Norm Cummings is the highest paid and the longest serving member of Ken Blackwell’s campaign staff.
Over the past 12 years, the Blackwell campaign paid his rent, bought him a laptop and coughed up A LOT of cash for his consulting services.
Since 1994, Norm Cummings has received over $400,000 from Blackwell and his PACs- including $8,634 from Citizens for Tax Reform and $5,000 from the Ohio Taxpayers Protection Committee. This year alone he has taken home almost $65K.
Numbers are interesting- but only if you can put them into some sort of context.
These number had me curious, so I asked around, figuring someone would know something about the highest paid consultant on Blackwell’s staff. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
I decided to do a little research myself- and I quickly discovered? very little.
Cummings has no website -and a Google blog search turns up only two relevant references. The guy doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry (yet).
And his address, as listed on Ohio campaign expense reports, is actually a UPS Store in Baltimore, MD that provides mail drop and remailing services.
Now my curiosity exploded into full-on intrigue- and my “little research” project suddenly turned into days of hunting through 20 year old newspaper articles trying to piece together a picture of the elusive yet ever-present Norman B. Cummings.
What I found was a die-hard Republican from Ohio with a career in politics spanning 35+ years. I also found a pattern of questionable, gray-area campaign decisions and serious accusations following Cummings since he started working with Ken Blackwell.
I’m certain I could now write a very interesting book about Mr. Cummings if only I had the time to interview his family, friends and former political rivals.
Instead, you’ll have to settle for the condensed version of his story here on Plunderbund.