In August 2011 the Toledo Blade reported that Josh Mandel’s senate campaign had received over $100,000 in questionable donations from Ben Suarez and his wife, along with employees of Suarez’s company. A PAC associated with Mandel also received $30,000 from the Suarez’s
By late May, almost 10 months after finding out the money was tainted, and with the FBI now investigating Suarez, Mandel reluctantly returned the $100K.
Saurez was finally indicted this week on nine counts including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and witness tampering.
And suddenly – over two years after the Toledo Blade first reported the story about the Suarez donations – Republicans around the state are rushing to give away the tainted cash. John Husted, John Kasich and Dave Yost are all planning to give away thousands of dollars in Suarez donations to charity.
And, surprise! Mandel suddenly remembered his treasurer campaign had received additional money from Suarez back in 2009 and 2010 that he should probably return too.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, Mandel received two donations totaling $13,800 from Ben Suarez in 2009 and 2010. He also received a single donation of $11,300 from Nancy Suarez, Ben’s wife.
Today The Dispatch reports that “A Mandel spokesman said today that he will give a total of $13,800 to Michael’s House, a Fairborn, Ohio, charity that cares for abused children.” No mention of the other half of the money from Suarez’s wife.
So two years after finding out about the tainted donations, Josh Mandel is going to give back a little over half of the money that he just happened to forgot about receiving until after the contributor was actually indicted?