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Moreno’s business dealings targeted

During the campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator, Bernie Moreno has touted his record of creating jobs and his business success.

But there are numerous reports that put his business dealings as a luxury car dealer and blockchain business owner in question.

Moreno settled numerous wage theft lawsuits after a jury in Massachusetts ordered him to pay more than $400,000 to two former employees for failing to pay overtime in violation of state labor laws.

Moreno admitted in a deposition to shredding documents containing information that was potentially relevant to the case despite being told to preserve them, according to Business Insider.

Moreno also faced discrimination lawsuits in Cleveland that were settled out of court.

At the Feb. 19 Republican Senate debate, the two other Republican candidates seeking the party’s nomination for Senate — Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan — went after Moreno over his business issues.

Dolan said it’s a question of “trust” about Moreno.

“Here’s an example in Bernie’s past where he had a chance to stand up and do the fair, right thing for his employees,” Dolan said. “But he chose to do the right thing for Bernie Moreno, and he got sanctioned for it.”

LaRose said: “Mr. Moreno has had a problem not even paying people the wages that they’ve earned in his business and had to settle a lawsuit as a result of that.”

Moreno and his campaign have strongly defended his past business dealings and say Dolan and LaRose know better, but see him as the front-runner and are trying to discredit him.

The three Republicans were asked during the debate what the minimum wage should be or even if one should exist.

The issue comes at the same time an effort to get a $15-per-hour minimum wage issue on the Nov. 5 ballot is being sought.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, who is seeking his fourth six-year term against the winner of the May 19 GOP primary, supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

It is $10.45 per hour in Ohio and is $7.25 per hour nationally.

In response to the minimum-wage questions, Moreno said: “The markets are the best way to determine what wages should be. The reality is somebody who’s employed thousands of people here in Ohio, a good business owner knows that you pay good benefits, you pay good wages to get good people. At the end of the day, the market will flush that out and make certain that you get workers that get a good job. So what government’s role in that should be is that it makes certain that we have the lowest possible regulations that don’t impede business growth, that we have good schools that aren’t indoctrinating our kids, to make sure that they’re graduating with good jobs that pay well.”

Moreno added: “Minimum wage is never intended to be a livable wage. What we want to do is make certain that everybody has the opportunity to grow in their wage as much as possible.”

Dolan said: “The minimum wage is not intended to be a livable wage. I’ve employed people, we started some people at minimum wage and the purpose of doing that was to inspire them to work harder, that if you want to earn a higher wage, work harder and make a living out of it. It’s not … the Democrats under Sherrod Brown want to turn minimum wage into a livable wage. He has no idea how that works. You know what that means? If we continuously raise the minimum wage, all that means is everything becomes more expensive for you.”

LaRose said: “Part of the challenge with these government interventions, like so-called minimum wage, is that it has a distorting effect on the market. The market is the best way to set wages. This is one of those things that we need to be on the lookout for in Ohio because you’ve heard me warning about this. There’s an effort right now to amend our constitution, a massive increase in minimum wage that would result in unemployment and loss of businesses. Now, all of us up here seem to agree that there shouldn’t be a rise in the minimum wage and that the market should do this.”

Have an interesting story? Contact David Skolnick by email at dskolnick@vindy.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @dskolnick.

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