Yesterday’s Gongwer report had an interesting article about a possible proposal to privatize the State’s liquor monopoly. The proposal was referenced by John Kasich as a news conference last week. According to Kasich this could raise $1-1.5 billion in one time money for this budget.

Reporters at the news service were smart enough to request a copy of the proposal the Governor referenced and it turns out it came from a boutique investment banking shop in Northeast Ohio called Western Reserve Partners, LLC.

An investment bank with interest in privatization? That’s got to be completely altruistic, right?

Um, no. Investment banks pocket hefty proceeds on deals like this – sometimes in the ballpark of 10% of the total take, or $100-150 million in this case. Not a bad payday if you can get it.

So was this a new idea? Well, no in fact, they’ve been thinking about this for a while. According to Gongwer:

Mark Filippell, a managing director of Case Western, said his firm had been considering the possibility of privatizing the division for years, but finally acted after Gov. Kasich publicly encouraged people to submit budget proposals. (Gongwer, Jan 13)

So they were just sitting on the sidelines, and were only reluctantly responding to Mr. Kasich’s public request for ideas? Or could it be that the four contributions totaling over $7,500 made by Mr. Filippell may have helped to open the door with team Kasich to get their ideas in front of the Governor?

And it certainly can’t hurt that three of the firm’s other associates ponied up another $2600. (source: Secretary of State campaign finance database)

If they get the state’s banking business, their investment will have been well worth it. Let’s just remember what Kasich said the other day:

“we’re going to have to have bankers to help us do things” ( source: Gongwer, Jan 8 )


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  • Anonymous

    The Republicans are preparing to get back into the “pay-to-play” method used in the Taft administration. It just goes to show that these Republicans are all the same.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    all these folks already knew about the privitizing hopes of Kasich and his friends.Theres more to come — I have said that big construction companies are waiting to do the same . bad thing is these companies have been doing quite well with the bidding in state fact the do it so well that smaller compaines have given up on bids– they just wait now to see if the big compaines will sub- contract out to them . BUT as laws are now we could at least have access to the contracts (DOD did that) and see who gots them and how much they bid. with the DOD turning into some new “vision” of Kasichs we will not know now — it will be a secret . This is just another way for the good ol boys to get Ohios money– dont think they havent been advised when to “submit their ideas”. they have……..

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    did anyone happen to catch the news — big collective bargaining ralley against Kasich —

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    I am so sorry — the rally was about more than union issues — also rallied for rights of others

  • Anonymous

    You should be able to get it from the Governor’s office – the news media obtained it, and it’s a public record. Hey, Plunderbund – you on that? May as well get any “unsolicited” proposals that have come in re: lottery, turnpike, state buildings and ODOD while you’re at it.

  • Annekarima

    You have a problem with a Spec’s Liquor Store in Ohio? I sure do not. A real Spec’s Warehouse is a marvelous architectural, cultural and culinary delight. Bring it on.

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