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MAHONING COUNTY Ryan returns Dem money



Published: Sun, April 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The state senator said he took full responsibility for what he called a misunderstanding

YOUNGSTOWN -- Once again there is a problem with Tim Ryan's congressional campaign finances.

The Tim Ryan for Congress campaign has returned a $2,500 contribution given improperly by the Mahoning County Democratic Party, a Ryan spokesman said Saturday.

The spokesman, Patrick Lowry of Youngstown, said he saw the check for the $2,500 being written Friday evening at Ryan's campaign headquarters in Warren. He said it was his understanding that Ryan Keating, a Tim Ryan campaign worker, hand-delivered the check from the Ryan campaign to David Ditzler, Mahoning County Democratic chairman, Saturday. Ditzler and Keating could not be reached to comment.

"When we accepted the money, we believed that, coming from the Mahoning County Democratic Party, it was given to us in good faith," Lowry said.

In news release

In the news release, Ryan is quoted as making a similar statement, and adding, "I take full responsibility for this misunderstanding."

A news release from Ryan's headquarters, which announced the return of the money, said the check was written from the party's state campaign fund, which was improper.

County political parties may contribute to federal campaigns only from federal political action committees, and the Mahoning County Democratic Party does not have a federal PAC, the release explained.

Ryan, who is a state senator from Niles, is running in the May 7 Democratic Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in the new 17th Congressional District.

Ryan had earlier said incumbent U.S. Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer of Akron, whom Ryan is challenging in the Democratic primary, was behind disclosure of a questionable $50,000 loan to the Ryan campaign.

The loan was co-signed by Dennis Rossi, meaning the Federal Election Commission considers Rossi to have contributed $25,000 to the Ryan campaign, far more than the $1,000 limit for individual donors.




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