You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Senate proposes easing limits on donations to legislative committees


A late change to the state budget proposed by Ohio Senate Republicans would allow corporations and unions to begin giving money directly to state legislative campaign committees, as long as they pay for operating costs and not direct political activity.

Ohio Senate Republican spokesman John McClelland did not return a message seeking comment, but previously told the Columbus Dispatch the change would allow the campaign committees to operate independently of political parties. Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for Ohio House Republicans, said he has not heard of anyone expressing opposition to the change from within his caucus.

“I don’t know that that extra chair at the conference table is going to make or break any specific legislative race across the state,” he said.

But critics say the change would weaken campaign finance law and give special interests another backdoor way to buy their way into influencing elections.

“Yes, it’s not paying for advertising and no, it’s not paying for yard signs, but it’s pretty hard to get elected if you don’t have a telephone, and it’s pretty hard to get folks elected from the caucus if you don’t have a roof over your head,” said Catherine Turcer, a policy analyst for Common Cause Ohio, a left-leaning government watchdog group.

Under current law, only state and county political parties can accept money directly from corporations and unions, as long it’s not used to pay for the construction, renovation or purchase of office facilities that are not used solely to directly influence elections for any individual candidate.

But the change, inserted into the senate version of the state budget earlier this month, would also allow unions and corporations to give to the state’s four legislative caucuses: the House Democratic Caucus Fund, the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee, the Ohio Senate Democrats and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee. It would also broaden the limits of what the money could be used for to “general operating costs” of an office.

Unlike political contributions, the gifts would have no specific dollar limits, but couldn’t comprise more than 10 percent of the committee’s overall operating costs.

The amendment is one of dozens state lawmakers are considering as they reconcile competing versions of the state budget from the senate and Ohio House. The budget proposal will be sent to Ohio Gov. John Kasich for his signature by the end of this month.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio
Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio

The youngest contender in the Republican race for Ohio governor went straight to the age issue on Monday when asked about 70-year-old Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s decision to run in 2018. When asked about the newest addition to the race, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said, “‘New’ would not be the way to describe...
What people are saying about Mike DeWine’s run for governor
What people are saying about Mike DeWine’s run for governor

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Sunday that he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. He spoke as the DeWine Family Ice Cream Social. Here’s what some of the folks there had to say: “As far as his experience, as far as being able to address the needs of Ohio, everything from our children and education,...
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s website was hacked today by a group claiming to support the Islamic State. The Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was also hacked. A screen appeared saying: “Anti: Govt all word. You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people. For every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries. I love...
John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it
John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he is “against” the Senate Republican leadership health-care bill as written, although he said he is “encouraging” lawmakers to “fix it” and not “rush” into passing the measure this week. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Kasich said the GOP bill does...
Ohio Politics Today: State’s newest congressman looks back at first year, JobsOhio blunder as big as the moon
Ohio Politics Today: State’s newest congressman looks back at first year, JobsOhio blunder as big as the moon

Ohio Politics Today runs down the latest and best political stories around the state and recommended reads from around the web.  JobsOhio, the economic development program aimed at helping private businesses in the state, took out a page-sized ad in the widely read The Economist magazine, but left a noticeable mistake. In either a brilliant...
More Stories