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1993-1998 campaign contributions
to justices of the Ohio Supreme Court

    

February 7, 2000
Press Release

Acknowledgments

The Citizens Policy Center thanks the Joyce Foundation, George Gund Foundation, and the Piper Fund for their support of this project to document contributions to the justices of the Ohio Supreme Court. The findings and opinions expressed in this report are those of the Citizens Policy Center.

The Citizens Policy Center, a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization, is the research and public education affiliate of Ohio Citizen Action. The Center was founded in Cleveland in 1976 to conduct research and public education about issues affecting industrial states, recognizing that the industrial states were going through economic changes that would make obsolete much of the conventional wisdom about state and local public policy.

Laura Yeomans is the research director of the Citizens Policy Center. She is the author of this report. The Center thanks Patty Wise for her database research work and analysis. For questions about the data in the report, call Yeomans at (330) 343-9588.

To obtain a copy of this report, write to the Citizens Policy Center, P.O. Box 8, Dover, Ohio 44622. 2000 Citizens Policy Center

Method

The Citizens Policy Center obtained contribution data from the Ohio Secretary of State for the last completed election period for each of the seven current Ohio Supreme Court Justices. The Center used a variety of databases and resources to try to identify the employer and economic sector of contributors, including the following:

  • The Center's 1997-1998 Follow the Money and Win database containing employer identifications.
  • A list of registered architects, dentists, doctors and certified public accountants in Ohio obtained from the Ohio Division of Administrative Services.
  • A database of attorneys registered with the Ohio Supreme Court.
  • The Yellow Pages USA Deluxe CD, a national Yellow Pages directory.
  • A database of attorney members of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers.
  • The American University campaign finance web page.
  • The Center for Responsive Politics web page on campaign contributors.

For contributions analyzed in the chart "Contributions from Lawyers" on page two of the report, the Center identified members of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers by using the organization's membership directory. A contribution was marked as coming from the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers if it came from the ADOPT political action committee or was from an individual member. Contributions from firms who had individual employees with membership in the OATL were not included in the OATL total.

The top organizational contributors were identified by standardizing the employer names for contributors and adding together all political action committee and employee contributions for each organization.


Major Findings

The Citizens Policy Center examined campaign contributions to the current members of the Ohio Supreme Court from 1993-1998. During that time, individuals, political action committees, political parties, candidates and organizations contributed $4,117,170 to the justices.

Members of the Ohio Supreme Court received campaign contributions from every sector of Ohio's economy. Justices received the most contributions from Lawyers and Lobbyists; Finance, Real Estate, Insurance; Manufacturing and Miscellaneous Business; and Labor.

"Unidentified economic sector" contributions include contributions from housewives, students or from employed people where the nature of the employer's business could not be determined.

1993-1998 contributions from different sectors of Ohio's economy to the Ohio Supreme Court Justices
Agriculture $24,040
Communications $11,318
Construction $59,530
Education, Government, Retired $91,815
Energy and Environment $38,585
Finance, Real Estate, Insurance $443,186
Health $57,427
Ideological $4,312
Labor $200,325
Lawyers and lobbyists $2,145,661
Manufacturing and Misc. Business $243,515
Transportation $28,025
Unidentified economic sector, housewives $346,052
Subtotal of economic sectors $3,693,791
Candidates gave own campaigns $8,740
Political parties, committees, candidates $414,639
Total $4,117,170
 

The top three contributors to the justices include the Ohio Republican Party, Ohio Democratic Party, and Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers.

The Center determined the top ten organizational contributors to the Ohio Supreme Court justices by summing contributions from political action committees and employees for each organization.

 
1993-1998 top ten organizational contributors** to the Ohio Supreme Court Justices
1 Ohio Republican Party $213,151
2 Ohio Democratic Party $124,455
3 Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers $85,000
4 Nurenberg, Plevin, Heller and McCarthy $84,250
5 Murray & Murray Co. LPA $71,850
6 Spangenberg, Shibley, Traci & Lancione $70,500
7 Clark, Perdue, Roberts & Scott Co. LPA $62,450
8 Crawford Fitting Co. $52,750
9 Ohio Education Assoc. $50,305
10 Scanlon and Gearinger $48,880

** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.

Contributions from Lawyers and Lobbyists

The Lawyers and Lobbyists sector of the Ohio economy contributed $2,145,661 to the Ohio Supreme Court justices. Francis Sweeney, Paul Pfeifer, and Alice Resnick received the highest contributions from this sector.

Lawyers and lobbyists represent a broad spectrum of interests, some representing the rights of consumers and victims. Other lawyers represent manufacturers, hospitals, insurance companies or real estate developers. If a lawyer is solely on the payroll of a hospital, labor union, or manufacturer, his or her contributions were coded as coming from the economic sector of the employer and were not included in this sector.

 
Justices received the following contributions from lawyers and lobbyists
1 Francis Sweeney $456,789
2 Paul Pfeifer $429,255
3 Alice Resnick $403,128
4 Andy Douglas $346,284
5 Thomas Moyer $242,276
6 Evelyn Stratton $169,194
7 Deborah Cook $98,735
Total $2,145,661
  
Top five "Lawyers and Lobbyists" Organizational Contributors**
1 Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers $85,000
2 Nurenberg, Plevin, Heller & McCarthy $84,250
3 Murray & Murray Co. LPA $71,850
4 Spangenberg, Shibley, Traci & Lancione $70,500
5 Clark, Perdue, Roberts & Scott Co. LPA $62,450
** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.
 

The Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers is an association of lawyers who primarily represent victims or consumers. In the chart below, the Center analyzed subtotals from the Trial Lawyers for each justice and subtotals from other attorneys who may represent a variety of interests, including insurance, real estate, or manufacturing interests.

Top five "Lawyers and Lobbyists" Organizational Contributors**
Total contrib. to justices from all sectors Contributions from OATL members Percent of contributions from OATL lawyers Contributions from other lawyers* Percent of contributions from other lawyers*
Thomas Moyer $871,247 $6,424 1% $234,067 27%
Alice Resnick $729,208 $254,158 35% $147,435 20%
Francis Sweeney $530,969$160,507 30% $296,282 56%
Deborah Cook $499,199 $27,637 6% $70,973 14%
Paul Pfeifer $568,569 $145,691 26% $283,064 50%
Evelyn Stratton $476,436$10,645 2% $158,249 33%
Andy Douglas $441,542 $168,780 38% $177,505 40%
Total $4,117,170 $773,842 19% $1,367,575 33%
* These may include attorneys who represent a variety of interests, including defense of insurance, real estate, or manufacturing interests.
 

Contributions from Finance, Real Estate, Insurance

The Finance, Real Estate, and Insurance sector of Ohio's economy contributed $443,186 to the Ohio Supreme Court justices from 1993 to 1998.

Contributions from financial corporations, real estate developers and insurance companies
1 Thomas Moyer $142,887
2 Evelyn Stratton $117,170
3 Deborah Cook $111,563
4 Paul Pfeifer $29,600
5 Alice Resnick $27,541
6 Francis Sweeney $7,500
7 Andy Douglas $6,925
Total $443,186
 
 Top five organizational ** contributors from "Finance, Real Estate, Insurance"
1 PIE Mutual Insurance Co $31,250
2 American Financial Corp $30,990
3 Cincinnati Financial Corp $29,181
4 Cafaro Company $17,055
5 Forest City Enterprises $16,000
** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.
 

Contributions from Manufacturing and Miscellaneous Business

Manufacturing and miscellaneous businesses contributed $243,515 to Ohio Supreme Court justices from 1993 to 1998.

 
Contributions from manufacturing and miscellaneous business
1 Deborah Cook $88,605
2 Thomas Moyer $83,286
3 Evelyn Stratton $38,175
4 Paul Pfeifer $17,000
5 Alice Resnick $9,549
6 Andy Douglas $5,900
7 Francis Sweeney $1,000
Total $243,515
 
 Top five organizational ** contributors from "Manufacturing and Miscellaneous Business"
1 Crawford Fitting Co $52,750
2 Timken Co $25,525
3 Worthington Industries Inc. $12,950
4 Compco Industries $11,250
5 Owens Corning $8,000
** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.
 

Contributions from Labor

Labor unions contributed $200,325 to Ohio Supreme Court justices in 1993-1998.

Contributions from labor
1 Alice Resnick $78,065
2 Andy Douglas $49,405
3 Francis Sweeney $34,050
4 Paul Pfeifer $25,800
5 Evelyn Stratton $10,050
6 Thomas Moyer $2,955
7 Deborah Cook $0
Total $200,325
Top five organizational ** contributors from "Labor"
1 Ohio Education Assoc $50,305
2 AFSCME $26,250
3 Fraternal Order of Police $17,500
4 United Auto Workers $15,750
5 Ohio AFL-CIO $15,000
** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.
 

Contributions from Education and Unknown

Contributions from Education, Government, Retired equalled $91,815. The largest part of the Education, Government, Retired sector came from retired individuals who contributed $55,978.

Contributions from the Unidentified sector equalled $346,052. The largest part of the Unidentified contributors, $52,815, came from housewives whose economic affiliations could not be identified.


Contributions from Political Parties, Committees, Candidates

Political parties, committees and candidates contributed $423,379 to candidates.

 
Contributions from political parties, committees, candidates
1 Thomas Moyer $170,176
2 Alice Resnick $131,053
3 Deborah Cook $78,090
4 Evelyn Stratton $37,262
5 Andy Douglas $6,298
6 Francis Sweeney $350
7 Paul Pfeifer $150
Total $423,379

Top five organizational ** contributors from "Political Parties, Committees, Candidates"
1 Ohio Republican Party $213,151
2 Ohio Democratic Party $124,455
3 Stratton, Committee to Re-Elect Judge $22,668
4 Summit County Republican Party $17,650
5 Candidate gave to campaign $8,740
** Totals include all political action committee, employee, and organizational contributions.