Eric Holder is finding himself at the center of yet another scandal. The scandalous former Attorney General for the Obama administration is finding himself at the center of an ethics complaint filed against the current Democratic candidate for Ohio attorney general, Steve Dettelbach.
The ethics complaint alleges Dettelbach abused the law using gambling as a fundraising tool. The charges of gambling center around Dettelbach’s campaign and the decision to raffle off a meet-and-greet opportunity with Holder.
The now-defunct fundraiser page blared – “The former Attorney General is coming to Ohio to stump for Steve and we want you to be there! You have until July 23 to be entered into a chance to meet the former AG, so you’ll want to act quickly.” A donation of $5, $10, or $50 bought Obama fans of former Obama administration an opportunity to meet and rub shoulders with the former U.S. attorney general.
Yet it appears that neither of these lawmen knew the law, or they simply did not care what the law stated thinking themselves above it, and the law for whatever reason did not apply to them. However, it seems the two men will get the opportunity to get better acquainted with the law as Mark Miller, a conservative citizen and small business owner from Cincinnati, just filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Committee through Finney Law Firm. The complaint alleges Dettelbach is guilty of operating a “scheme of chance” against the law.
Mark Miller, a citizen activist, says Dettelbach’s fundraiser was actually an ‘illegal scheme of chance.’ Miller filed the complaint with the help of Finney Law Firm, which has represented Republicans in previous legal challenges.
At church picnics, school fundraisers and charity auctions, Ohioans raising money will raffle off everything from all-expense paid vacations to baskets of sports trinkets.
But Democrat Steve Dettelbach offering a chance to meet former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder? That could be a problem. Ohio law largely prohibits political campaigns from running raffles.
‘I would urge him not to have a raffle because it is probably illegal,’ said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, a Republican, told The Enquirer. Conducting an illegal raffle is a misdemeanor offense under Ohio law.
Holder is the guest speaker at a Cincinnati fundraiser for Dettelbach Friday at the Queen City Club. The hosts include Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, former Kroger executive Paul Heldman, and former state Sen. Eric Kearney.
Tickets range in price from $250 to $2,500, but Dettelbach’s campaign is offering supporters an opportunity to meet Holder for much less – as little as a $5 donation.
Enter now to win a chance to meet Eric Holder!’ reads a Democratic fundraising website under the banner ‘Steve Dettelbach for Attorney General.’
Dettelbach’s campaign says the opportunity to meet Holder doesn’t qualify as a raffle and isn’t illegal.
It appears the Democratic campaign is not to be questioned regarding their flagrant disregard for the law either based on the response received from Dettelbach spokeswoman Liz Doherty. She states in response to the FEC complaint – ‘This is a by-invitation political fundraiser, and we wanted to give supporters the opportunity who might not otherwise have it to meet the 82nd attorney general of the United States. Anyone who questions this is making a ridiculous political attack.”
“According to the complaint, Dettelbach’s campaign paid ActBlue, based in Somerville, Massachusetts, to operate the contest. It offered chances for a spot at Friday’s fundraiser with Holder at Cincinnati’s Queen City Club for as little as a $5 donation. Tickets run $250 to $2,500.
The complaint alleges neither ActBlue nor Dettelbach’s campaign are registered as the type of authorized charitable organization that may legally operate a raffle under Ohio law. Among authorized entities are churches and other religious organizations, fraternal organizations and veterans’ groups.
Phil Richter, executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission, told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that the raffle risked potential criminal violations. He said he normally advises candidates to check with their county prosecutor before launching one.”
Yet political campaigns have been warned about utilizing raffles as a campaign fundraising tool in the past and Ohio law clearly prohibits political campaigns from conducting games of chance. Given Dettelbach’s history with the law and his current candidacy for attorney general of Ohio, one would think he would know the laws that govern the state or at the very least how to look them up. The law is conveniently posted at OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov for their perusal.
A short history of Dettelbach’s legal career –
Assistant U.S. Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio from 2003 to 2006
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio during former President Barack Obama’s two terms in the White House for over six years before resigning in 2016
2006 until his appointment by Obama in 2009 and back again in 2016 to his current position – Partner at BakerHostetler in Cleveland, Ohio
Appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to serve on the Ohio Ethics Commission
Yet this man claims to have not known the law or even known to look up the laws governing the practice of raffles by political campaigns in an election campaign?
As the Washington Examiner notes – “Whenever a candidate for attorney general, whenever a politician applies to become the top cop of a state, his faithfulness to the law becomes a determining factor. If Dettelbach wants to be a lawman, Dettelbach should start by convincing the Ohio electorate that, you know, he is ready to follow the law. So far, the candidate hasn’t even admitted to the possibility of a screw-up.
Holder is slated to appear with Dettelbach tonight, and frankly, it’s not a good look at this point.”
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