Incumbent congressmen raised campaign cash for consulting fees, hotel stays and airline flights

By David Skolnick


U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th, has raised $1,594,675 toward his re-election compared with $6,739 for Michael Lorentz, his Democratic opponent.

Johnson, of Marietta, who is seeking his fourth two-year term, had $878,614 in his campaign fund as of Sept. 30, according to a report his campaign filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Johnson raised $193,275 between July 1 and Sept. 30, with $137,950 coming from political action committees and the rest from individuals, according to the report. In addition, Johnson carried over money from his previous campaigns.

His largest PAC donations of $5,000 each came from the Dealers Election Action Committee of the National Automobile Dealers Association of McLean, Va., and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association PAC of Washington, D.C., with $4,000 each from the Employees of Northrop Grumman Corp. PAC and the National Association of Realtors PAC of Chicago.

In comparison, Lorentz, mayor of Belpre, raised $6,739 and spent $2,475, leaving him with $4,263 as of June 30.

“I’m not good with asking people for money,” Lorentz said. “I don’t feel comfortable asking for money.”

Lorentz said he was recruited to run by the Ohio Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and neither has provided him with money for his campaign, which he called “disappointing.”

Like all 16 congressional races in Ohio, the 6th District election isn’t considered competitive.

That didn’t stop Johnson from spending $471,061 between July 1 and Sept. 30. A large majority of the money spent – $364,873 – went to Communications Counsel Inc. of Columbus for campaign media advertising, advertising production costs and consulting fees.

Johnson also paid $15,000 to Public Opinion Strategies LLC of Alexandria, Va., for a poll.

Among the congressman’s other expenses were $3,276 for lodging expenses at the DoubleTree Metropolitan Hotel in New York City and $2,230 for airfare.

The 18-county 6th District includes all of Columbiana County and the southern portion of Mahoning County.

In the 13th District, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Howland Democrat, has raised $947,340 toward his effort to be re-elected to an eighth two-year term in the House.

In the third quarter, Ryan raised $103,384, with $69,550 coming from PACs and the rest from individuals.

His largest PAC donations of $4,000 each came from the American Council of Engineering Companies PAC of Washington, D.C., and the Boeing Co. PAC of Arlington, Va. He received $3,000 each from the Amgen Inc. PAC of Washington, D.C., and the General Dynamics Corp. PAC of Falls Church, Va.

Richard A. Morckel of Akron, his Republican challenger, hasn’t submitted a campaign finance report to the FEC.

The five-county 13th District includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Ryan had $424,681 in his campaign fund as of Sept. 30. Like Johnson, Ryan carried over money from previous campaigns.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, his campaign spent $131,583.

Ryan spent $14,290 on a fundraiser at McMenamy’s in McKinley Heights, $1,289 at the Apple Store on what his campaign finance report describes as “equipment,” and $2,443 on at least five airline flights.

Ryan also spent $8,020 in campaign funds on hotel stays in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Marina Del Ray, Calif. between July 1 and Sept. 30.

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