New version of Toledo Talk

    July 31, 2007

Ohio Democratic leader paid campaign cash to fiancee - LOL - Damn, theyre fallin like flies!!

(in my best Strother Martin immitation) What we have heah, is a Culch-ah of Corrup-tion...

posted by billy to politics at 12:22 P.M. EST     (9 Comments)

Comments ...

I don't see what the problem is here. He didn't pay that money to someone for something he didn't receive. If he rented his own place, it would have gone to a different landlord. And because he lived with his girlfriend lobbyist, he had to pay to stay so that there wasn't an appearance of impropriety. What was he supposed to do? This is a nonstory.
posted by Ace_Face at 12:43 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

The fact that he was hooking up with a lobbyist is of interest. I didn't know that.

Additionally, we just had a big hullabaloo at U.T. over similar expenditures.

Any party contributor would be interested, wouldn't they?

Why wouldn't the guy put the apartment/house whatever in his own name, instead of paying it to his betrothed if he really wanted everything to appear on the up and up?

Something tells me that there may be more to read?

posted by paulhem at 02:01 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

And because he lived with his girlfriend lobbyist, he had to pay to stay so that there wasn't an appearance of impropriety.

I disagree Ace. If there was no appearance of impropriety then this wouldn't be a story. The fact there is a story about it confirms that it's suspicious and that alone is the appearance of impropriety.

Now whether it's actually improper or appears improper is a whole other story. Most times things like this may look improper and even seem suspicious but either aren't improper or can't be proved so it's unlikely anything will come of this.

posted by MikeyA at 03:46 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

I'm sure this would be a huge story if Redfern was a Republican.
posted by toledojim at 08:32 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

I just don't understand what the problem is. Let's review: Redfern is planning on marrying a lobbyist. Not crazy about that, but I am sure Redfern isn't the only legislator or high ranking staffer romantically involved with a lobbyist. Redfern needs to stay somewhere in Columbus. Should he:

1) Live with fiancee, not pay rent and create the impression that he was getting a deal from a lobbyist.

2) Live with his fiancee and pay his fair share of rent (what Redfern did).

3) Get his own place and pay rent to someone else.

Number one is obviously problematic and I don't see what the difference is between 2 and 3 is unless he was paying his fiancee some exorbitant amount. And $4,500 is asswipe to a lobbyist.

posted by Ace_Face at 09:30 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

Is this any different than Fred Thompson paying his son campaign money?
posted by Chris99 at 10:06 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

Is this any different than Fred Thompson paying his son campaign money?

What did he pay him for?

posted by Ace_Face at 10:24 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

I think it is important that how and how much money is raised and how and how much money is spent be private transactions between the candidate and his contributors. Those transactions represent an expression of political preference - the last time I looked, it was a pretty fundamental check and balance that the government not have control over political expression.

Does no one find it problematic that the The office of the state's chief elections official said campaign money can legitimately be spent for...?

Imagine a situation in which there might be a political party that wanted to reduce the size of government. And consider that people who work for the government have an incentive, at best, to keep the size of the government the same so that they can maintain their salary and, at worst, have an incentive to grow the government so that they have more opportunity for a higher salary by managing more people and more departments.

Now, imagine if those people that work for the government are given the power to control the expression of political preference. Hmmm. I wonder what they would think of the party that wanted to eliminate their job?

So anyway, the office of the state's chief election official aside, this is between Redfern and his contributors.

posted by babbleman at 11:23 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

That said, I would tend to care about this only if I was one of the contributors whose money was being spent - which I'm not - thefore I don't care and I certainly hope that other non-contributors don't care either (but unfortunately it looks like there are busy bodies that do).

But if I was a contributor, it wouldn't bother me because first of all, I don't think that employing relatives and friends is a problem in any organization.

Hiring friends and relatives is a far more effective way to build a team then being forced to assemble a group of total strangers based only on rote statistics (level of education, certifications, bla bla). Those things never map well to operational performance. For instance, a group of people who know each other and have worked together before, even if they are technically less "qualified", can often out perform a group of people that have been thrown together by employment regulations. This is just one of the many ways that makes our government literally incapable from the start to ever be able to accomplish anything useful. Given this, if you want a campaign to be successful, don't apply fundamentally flawed rules of conflict of interest and nepotism that have been applied to government.

Second, in this specific case, spouses or significant others are usually intrinsically and intimately part of the campaign. Whether they actually perform a direct service or are simply taken away from their normal life to be involved, there is a cost. Even if the spouse doesn't have a job, he or she is going to be taken away from the home or whatever they do, and that has value. When you contribute to a campaign, you are usually getting a package deal - the candidate and spouse. So it is perfectly reasonable that you would pay for both.

But again, this all doesn't matter. If you contributed and you don't like it - stop contributing. Or sue him if you think you have an enforceable contract on exactly how it was going to be spent and that this is a breach of it.

posted by babbleman at 12:08 P.M. EST on Wed Aug 01, 2007     #

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