Four days ago, a new “independent” expenditure group was formed called “One Ohio United.”  Right now, it’s primary focus appears to be promoting Kasich’s “Jobs” Budget as this television ad shows (note: we have not confirmed this ad is actually airing anywhere, yet)

The organization is headed by a “Mike Morris.”  Given that the other two names associated with it is the ScottsMiracle-Gro CEO Jim Hagadorn and the other is the Samuel Miller, Co-Chairman of the Board of Forest City Enterprises, we are presuming that Mike Morris is actually Michael G. Morris, Chairman and CEO of American Electric Power (AEP.)Michael G. Morris  Who also just happens to be the Chair of the non-partisan organization of Ohio-based CEOs known as the Ohio Business Roundtable, an organization that supported Governor Strickland’s education reform (that Kasich has completely undone with no actual replacement.)

It would make sense that such a majorly corporate-backed group would be able to open a social media presence while airing its first television ad so soon after forming. 

What’s interesting about it is that it’s filed as a 501(c)(4) organization with the IRS as opposed to a political action committee with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.  The election of being 501(c)(4) organization is, of course, to hide who is funding their speech, which the organization proudly disclaims:

There are no limits on the amounts that may be contributed to One Ohio United, Inc. by an individual, corporation, union, or trade association. Names, addresses and amounts contributed by donors that contribute $5,000 or more will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) on IRS Form 990 as required by law; however, the IRS does not make the names and addresses of donors public.

One Ohio United, Inc. is not required to disclose its donors to the general public.

Contributions to One Ohio United, Inc. do not count against an individual’s biennial aggregate contribution limit under the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended.

Yes, it actually markets itself as a means to frustrate campaign finance laws.

The participation of an AEP executive and ScottsMiracle-Gro in an organization that seems to be primarily designed to promote Governor Kasich’s budget is somewhat ironic.  AEP dropped out of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in protest of the Chamber’s endorsement of Kasich in the gubernatorial race last year.

And then as far as ScottsMiracle-Gro’s CEO there’s this:

Is this new organization nothing more than a multi-million dollar corporate executive funded mea culpa to Governor Kasich?

  • buckeyekelly

    Not for nothing, but how can an advertisement include BLS stats from 2000-2011 and cite a 2008 Dispatch article?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand your question. They’re just citing the data upon which they’re making their claims.

  • Anonymous

    the question is: how was the Dispatch so prescient as to predict — in 2008 — data from 2011?

  • buckeyekelly

    Thanks budgetwatcher -t hat’s what I was getting at. Maybe I’m just nit-picking at a citation error, but what is the source of the 500K jobs lost – the Dispatch article from 2008, which makes it look like 500K were lost between 2000-2008, or the BLS statistics which gives 3 more years, 4mo of which are under Kasich’s watch, to the numbers. Additionally, under-reporting job growth is disingenous, but that’s another comment in and of itself.

  • Anonymous

    The commercial did run here in Columbus. I remember it because at the end it said to visit their site to check their data and sources and I made a mental note to do that soon. I think it ran on ABC6 WSYX but not sure exactly

  • ex florida teacher

    it aired in toledo area within the last few days. During wheel of fortune, ohio lottery drawing, jepardy hour (prime senior citizen viewing).

  • Anonymous

    And know you know WTF that was. And knowing is half the battle.

  • Anonymous

    I looked it up. The claim of job losses must have entirely come from BLS data. The Dispatch citation is only for the use of that banner headline: “Ohio hit hard by job cuts”. There was nothing in that article about cumulative job losses or a comparison with other states.

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