Our baby face Treasure Josh Mandel is at it again. According to recent reports Mandel refused to speak at the Akron Press Club any time over a seven month period because his campaign said he was “too busy”. Which if you think about it, taking seven months to decline an invitation to speak about his campaign is almost exactly how long it took him to file his campaign finance forms – maybe that’s what they mean by “too busy”.

According to the Plain Dealer, the Akron Press Club is a non-partisan form that political leaders are invited to attend where they can interact with members of Akron community. In 2009, two Democratic and Republican candidates for Senate all agreed to speak at the event. The Press Club worked for seven months with Mandel’s staff to schedule a time for the Treasurer to attend but was rebuked because they couldn’t find time in Mandel’s schedule.

Which begs the question, why is Josh Mandel so busy that he can’t find time in his schedule to talk with voters in Akron? The Akron Beacon Journal might have an answer to that question.

“The refusal is all the more galling in light of the Mandel schedule. The past six months he has been raising campaign money in Honolulu, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington.”

Why go to a free forum in Akron when you can go hobnob with millionaire donors all over the country. For a candidate who likes to portray himself as just a regular guy he sure has an expensive test in travel destinations. I wonder if any of those locations are in need of a part-time Treasurer, because I think I know a good one for them.

Mandel’s decision to not attend the Akron Press Club forum is even more surprising in light of the fact that earlier this year Mandel drove overnight to attend a meeting with Senator Jim DeMint in Washington D.C. According to a report in the National Review this month, DeMint’s staff called to set up a meeting with Mandel and when asked when they should schedule it his answer was “tomorrow”. [via heymiller.com]

“Last spring, after Mandel had committed to the Senate race, an adviser to Jim DeMint, the Republican senator from South Carolina, called Mandel and proposed a meeting. Mandel’s response stunned him: “Josh was like, ‘I’ll be there tomorrow.’” And he was, after driving through the night with an aide. They arrived in Washington at dawn and checked in at a hotel so they could shower. A few hours later, Mandel was meeting with DeMint.”

For those keeping track at home I took the liberty of comparing the distances from Mandel’s home in Lyndhurst and its relation to Akron and Washington D.C. As you will see, somehow Mandel is “too busy” to make it to a citizens forum in Akron but not too busy to drive overnight to Washington D.C.

I think there are a couple of lessons we can all learn from this. One, next time you want Mandel to speak at your forum you just need to be ultra-conservative and promise Mandel thousands of dollars in campaign contributions because then you will nail him down for sure. And, two, when Sen. DeMint calls Mandel and says, “Jump”, Mandel’s first response is, “how high?”

Mandel is the water-boy for the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party. They like him because he looks the part and they know he will say and do whatever they want.

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