Dems still stalking Mandel

On the side

Dann guilty: Ex-Attorney General Marc Dann paid $1,908 to the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday to cover the cost of grievance board hearings that led to the court suspending his law license on Nov. 20 for six months. The suspension came after a judge found Dann guilty of two misdemeanor counts for filing a false disclosure form and for providing improper compensation to state employees.

Just the facts: One of my favorite resource books, The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2013, is out. Yeah, there’s still almost a month to go before we get to 2013, but the book, as always, is excellent. There’s a ton of great political and historic information. Over the years, I’ve often lost myself in the almanac jumping from news to music to sports. I got a free copy this year, but for $12.99 it’s still a good deal.

During the recent U.S. Senate race, numerous Ohio Democrats grew to really dislike state Treasurer Josh Mandel, the unsuccessful nominee — and they hadn’t been fans of his to start.

Special-interest groups spent about $35 million to $40 million to help Mandel defeat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown using the money for television and radio commercials and home mailings in efforts to discredit the incumbent Democrat. This was the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the nation this year.

Though Brown won, Mandel’s defeat isn’t enough for Democrats. They want to beat him in the 2014 treasurer’s race and are looking for potential candidates.

To several Democratic leaders, beating Mandel is almost as important as defeating Gov. John Kasich in 2014.

It wasn’t just the money from the outside groups‚ö which wasn’t done in coordination with Mandel’s campaign.

It was the way Mandel ran his campaign. He started looking at the Senate job shortly after becoming treasurer.

Mandel says the treasurer’s office runs smoothly and effectively with him at the helm.

But Democrats say Mandel skipped Ohio Board of Deposit meetings to attend fundraisers out of state and hired friends with limited experience for jobs.

Mandel criticized Brown for various votes, including the Democrat’s support of the auto bailout and Obamacare. At the same time, he refused to respond to basic questions about his position on issues, most notably the auto bailout. It wasn’t until the final days of the campaign that Mandel said he would have voted against it.

Democrats already did not like Mandel before the Senate race because of a TV commercial he aired in 2010 that incorrectly implied Kevin Boyce, the incumbent Democratic trea-surer, was a Muslim.

With the filing deadline for the 2014 Democratic primary less than 15 months away, viable down-ticket candidates will probably test the waters next spring and could announce their intention to run in the summer, if not sooner.

In a recent Plain Dealer article, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams intrigued him as a down-ticket candidate. With Williams’ background, including banking experience before he was hired as the city’s Community Development Agency director, he’d be an ideal choice for the party to support for state treasurer.

Williams resigned as mayor in August 2011 to join the President Barack Obama administration, and is currently deputy director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Returning to Ohio may be in the cards for Williams at some point. But with many personnel changes expected in the president’s second term, it’s highly doubtful Williams is going to leave Washington anytime soon to make a run for treasurer. While Williams would be a strong Democratic candidate for treasurer against Mandel, the timing isn’t right.

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