What is the Ohio Republican Party and Josh Mandel’s campaign thinking?  Are they insane?

The Ohio Democratic Party couldn’t believe the gift that Josh Mandel gave it and State Treasurer Kevin Boyce a golden gift.  And that gift is Mandel attending a fundraiser with disgraced former State Treasurer Joe Deters.

Deters was the GOP’s Marc Dann before 2006.  As the press release from ODP details, Deters left Columbus in a cloud:

Deters’ Chief of Staff was convicted of “giving preferential treatment to some investment brokers who do business with the treasurer’s office.” [Dayton Daily News, 9/14/04]

• Deters’ fundraiser was convicted of election law violation for his part in a fundraising scheme for Deters – and Deters kept using the fundraiser even after his conviction. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/22/04]

• Deters’ campaign supporter, Frank Gruttadauria, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on charges of bribery, racketeering, theft, money laundering, forgery, and election-law violations due to his interactions with Deters’ office and campaign. [Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/6/04]

But ODP misses the best part of the story: the reason Deters was able to go straight from the Auditor’s office to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office.  See, as a cloud of scandal began to engulf Deters’ office the Ohio GOP knew that Deters could not be on the statewide ticket in 2006.  The good news was that term limits would bar him from running for re-election, but Deters had ambitions to stay in Statewide office that was then Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett’s Carousel of Statewide Office Corruption.  Deters’ corruption centered around using the Hamilton County Republican Party as a conduit to bundle donations and circumvent Ohio’s maximum donations limits in campaign finance laws.

Enter then Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen.  In 2005, Allen is caught in a tawdry, and frankly, sad story about an extramarital affair he was having with one of his assistant prosecutors in his office… during business hours (allegedly.)  In a city which waged war against Mapplethorpe and Hustler, you can’t stay in office as a GOP for being caught dipping your pen in the office.  Allen had to scrap his role as Chairman of the Hamilton County Bush-Cheney campaign, cancelled his planned trip to the RNC convention, and subsequently forced to resign.  So, the GOP traded in the adulterer for the corrupt Treasurer.

And now he’s raising money for Josh Mandel.