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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Mandel’

Ohio Bought High Yielding Israel Bonds, Arab Advocates Shout Foul

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Josh Mandell is the treasurer for the State of Ohio.  He is also Jewish, a former Marine, and a grandchild of Holocaust survivors.

In March, Mandel purchased $42 million in Israel bonds.  It was the single largest Israel bond investment by a state, and increased Ohio Treasury’s Israel bonds portfolio to over $80 million.

“During our administration, we’ve managed to earn a ‘AAA’ credit rating on our multibillion-dollar STAR investment fund, as well as earning the first upgrade in a decade on the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund,” Mandel told the Cleveland Jewish News on the day of the bonds purchase.

“This investment fits into the strategy that has produced positive results for us over the past couple years.”

Mandel’s press secretary told the Columbus Dispatch that, since 1993, all of Ohio’s treasurers, Democrats and Republicans, have invested state money in Israel Bonds.  Ohio law was amended in 1993 to allow the state to invest in foreign bonds.

“Israel Bonds are an attractive investment option for state and municipal public funds because they maintain a high credit rating, are dependable and yield a competitive interest rate,” Berry said.

The fixed-rate bonds purchased in the March purchase have yields that are three to four times the rates of comparable U.S. Treasury bonds.

So, a great deal for Ohio – everyone’s happy, right?  Wrong.

For those Ohioans who prefer that their state get a lower return on investment than tarnish their government dollars by investing in the Jewish State, news of the Israel Bonds purchase was more than they could bear.

Members of seventeen Ohio-based pro-Arab Palestinian organizations signed an open letter demanding that the state of Ohio pull its $80 million investment in Israel bonds.

The letter states that the investment, “undertaken without consent” of Ohio citizens, “in a state that regularly violates international law and human rights.”  It continues by describing Israel as an Apartheid State which regularly “humiliates Palestinian men, women and children,” and declares that the investment in the state of Israel “shames the state of Ohio and poorly reflects upon the character” of the state’s citizens.

“In the Ohio Treasurer’s office, we make decisions on what’s best for our taxpayers, not based on what radical Islamic groups want us to do,” was Mandel’s response.

Mandel ran for congress last fall but was soundly defeated by incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.

The anti-Israel groups continued to demand that Israel Bonds investment be removed from Ohio’s portfolio and that the state henceforth  “refuse to invest in the state of Israel while it continues to violate international law and human rights in Palestine.” Mostly far leftist student groups, local branches of the International Socialists, and various Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim and Arab Student Unions signed the letter.

The most tasteless response to the Israel Bonds purchase was from a white supremacist site by the name, “Unity of Nobility.”  In what has thankfully become a rarity, this site revived the practice of using the word “Jew” as a verb, describing the purchase of the Israeli Bonds this way: “Ohio Just Got Jewed.”  The story was accompanied by a picture of Mandel with a yellow arm band with the word “Jude” photoshopped in.

 

Jewish Senator Wannabe in FBI Probe over Campaign Donations

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel is returning $105,000 in campaign contributions, because those contributions may have been given in a fraudulent manner. The FBI is investigating possible campaign finance violations.

The Cleveland Jewish News reports that the donations in question came from 21 employees of the Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton and from their spouses.

On the company website, Benjamin and Nancy Suarez tout their own philanthropic efforts on behalf of women, particularly breast cancer research and women’s shelters, which “give hope to thousands in need and inspire their associates to do the same.”

But their employees’ contributions to Mandel’s campaign raised suspicions, because they were made by individuals who never before had made campaign donations, and whose income didn’t appear high enough to enable them to be this generous.

FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson confirmed on Wednesday to the Cleveland Jewish News that the Bureau had interviewed the SCI employees in question and have already requested documents from the company and the campaign.

The FBI is also probing the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth), who received similar-sized contributions from SCI personnel.

Mandel Campaign spokesman Travis Considine on Thursday said the money was returned on Tuesday to the 21 individuals. Mandel, who was sworn into office as state treasurer in January, 2011, is running against Democratic incumbent Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer got hold of a letter from Mandel’s campaign treasurer Kathryn Kessler, saying the campaign is giving back “any contributions that appear to be under investigation by federal authorities.”

“We believe we have no reason to be concerned with the contribution, but out of an abundance of caution and until the investigation is complete, we believe this course of action is most appropriate,” Ms. Kessler’s letter said.

Democrats were delighted Mandel had to give back the funds.

“Josh Mandel is a politician who can’t be trusted, and the fact he has been shamed into returning $105,000 in illegal contributions only after an FBI investigation became public goes right along with hiring unqualified political cronies and missing every single board of deposit meeting his first year in office,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for Friends of Sherrod Brown.

Federal campaign finance law prohibits a donor from contributing in someone else’s name to get around the $5,000 limit. Election law also prohibits a corporation from reimbursing employees for their contributions.

Benjamin Suarez said his employees were not reimbursed by him or his company.

Josh Mandel is the 48th Treasurer of the State of Ohio, having been elected as the top vote-getter of all statewide executive candidates, winning 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Mandel enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 2000, where he graduated first in his class from Marine Corps Boot Camp and first in his class from Marine Corps Intelligence School. His Marine Corps career spanned eight years, including two tours in Anbar Province, Iraq. During both tours he was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for “superior performance of his duties.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-senator-wannabe-in-fbi-probe-over-campaign-donations/2012/05/25/

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