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Mandel Memories: The Pay-To-Play Pension Fund Scandal

Josh Mandel Abused The State Treasurer’s Office, Appointing His Campaign Donors To Manage Ohio’s Pension Funds

Failed candidate and corrupt politician Josh Mandel has launched yet another campaign for the U.S. Senate in Ohio — and while Josh is hoping the third time’s the charm as he looks for a fresh start, we’re here to take you on another trip down memory lane. Last week, we reminded you of the saga of Josh Mandel’s shady campaign cash scheme involving his crooked donor Ben Suarez. This week, we’re back with another shady pay-to-play scandal — this time involving an overlap between Ohio’s pension funds and Josh Mandel’s campaign donors.

Josh Mandel abused the State Treasurer’s office, “forcing” Ohio’s public pension systems to change which banks handled their investments in 2013, which was expected to hike annual costs for many of the funds. Retirement officials pushed back against Mandel’s efforts, saying the change would cost millions of dollars and introduce risk to the system. Mandel’s continued insistence on the move despite the “costs and headaches” raised questions, as “the state treasurer has long benefited from campaign contributions from bankers and brokers who want to do business with Ohio.” A subsequent investigation by the Columbus Dispatch found that Mandel had received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the new banks he chose.

“Josh Mandel is an opportunistic, self-serving, pay-to-play politician who never passes up an opportunity to put himself ahead of Ohio workers,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “Abusing a taxpayer-funded public office and favoring special interest donors while forcing costs and headaches on state government and playing games with Ohio’s pension funds showed just how low Josh Mandel is willing to stoop if it helps advance his own personal interests.”

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