The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the law firm Roetzel & Andress have been soliciting on their website money for clients to attend the Kasich Inauguration:
Roetzel & Andress had a full page dated Dec. 2, 2010 on its website on Tuesday that said those who had not contributed at least $1,000 to Kasich’s gubernatorial run would have to cough up between $1,000 and $10,000 to become an official sponsor of the gala for the privilege to purchase tickets. It made no mention of the official website.
The law firm took the web page down at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after The Plain Dealer inquired about it, according to Matt Borges, who last month was hired as the firm’s government relations director, about the same time he was picked by Kasich as executive director of the inaugural committee.
Kasich campaign officials said they knew nothing about the law firm’s request for contributions and said the firm was not acting on the governor-elect’s behalf.
In case you’re wondering… yeah, we got a screen capture:
(Corporate donors okay, but no PACs! Pay to play? No, getting access to a VIP reception with the Governor at his inaugural ball will no way curry favor with the Administration at all, right? By the way, there’s NO WAY this information wasn’t copied verbatim from the inauguration committee, right?)
The Plain Dealer, which endorsed Kasich, then goes on to report Borges’ history of corruption at the State Treasurer’s office that lead to his criminal conviction for participating in a “pay-to-play” government contract scandal. We first reported on the appointment of Borges to the Governor-elect’s inaugural committee last month.
Then, they establish that Borges, who is both the Executive Director of the Inauguration Committee and the firm’s government relation office (gigs he got simultaneously) knew of an e-mail draft making such a solicitation a month ago, but claims he never noticed something on his firm’s website about the inauguration… that he’s running.
Borges said neither he nor the inaugural committee knew about firm’s web page until he got a call from The Plain Dealer. But Borges did recall an e-mail circulated by a colleague last month with essentially the same demands for Kasich contributions for purchasing gala tickets.
Borges said Preisse knew about the e-mail, too. Borges added that he tried to stop the information from proliferating and was surprised its contents ended up on the firm’s website.
Apparently, Borges’ efforts were in vain because how long was that solicitation to bundle donations to the inaugural committee in return for inauguration ball tickets was up again?
Borges said he doesn’t know how many people might have made a contribution to Kasich to get tickets or how long the page had been up on the firm’s website, though it appears since early December.
In other words, for as long as Borges has been working there.
To recap, a guy with a history of pay to play politics gets hired at a prominent law firm at the same time he gets hired to run Kasich’s inauguration. At the same time, that firm puts up a solicitation asking its wealthy clients to make bundled donations through them in the amount of $1,000 to $10,000, if they expect to get inauguration ball tickets and be recognized as a sponsor. These are the “stakeholder interest” Kasich has apparently decided required Kasich to bar media access to said ball.
Borges claims he knew of a draft of this solicitation, but tried to stop it from going out… but didn’t know that it’s been on his firm’s website the whole time?!?