Dem campaign coffers boosted by celebs


By Josh Ellerbrock - jellerbrock@limanews.com



LIMA — Due to Rep. Jim Jordan’s sometimes controversial influence on national politics, his political opponents are finding that their own funds are being boosted by some famous names.

In the latest federal election filings, actors Rosie O’Donnell and Ryan Reynolds appear among the list of contributors giving to Shannon Freshour’s campaign, while director Judd Apatow, actor Thomas Lennon and author Michael Connelly have provided funds to Jeffrey Sites.

As for Mike Larsen, who worked as a television writer, his funds have been boosted by a number of television writers, including Emmy Award winner Danny Zuker who is well known for producing ABC’s “Modern Family.”

In comparison, Jordan’s extensive itemized contribution list features at least one actress, Linda Montana, who appeared on television shows “Hawaii Five-O” and “Parks and Rec.”

Such famous contributors, however, make up an almost negligible percentage of total funds raised by Ohio’s 4th Congressional District candidates with most campaign dollars coming from unlisted contributors. For example, Jordan raised $2.1 million, or 56% of his 2019 funds, from undisclosed contributors.

The Federal Election Commission requires that campaigns itemize contributions if it receives more than $200 from single individual or organization.

In 2019 alone, Jordan reported close to $3.8 million in total contributions, spending roughly $2.4 million to end up with $2.1 million in cash on hand by the end of the year. Prior to 2020, Jordan’s highest fundraising total for an election cycle was $1.4 million.

A breakdown of Jordan’s expenditures show that his campaign’s largest single account was with Campaign Solutions, a political digital consulting firm that his campaign reported spending over $1 million with.

Jordan’s campaign also reported spending $11,887 at BLT Prime — a D.C. steakhouse located in the capital’s Trump Hotel — over two separate occasions in May and June. Election campaign fund site opensecrets.org has tracked $76,753 being spent by campaigns and conservative political action committees at the same location. Jordan’s campaign, however, topped the list with most spent.

A number of Trump-named commercial businesses can also be found on opensecrets.org, which pulls its information from the Federal Election Commission. For example, since President Donald Trump took office, his campaign alone has spent over $1.2 million with Trump Tower Commercial LLC.

To match Jordan’s fundraising, his political opponents have a lot of ground to cover. Freshour reported raising $266,000. Sites reported $155,397, and Larsen reported raising $65,955 in 2019. Sites, however, has the most cash on hand out of the three Democratic candidates, or $134,875, going into 2020.

In comparison, Freshour spent the most — $160,830 — out of the three candidates to end up with $105,170 heading into 2020.

In general, fundraising by Ohio’s 5th Congressional District candidates paled in comparison to the 4th district campaigns. Rep. Bob Latta reported raising $835,669 in 2019, while his Democratic challenger Nick Rubando raised $75,966. The second Democratic candidate in the race, Michael Carrigan Xavier, reported raising $2,884.

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By Josh Ellerbrock

jellerbrock@limanews.com

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