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Published: Saturday, 9/24/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Financial disclosure to be filed by Mandel

Form expected in Oct.; it was due May 15

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Republican Josh Mandel is a candidate for state treasurer. Republican Josh Mandel is a candidate for state treasurer.
THE PLAIN DEALER/LONNIE TIMMONS Enlarge

State Treasurer Josh Mandel's campaign said Friday it expects to file sometime in October a federal personal financial disclosure form that was due May 15.

Mr. Mandel of Lyndhurst, Ohio, is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown.

Mandel campaign spokesman Joe Aquilino said there are certain spousal assets that are required to be listed on the federal report that were never required on the state report.

"Our staff is working with the Senate compliance staff to determine which of those spousal assets must be filed and in what format," Mr. Aquilino said. "Our staff has been working with their staff since the spring, and they've been very cooperative and helpful as we work to compile a full and accurate report.

"Hopefully we will have the process completed and the report filed sometime next month. Filing a full and accurate report is what's most important to us," he added.

The committee can grant extensions of time up to 90 days, but Mr. Mandel has not asked for one. Filing a late disclosure without an extension is punishable by a $200 fine, which can be repeated. A committee spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Brown filed his disclosure May 15.

Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Justin Barasky blasted Mr. Mandel's continued noncompliance. "The fact is that for about 130 days, Josh Mandel has refused to disclose his personal finances. The lack of transparency Ohioans are seeing from our absentee treasurer is completely unacceptable. Josh Mandel is in violation of the law," he said.

Mr. Mandel's wife, Ilana Shafran Mandel, is the daughter of Joseph Shafran, a first cousin of Albert B. Ratner, former head of Forest City Enterprises, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Mr. Shafran is also chairman and chief executive officer of Paran Management Co., a firm that develops and manages shopping centers and other property. The Dispatch reported that the Mandels were married on Aug. 28, 2008, in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the Mandel team has sought to link Mr. Brown with solar panel manufacturer Solyndra LLC, which recently entered bankruptcy after getting a $528 million federal loan under the 2009 economic stimulus law.

The campaign said Mr. Brown, who supported the stimulus program, received a campaign contribution of $2,500 from Solyndra board member Thomas Baruch in March, 2011, after the Office of Management & Budget warned of Solyndra's potential default. Earlier this month the FBI searched Solyndra's California headquarters.

"It's obvious that Sherrod Brown paved the way for this company to receive these tax dollars, and then he looked the other way when the Office of Management and Budget warned of their default," Mr. Aquilino said. He asked if Mr. Brown would return the contribution.

Mr. Brown's Senate office referred questions to Mr. Barasky.

"That guy [Baruch] was on the board of directors. He was not an employee who worked for the company. This Solyndra thing is a desperate and pathetic attack by Josh Mandel to distract from the fact that he's being bombarded with negative headlines for his numerous ethical violations," Mr. Barasky said.

Contact Tom Troy at tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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