JobsOhio will (hopefully) head to court soon to decide a number of constitutional issues, like whether the state can turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year in state liquor revenue to a private organization with little or no transparency, oversight or accountability.
Mark Kvamme, a California venture capitalist who still maintains his position as a “Special Limited Parter” with Sequoia Capital, helped Kasich develop the idea for the private development organization, and he currently serves as the CIO and President of JobsOhio.
We currently have no idea how much Kvamme is being paid or what types of expenses he is claiming. Where he travels, who he takes with him, who he meets with, how much he spends on wine with meals… none of that is available to Ohioans because JobsOhio is not subject to Ohio’s open records laws despite the fact that they are operating with OUR money.
Instead, we have to tease out what we can by looking at other data.
And one interesting piece of information just popped up on our screen: last year Mark Kvamme made a campaign contribution of $11,543.70 to State Rep. Mike Duffy, the sponsor of the JobsOhio bill that created the organization that Kvamme now leads.
Kvamme and his ex-wife Patricia had both given maxed-out donations totaling over $90K to Kasich’s campaign (including Recharge Ohio) and to the Ohio Republican Party. But this is the first and only contribution Kvamme has made to another politician in Ohio.
Which seems fitting: Kvamme rewarded the guy who brought him to Ohio AND the guy who created the organization that now pays for his travel and meal expenses.
Kvamme invests money for a living – and you have to figure he can see a great deal when it comes his way.
Again, we’re not sure how much Kvamme is spending – and we may never know – but first class plane tickets on international flights for “trade missions” certainly add up quick. A few more years on the JobsOhio payroll, and it might turn out the Kasich/Duffy contributions are the best $100K investment Kvamme’s made since he invested in LinkedIn.