s attempt to avoid an Ohio law that prohibits state candidates from carrying over more than $200,000 from a previous election cycle. If a candidate has more than $200,000 from the previous election cycle at the filing deadline, the law requires him to donate the excess money to charity, give the money to the Elections Commission, or refund the contributions.
Right at the filing deadline last February, Cordray’s campaign had about $765,000 more than Ohio law allows. Instead of obeying Ohio law, Cordray “donated” $765,000 to the Summit and Franklin County Democratic Parties as well as the Ohio Democratic Party in the hours before the deadline. Since that time, about $493,000 of Cordray’s “donation” has been returned to him
by the Democratic Party, giving him full use of the money.
If you’ll remember, 3BP was the first to note the strange discrepancies on Cordray’s report all the way back in April. And it seems these charges have the potential to be devastating to the Attorney General.
According to Ohio law, the penalty for a violation of the excess funds law requires Cordray to forfeit all of the money over the limit to the state of Ohio. Additionally, Cordray could be prohibited from appearing on the ballot if he failed to dispose of more than $5,000 in excess funds. The complaint alleges Cordray failed to dispose of more than $760,000 in excess funds.
This could be huge, folks.