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Published: Sunday, 1/16/2011

Gov. Kasich raised about $1.6M to transition into office


COLUMBUS, Ohio — New Ohio Gov. John Kasich raised about $1.6 million to pay for his inauguration and other activities associated with taking over the governor's office, according to reports filed for the first time since a state law requiring disclosures of such "transition" accounts went into effect.

Among contributions reported to the secretary of state on Saturday are more than 100 of $10,000, the maximum allowed per donor. They came from companies and groups such as Procter & Gamble Co., Aetna Inc., the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ford Motor Co., Meijer Inc., United States Steel Corp. and Johnson & Johnson. Several others came from individuals, including Les Wexner, chairman and chief executive of Limited Brands Inc. and American Financial Group Inc.'s Carl Lindner.

Kasich has spent about $605,000 of the funds so far on items such as special events, salaries and insurance premiums, according to the filing. About $70,000 has been paid to consultants.

Kasich was among Republicans who swept all five state offices in the November election.

An Ohio law that went into effect in September allows transition accounts for local and state officeholders and requires that reports be filed to disclose contributions and expenditures.

Such accounts became a hot topic in 2008, when the state inspector general said former Attorney General Marc Dann spent funds from a transition account on a business run by his wife and on aides who were already getting state paychecks. Dann in May entered guilty pleas to two charges, including one that involved a $5,000 gift or loan he made from the account to one of his aides.

The state's new secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general and auditor also filed transition account reports on Saturday. Maximum individual donations for those accounts are $2,500.

Treasurer Josh Mandrel has raised $61,000, and has spent about $4,200, according to his report with the secretary if state. Among his top donors are U.S. Bancorp and White Castle Purchasing Co.

Attorney General Mike DeWine raised $51,000 and has spent all but about $7,000. Among his top donors are Microsoft Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. He also received $2,500 from Limited Brands and a separate $2,500 from Wexner.

Auditor David Yost has raised $38,250 and has spent about $20,000. Secretary of State John Husted has raised $30,750 and has spent about $7,600.

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