Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: $15k on tickets. $2k/month on meals. Inside a Cleveland-area House rep’s campaign spending
Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, which advocates for better government ethics laws and transparency in campaign finance, reviewed Patton’s audits. She said the most obvious aggrieved party to questionable campaign spending would be the donors. But in a less-direct way, she said problems arise in a representative democracy when public officials can enrich themselves in the process via interested donors.
“Campaign cash is not a slush fund,” she said. “It is intended to be spent to get yourself elected.”
Moreover, she questioned why five audits spanning two secretaries of state (some occurred under now-Lt. Gov. Jon Husted). She said they seem to have caught on to something wrong 10 years ago but declined to take any action on a troubling pattern.
“It doesn’t look like they truly took the next step to do a little more digging,” she said. “You shouldn’t leave an audit with more questions than you started. And how would they not have more questions.”