Josh Mandel, the Treasurer of the state of Ohio, got $1,500 from Earl Holt, the white supremacist who inspired Dylan Roof, for his Senate race in 2012. Everybody else who got money from Mr. Holt has either sent it back or donated it to charity.
But not Mr. Mandel.
The money he donated was spent over two and a half years ago so it cannot be refunded,” said Chris Berry, a spokesman for the treasurer who made clear he was speaking on behalf of Mandel’s disbanded Senate campaign as a volunteer.
Mandel’s treasury from that campaign still has $49,694 in the bank, according to its April report to the Federal Election Commission. It would be permissible under federal campaign finance law to use that money for a donation to an outside group or charity, according to a number of people involved in political campaigns. That’s exactly what some other politicians are doing.
But Mandel, who manages Ohio’s public funds, appears to view this as a matter of strict accounting for specific sums at specific times: When Holt’s money came in, it was spent almost immediately on Mandel’s Senate campaign. The surplus left after the election came from other donations.
Berry said later Monday, “Treasurer Mandel and our entire team deplore racism and bigotry of any kind. We cannot manufacture a donation that has already been spent.”
Um, yeah, any CPA worth their calculator says you can. And even if it takes a little bit of accounting wizardry, every ounce of morality and decency says you should.