For immediate release: June 17, 2002
COLUMBUS -- "Ohio candidates have made advancements in disclosure of contributions over $100 in the past four years, from 92% in 1997 to 97% in 2001," according to Ohio Citizen Action’s Catherine Turcer. "Candidates have become more proficient with basic disclosure. However, over one-third of the candidates used vague descriptions, like ‘consultant’ and ‘CEO.’ It is time to raise the bar and ask for more specific employer information." Today, Ohio Citizen Action released an analysis of campaign finance disclosure by Ohio statewide and legislative candidates in 2001.
Disclosure proficiency: Time to move to the next grade analyzed whether candidates provided the employer identification of contributors who gave more than $100, as required by state law, and whether this information was specific enough for voters to "follow the money."
"Ninety-three percent of the contributions over $100 were clearly identified so that the voters could examine the economic and policy interests behind contributions," said Turcer.
"We are very pleased to see both political parties are talking about being as open about disclosure as that candidates are. We are anxious that this go beyond positioning or symbolic bill introduction. Full party disclosure should be law within the next month."
Legislators who received F or D grades for identifying less than 60 or 70 percent of the dollar amount of contributions from individuals who gave more than $100 include:
The following legislators are encouraged to provide more meaningful information about contributor’s employers:
Representative John Boccieri, Representative Jamie Callender, Representative Kevin DeWine, Senator David Goodman, Representative Sylvester Patton and Representative Michelle Schneider.
Some candidates failed to identify the employer of well-known wealthy contributors like David Brennan, Tamala Longaberger and Les Wexner.
In 2001, statewide and legislative candidates received approximately $15.7 million in contributions (including both monetary and in-kind). Candidates received $6.47 million from individuals who gave in increments over $100.
# # #
Ohio Citizen Action campaigns on issues from toxic waste and food safety to utility and insurance rates to political reform. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, Ohio Citizen Action was founded in 1975.