Yesterday we wrote about the BWC settlement and how David Brennan’s law firm, Brennan, Manna & Diamond, had been paid over $4.5 Million so far to handle the case. The unbid contract was awarded to Brennan by Mike DeWine, who went to controlling board multiple times to get approval for the 11 payments ranging from $65,000 to $700,000 over a three year period.
And if we’ve learned anything from the ever-growing pay to play scandal involving AG’s office, law firms don’t get huge unbid contracts from DeWine unless they are huge campaign donors. Brennan, Manna & Diamond are no exception. In Ohio, lawyers and firms seeking work from the state can’t donate more than $1,000 to a candidate. To circumvent these limits, lawyers instead donate money to ORP or to the Summit County Republican Part where long-time DeWine friend Alex Arshinkoff, the party’s chairman, funnels the cash right back to DeWine’s campaign.
Campaign finance reports show that 17 lawyers from Brennan’s firm have given a total of $149,500 to the Ohio Republican Party’s State Candidate and Execute Committee Funds, and to the Summit County Republican Party’s State Candidate Fund since 2010. The Summit County GOP, under Arshinkoff, has moved over $400,000 to DeWine’s campaign in that same time period. The Ohio Republican Party has been doing the exact same thing.
The average yearly donation from lawyers at Brennan’s firm is about $4,700, well over the $1,000 limit for campaigns, with large donors like Anthony S. Manna giving up to $12,000 in a single year.
Total donations from lawyers at Brennan’s firm since 2010:
- Ohio Republican State Central & Executive Committee State Candidate Fund : $50,000
- Ohio Republican State Central And Executive Committee State Account : $5,000
- Summit County Republican Central Committee State Candidate Fund : $94,500
David Brennan has a bumpy past with campaign donations and campaign finance limits. In 2006, in his other role as head of the Ohio’s largest charter school company White Hat, Brennan used a PAC called All Children Matter to illegally funnel donations to Republicans candidates, including Mary Taylor. The group moved nearly $900,000 into GOP campaign coffers. Brennan personally donated $200,000. The Ohio Election Commission fined the group $5.2 million dollars, and recently added another $100 to the bill for failing to pay the initial fine.