Ohio Democrats are criticizing the Republican nominee for the state's U.S. Senate seat over what they call a misleading annual report sent out by his state office.
The state Democratic Party said that state Treasurer Josh Mandel is trying to boost his performance by including a full list of his state duties, including his role as chairman of the state Board of Deposit, in the Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report issued by the treasurer's office. Mandel came under fire from Democrats earlier this year for missing 14 months of Board of Deposit meetings and delegating the chairman's role to a top aide. Mandel is locked in a competitive Senate race with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).
"In this desperate attempt to rebrand their absentee boss, it appears the treasurer's office forgot to scrub chairing the billion-dollar Board of Deposit, which Josh blew off for fourteen months straight, from a ridiculous list of official duties Mandel's supposed to fulfill that they embarrassingly attempted to brag about. Oops," Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker told HuffPost in an email. "Ohioans need look no further than Josh Mandel's latest misleading report, which embarrassingly boasts that under Ohio law he's supposed to chair the billion-dollar investment meetings he blew off for more than a year for proof that he's just another politician who can't be trusted."
Mandel also outlines his roles as the state's chief banker and a series of other boards he sits on including the Agricultural Financing Commission, and the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board.
The report issued by the treasurer's office touts Mandel's achievements including saving state funds through new investment and banking practices and cuts to the budget. He highlights an almost $1 million savings to his office budget, including the cancellation of temporary contracts, cuts to cell phone purchases and a moratorium on buying new office furniture. He also touts a growth in the state's rainy day fund and liquidity portfolio since taking office in January 2011.
"In the midst of the “Great Recession,” Ohioans expect their elected officials to practice fiscal responsibility and to safeguard and stretch their hard-earned tax dollars," Mandel writes in the report. "Our global, national and state economies are being adversely impacted by financial uncertainty and volatile markets. That is why in the State Treasurer’s office I remain committed to tightening the belt on government spending, conservatively managing state investments, and streamlining and consolidating bureaucracies to achieve efficiencies."
Seth Unger, the treasurer's office spokesman, could not be reached for immediate comment.