It’s embarrassing when a state officeholder has to be stopped from abusing taxpayer funds with a measure inserted into state law, by his leaders of his own political party, in a public smackdown.
The budget passed by the House this week aims to stop Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel from again exploiting a loophole that allowed him to dodge a state oversight panel to buy self-promotional TV ads using his agency’s funds.
In 2016, Mandel filmed commercials with Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer (and a delightful young lady), ostensibly to promote investment accounts for individuals with disabilities.
The ads cost almost $2 million. They came as Mandel, who is term limited, announced a second run for U.S. Senate in 2018. And the agency paid for the commercials in increments of less than $50,000. This had the effect of exempting the purchase from an existing requirement that the spending be approved by the state Controlling Board.