limaohio.com

Editorial: Take care of me; I'll take care of you

December 5, 2012

The Lima News



Some politicians talk a lot.



Some of them actually mean what they say.



Others talk a good game, but don’t really understand the words spilling out of their mouths.



Case in point:



Less than two weeks after losing his U.S. Senate bid, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel found jobs for two political cronies: a $90,000 position for Joe Aquilino, his political director; and a $62,500 position for campaign henchman Jared Borg.



Aquilino will be the treasury office’s new deputy legal counsel and director of regional representatives. It sounds important enough to make $90,000 a year, however, it would sound better if Aquilino had more than two years of legal experience.



Borg will be the treasury’s new deputy director of regional representatives, whatever that means. His qualifications are that he was in charge of finding any dirt that may be on campaign videos of Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.



What’s really laughable — perhaps “sad” is a better word to use — is Mandel is the guy who won the 2010 state treasurer’s campaign largely by accusing the previous treasurer, Kevin Boyce, of appointing politically connected people into key jobs.



Mandel was ruthless in going after Boyce, stating that “unlike the current officeholder, I will ensure that my staff is comprised of qualified financial professionals — rather than political cronies and friends — and that investment decisions are based on what is best for Ohioans.”



Best for whom?



Mandel’s quick, bold act of political favoritism reaffirms what the majority of voters suspected: Once you get beyond the sound byte, there is little substance in Mandel’s talking points.



It also shows that Mandel may be no different than those politicians he ostracizes.



While it is common for officeholders to hire people they know and trust, such new hires at least need to be qualified. We cannot help but wonder about all of the former employees of the treasurer’s office who were laid-off during Mandel’s first two years. The cuts amounted to about $1 million in salary. Were any of those workers more qualified than Aquilino or Borg?



Republicans should be asking questions about the state’s leadership.



It anointed Mandel as the candidate to unseat Sherrod Brown, who the GOP calls the most liberal senator in the United States. It was no secret the party frowned on anyone running against Mandel in the primary.



He was the chosen one.