The Ohio Democratic Party released a new video yesterday that hilariously highlights the unbelievably bad decisions Josh Mandel has made since taking over as Treasurer. The video is definitely worth watching just for a good laugh at Mandel but while you’re watching, try to keep in mind that this stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENED. And evidence suggests it’s been happening for a long time.
During the campaign for Treasurer, Mandel promised to bring in highly qualified financial professionals – not friends or political hacks – to work at the Treasurer’s office. But once sworn in, he immediately hired his inexperienced friends and kids from his campaign to take over key jobs in his administration.
His 22 year old community outreach coordinator’s only previous experience with “finance” was running the cash register at a Honey Baked Ham.
His 26 year old friend who became Director of Debt Management was so underqualified that he had to be sent to a beginners’ class on the topic.
And while the video doesn’t mention it, it’s worth pointing out that Mandel’s only financial experience comes from a 2 day seminar he once attended in Cambridge Massachusetts.
Here’s the video – more on it in a minute…
So you may have noticed one other name, Seth Metcalf, in the video above. He’s portrayed as the voice of reason around Mandel’s office, which may actually be pretty accurate. Seth seems to be the only appointee with any financial experience: Metcalf worked as a tax and bond attorney with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.
Metcalf serves as Mandel’s general counsel and he’s been Josh’s friend since college, which might explain why Metcalf seems to do all the work around the office.
I realize counsel’s advice is supposed to be related to treasurer’s office business, it still kind of leaves you wondering: maybe if hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone Metcalf wasn’t doing all of Josh’s work for him, he could have given Mandel some advice to keep him from being nearly six months late filing financial disclosure forms for his Senate campaign.
Maybe Metcalf is just giving Josh bad advice or maybe Mandel just doesn’t listen. Either way, they’ve had similar problems for a long time – and it seems to have started in college when Metcalf was managing Josh’s campaign for student government.
Back in 1999 when Josh Mandel was running for Undergraduate Student Government President at Ohio State, OSU’s paper the Latern reported that he broke election rules by starting his campaigning early.
The Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Board determined Wednesday that [Josh Mandel’s] campaign broke election by-laws by wearing campaign T-shirts in public, more than a month before candidates were allowed to begin campaigning. The USG Elections Governance Board confirmed the violation. The Mandel-Gullett ticket will lose 150 votes as punishment when votes are tabulated.
The Lantern later reported that this was “the first time in the history of USG that any candidates have ever had votes taken away for campaign violations.”
One would think that Metcalf – as his general counsel, his campaign manager, or maybe just as his friend – could have provided Josh some better advice given his experience and his long friendship with Mandel. Then again, maybe there’s nothing he could have done. Josh seems to get so swept up in running for office that he forgets there are actually rules that need to be followed and a job to be done at the office where he actually works.
Whether it’s t-shirts or finance reports, campaign promises, cronyism or federal campaign regulations, Josh Mandel has shown he has no interest in anything but running for his next office. The day after Mandel was sworn in as treasurer he put on his I-want-to-be-a-Senator blinders, donned a new pair of campaigning shoes, and sprinted out the door to start running for his next job. And along the way he seems to have ignored the advice of anyone not carrying a checkbook.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ohioans deserve a Senator who is going to work for them – not for himself. And Josh Mandel has a long history of being the latter.