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Rep. Lundy Calls on Gov. Kasich and JobsOhio to Release List of Anonymous JobsOhio Donors

Ethical implications, possible conflicts of interest fuel ongoing controversy
May 22, 2013
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. Matt Lundy (D- Elyria) sent a letter to Gov. Kasich today and President and CEO of JobsOhio John Minor calling on them to voluntarily release the list of the five anonymous donors that provided $6.9 million used to run JobsOhio in its first year. The anonymous donations raise serious concerns about ethics at the organization and the potential for misusing funds. It is also important for Ohioans to know whether those who made the donations received any loan or grant from JobsOhio.

According to a Columbus Dispatch article dated May 18th, a number of states disclose donors to their public-private economic development agencies. Enterprise Florida Inc., that state’s lead development agency, lists on its website corporate “investors” that donate at least $50,000 per year, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. discloses donors for its foundation, and the Michigan Economic Development Foundation publicly discloses donors who contribute money.

“Taxpayers have a right to know who is making donations to JobsOhio in order to prevent potential abuse,” said Rep. Lundy. “As long as JobsOhio continues to operate under its veil of secrecy, taxpayers will continue to have a lack of trust in its operations.”

A copy of the letter can be seen below.

May 21, 2013

John Minor

41 S. High St.

Suite 1500

Columbus, OH 43215

Dear John Minor,

IRS records recently revealed that five anonymous donors provided $6.9 million to help run JobsOhio. Contributions of $2.45 million, $1.25 million, $1.2 million, and two $1 million donations were received by JobsOhio.

These donations raise serious concerns about ethics and the potential for abuse.  JobsOhio is funded through the lease of the state’s wholesale liquor profits. Thus, it is important for Ohioans to know who made the donations. It is also important for Ohioans to know whether those who made donations received any loan or grant from JobsOhio.

Therefore, I am requesting from you answers to the following questions:  Who are the five anonymous donors? Did any of the donors receive a loan or grant from JobsOhio?  Did any subsidiary of a company donor receive a loan or grant from JobsOhio? What was the amount of the loan or grant made by JobsOhio to any donor, and when was it awarded?

Taxpayers have a right to know who is making the donations to JobsOhio.  Taxpayers also have a right to know that ethics are practiced to avoid abuse.  Ohioans deserve these answers.  As long as JobsOhio operates in secret, taxpayers will continue to have a lack of trust in you and your operation.   I always stand ready and willing to work with you to make JobsOhio transparent and accountable to Ohio taxpayers.  Your delay to do so only raises doubt about your ethics and your willingness to provide protection against abuse.                                                               

Continued Success,                                                               

Matt Lundy

State Representative

55th House District

Ohio House of Representatives

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