From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
In his May 3 e-mail, Kasich spokesman Scott Milburn advised Ohio Public Employees Retirement System executive Carol Drake that it would be “valuable to explain” that Lehman investments included not only Lehman stock and securities but money the firm invested in other companies, such as McDonald’s.
“The media will not get the full picture unless you explain it: not all of this money was lost as a result of the Lehman bankruptcy,” Milburn wrote. Milburn and Drake are both alums of the administration of former GOP Gov. Bob Taft.
Hey, I’ve got a question. How would Scott Milburn know that Ohio pensions losses were partially due to Lehman Brothers investment in companies and not its bankruptcy unless John Kasich was familiar with the cause of the losses already? Which is odd since Kasich has claimed that he didn’t know anything about Lehman’s business interest with state pensions (even after public documents uncovered that Kasich was specifically used by Lehman Bros. to pitch the company to… people like Ms. Drake!)
Milburn told the AP he was pushing the fund to release accurate information to the public.
“Our position is simple: We want all the parties, including the pension funds, to get all the facts out — without omissions and without spin,” he said.
Fair enough…. Scott, how do you know what the facts are, though? And why did you send a secret message through the Taft alumni association rather than just publicly state these “facts” at the time?
But the story suggests that Milburn’s response was not geared towards getting the truth out. After Milburn’s contact with his ex-Taft colleague, the state pension fund started to obstruct requests for information about Lehman Brothers:
The e-mail surfaced at the pension fund where Democrats already have cried foul over their ability to get Lehman-related information. The party provided the AP with a December letter from a pension fund attorney rejecting its earlier public records request seeking an accounting of the Lehman losses. The attorney contended that the information fell under attorney-client privilege.
You read that right, when Democrats asked for records specific to how much the State pension fund lost due to Lehman Brothers bankruptcy after the fund was contacted by the Kasich campaign, the pension fund obstructed the public records requests citing “attorney-client privilege” until the media forced their hand by making the same requests.
Milburn’s e-mail played no role in the pension fund’s response, [Pension fund spokeswoman Julie Graham-Price] said.
Yeah, it’s a sheer coincidence that the agency just wholesale adopted Milburn’s response and began engaging in obstructing requests for public records by Democrats requesting information about Lehman Brothers.
This whole episode demonstrates that John Kasich’s campaign had extensive and detailed knowledge about the role Lehman Brothers played in financial losses by the State pensions. Far more than the campaign has ever publicly acknowledged. Now, Scott Milburn didn’t learn this stuff in a vacuum. Where, oh where, could the Kasich campaign had learned about Lehman Bros.’s involvement in Ohio pension losses? Who would they know to ask?
Say, you don’t supposed they asked the Managing Director of Lehman Brothers’ Columbus office, do you?