Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, August 25

Atty Gen & Gov: Dann (D) Requests Hearings on Blackwell (R) Meeting with ODOT and Contractors

Attorney general candidate and State Senator Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) fired off a letter today to State Senator Jeffrey Armbruster (R-Lorain), Chair of the Ohio Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, demanding hearings about what transpired during a private meeting between Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and hundreds of highway contractors and Ohio Department of Transportation officials. From the press release:
More than 600 people were invited to last week’s “transportation summit” hosted by Secretary’s Blackwell’s gubernatorial campaign. The special guest of the event was ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. Recent news reports reported the invitation stated, “Secretary Blackwell will outline his belief in transportation’s essential role in Ohio’s economy and how he plans to continue the ODOT construction program.”

“There are two ways to look at this meeting- one of impropriety or one of actual corruption,” said Senator Dann. “Given our pay-to-play system that exists in the state, I veer towards the latter. This private meeting was an edict from Secretary Blackwell to highway contractors and ODOT officials that they either support his bid for governor or risk losing public contracts if he should take office. Whether this matter involves actual corruption or the appearance of corruption, we need to make sure for the public’s sake that an elected official is not strong arming state contractors into contributing to his campaign.”

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