Josh Mandel, Ohio Senate Candidate, Accepts Campaign Donations From 'Radical' Cities

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel speaks during a round table discussion at the Country Inn Restaurant, Thursday,
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel speaks during a round table discussion at the Country Inn Restaurant, Thursday, July 5, 2012, in Georgetown, Ohio. Mandel, hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, said Thursday the federal health care overhaul is a pivotal issue in their campaign. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

The Republican Senate candidate in Ohio has received a large amount of donations from cities he denounced during a Tuesday rally with Mitt Romney in support of the coal industry.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), criticized "radical interests" from New York and Los Angeles during an appearance with Romney in Beallsville, Ohio, an Appalachian community near the West Virginia border. During a speech where the Cleveland native briefly used a Southern accent, Mandel, a Tea Party favorite, launched into an impassioned defense of the coal industry. He said critics would succeed "over our dead bodies," while Romney and a group of coal miners watched. Mandel also said that critics "think coal is a four-letter word."

"There are a lot of radical organizations from Hollywood to New York City that have never stepped foot in Appalachian Ohio," Mandel said at the rally Tuesday. "They are trying to convince the American people that coal is a liability."

A look at Mandel's campaign contributions show that while he may find groups in those cities "radical," he has accepted donations from both communities. An analysis of Mandel's contributions by OpenSecrets.org shows that the New York City metropolitan region is the fourth highest region donating to Mandel's campaign with $542,259, the largest amount of donations for a metro region outside of Ohio.

The OpenSecrets analysis placed Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati as Mandel's top three donation areas, and Chicago came in fifth. Roughly 52 percent of Mandel's donations have come from outside of Ohio.

The analysis showed that roughly 62 percent of Brown's donations came from inside Ohio, with four of his top five metro regions being inside the state. Brown's fourth highest donation region was Washington, D.C., joining Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Akron.

A look at donations to Mandel's main campaign committee on the Federal Election Commission website shows a series of donations from people who list New York City as their primary residence, along with a variety of New York City suburbs, including the wealthy New Jersey communities of Short Hills and Bernardsville.

Mandel also has a variety of donations from Los Angeles and neighboring communities, including Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Brown's FEC filings show he received out-of-state donations as well, including some from the New York and Los Angeles metro areas.

Mandel's campaign spokesman Travis Considine did not return a voicemail and email for comment.

Brown's campaign criticized Mandel's acceptance of the out-of-state donations while at the same time criticizing out-of-state interests in Ohio. Mandel's campaign has also benefited from more than $10 million in spending from outside groups on his behalf. Brown's campaign has been backed by $2.5 million in outside spending.

"The only thing propelling him ahead is all of the cash flowing in from the other states," Brown spokesman Justin Barasky told The Huffington Post.

Ohio Democrats continued to be critical of Mandel's use of a Southern accent during the rally -- they even released a video of Mandel at the rally compared to Mandel speaking at other events.

Barasky said Mandel's statement at the rally about coal surviving "over our dead bodies" went too far.

"I think that kind of chest bumping rhetoric is totally inappropriate," Barasky said. "On the rare occasion that Josh Mandel wants to talk about the issues, we will do that."



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