Monday, June 25, 2012


Recently, The Cleveland Plain Dealer in its PolitiFactOhio series (LINK) did a piece on a tiff between the Congressman Jim Renacci (R - Wadsworth - the 16th) and Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D - Copley - the 13th) on the matter of whether or not Renacci has it correct as to whether or not Betty Sutton was investigated by the FBI for contributions made to her campaign in 2008.

Because of congressional redistricting mandated by the U.S. Constitution every ten years if a given district gains or loses seats in Congress due to a population gain/loss within the 50 state configuration, Renacci and Sutton have been thrown into a race against each other in the newly configured 16th congressional district which means that one of them will be an ex-congressperson come January 1, 2013.

So one can only imagine the ferocious political fight that is unfolding between the two.

For now the political swirl is focus on two public figure factors:  Suarez Corporation Industries (Suarez) and its tycoon principal Ben Suarez and New York Congressman Charlie Rangel (Rangel).

When he ran against Democratic Congressman John Boccieri (D - Alliance) in 2008, Renacci leveled charges against Boccieri (whom he defeated), to wit:
As if John Boccieri’s voting record isn’t troubling enough, the fact that his campaign coffers have been fueled by the fruits of Washington’s culture of corruption raises further questions about his judgement and his ethics.
Boccieri had received campaign contributions from fellow Democratic congressman Charles Rangel (New York), the legality of which has never been questioned.

Here it is four years later and lo and behold Renacci's own campaign faces questions about the legality of campaign contributions made to it.

Recently, the FBI announced it was investigating campaign finance contributions made by employees of Suarez to the campaigns of Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (his opponent is incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown) and to Renacci's campaign.


Apparently there is a suspicion that Suarez may have asked key employees to make individual contributions to the candidates (to be reimbursed to them by the company) in order to get around campaign finance contribution limits in place at the time the contributions were made.

For the record, Suarez has denied that such was the case.

Notwithstanding Suarez's denial, Mandel's campaign almost immediately returned the donations it received.

However, Renacci's campaign is standing fast with its Suarez employee contributions pending the outcome of the investigation.

And it is reviving the tactic it used against Boccieri against current opponent Betty Sutton.  Actually, worse than against Boccieri.

Here is the Renacci statement about Sutton.

"My opponent, in 2008, had contributions investigated by the federal government."

Which Plain Dealer/PoliticFact says is a false statement.

And, which the Renacci campaign now says was a "misspeak" by the congressman.

Okay, make a false statement and then claim it was a misstatement.

The misstatement according to a Renaci spokesman:   the investigation was about donations should have named Rangel; not Sutton.

Hard to believe that one could make a mistake on something so basic.

And when the House of Representatives Ethics Committee made findings on Rangel, Sutton returned $7,000 though there was no legal taint to the money.  And she asked Rangel to resign from the House.

Media reports indicate that Renacci is holding about $100,000 pending the outcome of the FBI investigation of the Suarez situation which does involve a question about the legality of contributions.


Let's see. 

Rennaci claimed that Boccieri should immediately donations from Rangel the legality of which was never under question.

Renaci claims that Sutton should have immediately returned $7,000 in donations from Rangel the legality of which was never under question.

Renaci refuses to return some $100,000 in donations received in the Suarez situation the legality of which appears to be under investigation seemingly unless or until there is an adverse finding though the Mandel campaign has returned $105,000 in such donations.

So Renaci is not only wrong about Sutton having been under investigation.

He is also wrong in the comparison:  Boccieri and Sutton received donations the legality of which have not been questioned versus donations to Renacci and Mandel, the legality which are being questioned.

Clearly an apples to oranges comparison Renaci is making, no?

Renacci had to understand the difference but that didn't seem to keep him from trying to sew confusion starting with a falsehood, only to be corrected but in a fashion in which he is obviously comparing apples to oranges.

And this is only June 25, 2012.

It appears that this man is very much worried about his chances of being returned to Congress.

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