In 2010, while running for Ohio Treasurer, Josh Mandel told the Dix Newspaper Editorial Board that “cronyism is bad”.

“A hallmark of our campaign,” Mandel proudly proclaimed, “is restoring character and integrity to the treasurer’s office.”

A few months later, after winning the election, Mandel proceeded to hire a bunch of his inexperienced, 20-something friends to run the show at the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.   Some of his friends were so inexperienced that he had to send them to entry-level classes just to be able to do their jobs.

According to representatives of OCSEA, the union that represents classified employees in the Treasurer’s Office, 33 friends and cronies of Mandel received $288,000 in raises last year.  That’s an average raise of 15% per person, with some seeing over 20% raises.

The 46 unionized employees in Mandel’s office haven’t had a raise in seven years, while the cost of living has gone up 16%.


Mandel photo from the AP

This week, OCSEA asked for a modest wage increase of 5% for their members, which include clerks, secretaries, IT support and software developers.   The total cost of the increase would be $111,000 – about half the cost of the raises Mandel gave his friends.

Mandel said no. 

“Clerks, and secretaries and IT workers in the Treasurer’s office who haven’t had a pay raise in 7 years want to know how government insiders and political cronies are getting 10 to 20 percent increases in their salaries while they and the rest of Ohio is struggling to get by,” said Sally Meckling, Communications Director for OCSEA.”

“How can they sit across the table with a straight face and say they want to be more efficient and reduce costs when they themselves are the recipients of an average 15 percent wage increase,” said Sally Meckling, Communications Director for OCSEA,” asked Meckling.

That is an excellent question.