Yesterday Modern wrote about the many things Josh Mandel has been doing instead of attending to his job as Treasurer of Ohio, and the very funny, and somewhat sad, “Top Bottom Review” document his office released trying to cover for their absentee boss.

In case you haven’t been following the story, the Ohio Democratic Party submitted a record request for Treasurer Mandel’s schedules, and the resulting documents were pretty damning: showing Mandel’s calendar with a lot of blank spaces and very few meetings. The results pretty much proved what Ohio’s Democrats have been saying for months: Mandel has been spending all of his time fundraising for his Senate run instead of doing his job as Treasurer.

Josh’s staff at the Treasurer’s office, realizing how the release of the calendars would be interpreted, attempted to change the story by including a cover letter proudly declaring that Josh “is running the strongest Treasurer’s office in the country” and that “Treasurer Mandel is likely the hardest working State Treasurer in America.” They also included this Top Bottom Review document, which shows just as much unfounded enthusiasm as the cover letter.

I actually feel kind of bad for Mandel’s staff in the Treasurer’s office. They’re in complete damage control mode. Josh and his Senate campaign team have put them in the really awkward position of having to run their office without the guy who was elected to be their leader while trying to convince Ohioans that Josh isn’t gallivanting around the country raising money for his Senate campaign instead of doing the job he was elected to do.

The ODP has already debunked a lot of the report Mandel’s office released, pointing out the portions that are straight up not true. But there’s another part of the report that is technically “true”, but presented in such a way as to be highly deceptive. Specifically these charts pictured below:


Judging by those charts, you’d think Mandel cut staff costs by about 75%! Massive savings. Great job Josh.

But if you look closer, you’ll see this isn’t the complete picture. Instead of starting at 0, like every other chart in the entire world does, these charts are a zoomed-in view of the last portion, making the difference seem HUGE when it’s actually quite small.

Here’s what the real chart should look like:

Much different, eh?

I feel your pain, Josh Mandel’s staff. Josh gave you a job – you owe him one – we get that. But this is one of the few ‘facts’ in your document that you can actually claim as true AND for which you can actually claim responsibility. You didn’t need to fudge the chart here. But the fact that you did seems like a clear indication that you didn’t think the rest of your ‘facts” would stand up on their own.

It is worth noting that this re-scaled, starting-at-120-instead-of-0 chart style is the default in Excel if you’re only graphing two numbers (for example 127 and 140). However it took me all of about 15 seconds to adjust the axis to show the correct, full view of the data in my example above. I’m guessing the guy who knew how to use Excel in the Treasurer’s office must have been one of the 13 people Josh fired.

Note to Mandel’s staff: In the future, feel free to email me at JOSEPH AT PLUNDERBUND.COM if you guys have any Excel questions.