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.
- 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.
- 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
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.