Friday, August 24, 2007

Coughlin Responds To AA's Claims About Spending

I've been added to the email list (YES! And the foul!) of Team Coughlin HQ who sent along "Talking Points" about allegations coming from the A2 camp. The pro-Alex blog posted on Tuesday a list of what they deemed questionable expenditures during Coughlin's re-election campaign, including money spent at Firestone and Portage country clubs. Without even digging into reports the list appeared to be legitimate fundraising expenses. Indeed, that's what Coughlin's memo says, but the tone and swipes at Alex allies makes it fun reading:

    "Coughlin's campaign finance reports show questionable expenses too"

    Board of Elections director Bryan Williams spent the whole day Tuesday at Rep HQ (not at his office doing his $90,000 taxpayer funded job) pouring over my campaign finance records. Here's what they came up with:

    $2,969.69 "tab" at Portage Country Club? WRONG. That was the bill for a fundraising event held there in the summer of 2006 for my re-election. The Portage CC expenses listed for Arshinkoff on the party report were the aggregate of MONTHLY bills from Portage CC.

    $7,995 for Firestone Country Club? FOR MY ANNUAL GOLF FUNDRAISER!

    Mileage for campaign use? Sure, we do that for both me and the staff. It's fair and it's for campaign use and non-reimbursed state business. I have done a lot of traveling throughout the state over the last two years. Often on these trips, state business is mixed with campaign business. While the rules would allow me to seek reimbursement from the state, I voluntarily have the campaign reimburse to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    OSU Football Tickets? Yes, like every other member of the legislature since the beginning of time. I get to maybe a game a year. The other tickets are donated to charities for auction or given to volunteers or donors. I would note that two tickets were donated to the 2006 Summit County Republican Oktoberfest as a raffle prize.

    Membership at BJ's Wholesale Club? Worth the break we get on parade candy, beverages for walkers, and HQ supplies.

    Meal expenses? We appreciate our staff, donors, and volunteers. You walk with me, you probably eat with me too. They keep coming back and we win elections.

    Alex and his crew are welcomed to examine my campaign finance reports as much as they like. In doing so, perhaps they will learn something about winning elections.
In addition to that, Coughlin takes on the rumor that his favored candidate to take over is attorney and former Fairlawn mayor Pete Kostoff:
    This is flat out wrong. Pete Kostoff certainly wants to see a new chairman, but is not part of this effort. In addition, I have no interest in serving as chair myself.

    Our team will put forward a candidate for chairman at a time of our choosing and it will be a team decision.
None of this appears on the New Summit Republicans website as yet (you guys might want to get a blog.) But there is news on the site. They have posted a list of the "latest" public officials joining the effort (the "earliest" being Coughlin and, well, Coughlin):
  • Green Mayor Dan Croghan
  • Hudson Mayor William Currin
  • Stow Law Director Candidate Daniel Dismuke
  • Stow Law Director Joseph Haefner
  • Former Hudson Councilman and Current Ward 1 Candidate George Roth
Not exactly the Mount Rushmore of Summit Repubs, but the fact that anyone is willing to sign on is bad news forA2.

Also, an essay from former party Exec Committee member Dave Reilly appears in full form now. While it's badly in need of an editor, it's worth reading for the going further than Coughlin did. Coughlin's letter signaled that the gloves are off; Reilly breaks out the brass knuckles.

Now anyone with even passing familiarity of the Pages knows I'm no fan of either Kevin Coughlin or Alex Arshinkoff. I'm willing to allow this blog to serve as neutral (in the sense of being equally hostile to each side) ground in this fracas. Kind of like a golf course. Not only do the antagonists play each other, they also must contend with the hazards here.

Mr. Arshinkoff, I believe you are away.


Modern Esquire said...

All of them seem reasonable. The only one I think is odd is that Coughlin reimburses himself from the campaign for mileage. I've never seen a campaign pay the candidate for mileage before.

That being said, I wouldn't get particularly worked up about it.

Anonymous said...

Alex is focusing on his major donors program and his Tuesday Finance Dinner. Kevin's timing was meant to discourage donors. To date, this has not happened.

Also, there's not much for Alex to respond to. There is no candidate for chairman, or credible claims other than a website that includes in the losses column only losses from predominately-Democrat controlled cities like Barberton and Akron while ignoring Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Hudson and Fairlawn.

Further, Alex supporters have been speaking up publicly. There was a letter from Debbie Fink in the ABJ Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Also, it's funny that Coughlin is citing to David Reilly at the same time criticizing Alex for losses in 2000 - 2006 when David ran Judy Hunter's ill-fated 2002 re-election campaign and his own ill-fated re-election campaign in Green in 2003.

Anonymous said...

Croghan and Reilly are circulating petitions for a Democrat while purporting to be Republican Loyalists?? It's in the ABJ! See for more details.

Anonymous said...

more arshinkoff lies....

All this guy does it tear people down and play people against one another.

He's filled Mary Taylor's head with the nonsense that Coughlin is upset she was on the statewide ticket.

He tells people whatever he thinks will get them pissed at his enemy, no matter the consequences. People need to wake up.

Anonymous said...

Arshinkoff's lies? No Kevin, you just think people are too stupid to put one and one together.

You think Mary is not smart enough to know things without Alex telling her what to think? You don't think she's a big girl and can make up her own mind?

Maybe Mary went to your website where you proudly display her who's your daddy editorials!! Maybe she saw your support for Croghan and Reilly!

People need to wake up? You are on your own.

Anonymous said...

more arshinkoff lies?? oh come now... Try reading Saturday's Akron Beacon Journal. It lays it all out, nice and neat.

Anonymous said...

It's actually Sunday's. Along with the story about Brennan laundering campaign contributions to Rs, including Coughlin.

Anonymous said...

Bryan, Mr. Bryan Williams, Mr. Board of Selections Director Bryan Williams. You are going to have to let Alex speak for himself Mr. Williams. Oh and Alex, you may have to watch what you say about different people supporting Kevin's campaign, they may just give all that much more if you piss them off.