Federal campaign money can't be transferred to state campaign funds in Ohio.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland isn't running for re-election next year, but his congressional campaign fund keeps growing.
State law doesn't permit elected federal candidates and officeholders to transfer money from their federal campaign fund to their statewide campaign.
Strickland of Lisbon, who is running next year for governor and is giving up his congressional seat, hasn't done that.
However, his congressional campaign fund increased from $454,441 on March 31 to $511,966 on June 30, according to his latest campaign filing with the Federal Election Commission.
In the year's second quarter, Strickland, D-6th, raised $80,306, with 98 percent of it from political action committees.
Strickland's congressional campaign report lists 17 PACs contributing $16,500 with the money deposited after he announced on May 9 his intention to run in 2006 for governor and to not seek re-election to his U.S. House seat.
Also, the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association Political Action League of Washington, D.C., gave $5,000 to Strickland's congressional campaign that wasn't deposited until May 6. That was the same day The Vindicator published an article revealing Strickland would announce his gubernatorial candidacy three days later.
What happened is Strickland had a Washington, D.C., fund-raiser April 20 for his congressional campaign, and the campaign didn't get around to depositing the PAC checks until weeks after the event, said Jess Goode, Strickland's gubernatorial campaign spokesman.
Strickland could use money from his congressional account for travel, meals and name identification polling, among other things, said William Binning, chairman of Youngstown State University's political science department and a former Mahoning County Republican chairman.
"He's going to have to be pretty careful how he uses that money," Binning said. "The Republicans will be watching."
To win statewide, Strickland would probably need to raise close to $10 million, so the money sitting in his congressional account is "just a drop in the bucket," Binning said.
State Sen. Charles Wilson of St. Clairsville, D-30th and the only declared Democrat in the race, raised $55,025 during the year's second quarter, including $12,500 of his own money, and spent $525.
Diane DiCarlo Murphy of Beaver Township, who lost the 2004 Democratic primary to Strickland for the seat, has filed paperwork with the FEC declaring herself a candidate, but she hasn't raised enough money to file a campaign finance report.
Danny Harmon, Noble County commissioner of Quaker City, is the only Republican candidate for the seat to file a finance report with the FEC. Harmon has raised $8,010 for his campaign with $4,989 coming from him. Richard Holt of Lawrence County, another announced GOP candidate, filed a statement of candidacy, but not a financial report with the FEC.
The 12-county 6th District includes Columbiana County and a portion of Mahoning.
Raising for representatives
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, raised $69,547 between April 1 and June 30, with $53,950 coming from PACs. Of the $58,802 he spent during the year's second quarter, Ryan gave $2,000 to his brother, Allen L. Ryan, for campaign consulting, and $12,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The district includes portions of Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette of Concord, R-14th, used the year's second quarter to replenish his campaign war chest. LaTourette raised $331,969 between April 1 and June 30, and spent $62,043 during that same time frame. Before April 1, his fund had $57,672 in it. It stood at $327,598 as of June 30.
LaTourette and Capri Cafaro, his 2004 Democratic challenger, each spent about $2 million on last year's campaign, making it the most expensive U.S. House race in Ohio.
Cafaro, a member of one of the Mahoning Valley's richest families, spent about $1.74 million of her own money on last year's campaign.
Cafaro plans to run for the seat next year, and already has contributed about $113,000 of her own money to the 2006 campaign. However, Cafaro is spending her money as quickly as she is getting it. As of June 30, she only had $403 in her account. She has spent most of her money on consultants. She's also forgiven most of the loans she gave her campaign for the 2004 and the 2006 race.
The 14th District includes seven northern townships in Trumbull County.