Kasich Administration Top Staff Traveled To California To Raise Money For Republican Governors

COLUMBUS – Just days before RGA Chairman Chris Christie is set to campaign in Ohio for Governor Kasich, a New York Times report on leaked documents reveal that top Kasich administration staffers traveled to California to speak at a fundraising event for a secretive arm of the Republican Governors Association.

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FitzGerald Campaign Press Secretary Lauren Hitt released the following statement on the report:

“This report raises a lot of questions. Was taxpayer money spent for Kasich administration staffers to travel to the California fundraising event? Do their time cards indicate they were on state time? How many other out-of-state fundraising events did Kasich staffers participate in? Why are state employees, who can not legally donate to the Kasich campaign, helping to raise money for Republican Governors? The Hatch Act prevents federal executive branch employees from participating in partisan political activity, and members of Congress also have ethics laws that prohibit them from raising money for tax exempt groups, but somehow it is ok in Ohio? In fact, the only question that’s been answered since this report was released late yesterday is who Governor Kasich works for, and it’s not Ohio’s working families.”

More From the New York Times Report

Companies at the California Event Donated $100-250K “Among the R.G.A. documents is a 21-page schedule of the policy committee’s Carlsbad meeting last year that lists which companies attended, who represented them and what they contributed. The most elite group, known as the Statesmen, whose members donated $250,000, included Aetna; Coca-Cola; Exxon Mobil; Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying arm of the highly political Koch Industries; Microsoft; Pfizer; UnitedHealth Group; and Walmart. The $100,000 Cabinet level included Aflac, BlueCross BlueShield, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, Shell Oil, Verizon Communications and Walgreen.

Donors Gained Exclusive Access to Administration Staffers “Other documents detail, in part, what they got in return. One 2009 document states the benefits of a Governors Board membership, for a $50,000 annual contribution or a one-time donation of $100,000, saying it “offers the ability to bring their particular expertise to the political process while helping to support the Republican agenda.” Board members received two tickets to “an exclusive breakfast with the Republican Governors and members of their staff”; three tickets to the Governors Forums Series, where “a group of 5-8 governors discuss the best policy practices from around the country on a particular topic”; and a D.C. Discussion Breakfast Series, among other events.

Donors Allowed to Make Case to Staffers on Fracking, Healthcare & State Budgets “Last year, the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee allowed corporate donors to make their cases on how to carry out the Affordable Care Act; discuss hydraulic fracturing, an oil-and-gas exploration method regulated at the state level; and hash over state budgets just as coffers began to loosen.”

Good Government Groups Describe as Legalized Pay to Play Politics “This is a classic example of how corporations are trying to use secret money, hidden from the American people, to buy influence, and how the governors association is selling it,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan group that advocates more transparency and controls over political money…“It’s not that you don’t suspect this, but here you see these companies paying the governors for access,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. “Americans all think it’s pay-to-play politics. This is what confirms it.’”…

Why I Am Running: Making Ohio Work For Everyone

I am running for Governor because Ohio’s working families should be getting ahead, not just getting by.

For over three years our state government has been championing an outdated economic theory that simply does not work. An unprecedented amount of tax breaks have gone to the most fortunate, while nearly half of Ohioans are still living paycheck to paycheck.

That means that almost half of our state is just one bad day away from financial disaster.

As Cuyahoga County Executive, a former mayor, county prosecutor, FBI agent, and, most importantly, as the father of four — I have personally experienced the daily economic anxiety that’s gripping Ohio’s working families. I understand that parents across Ohio are working more jobs and longer hours than ever before, but they’re not seeing their hard work pay off.

All the while, Governor Kasich is making things more difficult by slashing funding for education and local communities, which forces teachers and policeman out of jobs and increases local taxes.

Ohio needs a governor who understands that to create a strong, stable economy we have to make Ohio’s working families the priority.

I have the record to put Ohio government back to work for the middle class. As governor, I will invest in institutions and programs that make success stories possible for all Ohioans. I will expand on my record in Cuyahoga County, where I cut government waste to save taxpayer money, created four times more jobs than the previous administration, and established the largest college savings program in the county.

In every position I’ve held, my top priority has been to create a community where hard work and responsibility pays off for everyone — not just the privileged few.

Now, I want to bring that philosophy to the statehouse. With your help, we can make sure Ohio works for all Ohioans again.


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