Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald called on Governor Kasich today to disclose any involvement he or his political appointees had in the decision of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to invest $50 million in a Wisconsin real estate fund run by a major Republican campaign donor, Jon Hammes.
“If someone told me when I was in the FBI that a government Board, appointed by a Republican Governor, made an investment in an out-of-state fund run by a major Republican donor, and that the only other states who invested in that fund also have Republican governors, I’d have told them that’s a clue. After suffering through CoinGate, Ohioans deserve full transparency from Governor Kasich and his political appointees on any interactions they’ve had with Jon Hammes or the BWC. We cannot afford to play fast and loose with tax payer dollars.”This investment comes nine years after “CoinGate,” when BWC invested $50 million in a rare coin operation run by another major Republican donor. Former Governor Taft ultimately paid a $4,000 fine for his involvement with the scandal.
Only four other states invested in the Wisconsin fund, all of which have Republican Governors. The $50 investment was the maximum BWC can invest. Hammes gave or bundled hundreds of thousands for the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Governor Kasich appointed the BWC’s Board of Directors.