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Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2002

Candidates for treasurer trade barbs

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Mary Boyle, Democratic candidate for Ohio treasurer, yesterday called for competitive bidding on all contracts awarded by the office and for bidders to reveal which political candidates they have supported financially.

“How else can we guarantee there isn't pay-to-play going on in these offices?” she asked.

Mrs. Boyle, a former Cuyahoga County commissioner and state representative, also called for creation of an Investment Advisory Commission to review contract bids and recommend awards.

Incumbent Treasurer Joe Deters shot back, accusing his opponent of violating a 1994 federal rule by accepting an improper campaign contribution from the wife of a municipal bond underwriter. The rule prohibits persons associated with bond writing from making a contribution of more than $250.

“Before she [Mrs. Boyle] starts talking about the law that she thinks should be, she should start observing the law that is currently in place,” he said.

Mrs. Boyle said Mary Beth Baucco of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, had supported her prior campaigns and listed her employer as a pest-control company. Mrs. Baucco contributed $1,000 to Mrs. Boyle's current campaign. Her husband, Alan Baucco of the A.G. Edwards & Sons brokerage house gave the maximum allowable: $250. He gave a like amount to Mr. Deters in 1998.

“I have a lot of confidence that Alan Baucco knows the rules and would not consciously violate them and prohibit himself from doing business,” Mrs. Boyle said.

Her campaign spokesman, Brian Rothenberg, said the rule applies to investment professionals and Mrs. Boyle does not currently hold public office.

“Hey, isn't disclosure great?” Mrs. Boyle asked with a smile, an obvious reference to questions raised about whether contributions made to the Hamilton County Republican Party by brokers and bankers doing business with the treasurer's office worked their way back to the Deters campaign.

The party contributed more than $300,000 to Mr. Deters in 2001.



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