An Ohio state lawmaker filed an elections complaint against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, her gubernatorial campaign and her husband on Monday alleging the mishandling of a $3 million loan.
Rep. Mike Duffey, a fellow Republican, asked the Ohio Elections Commission to investigate a $3 million check from Taylor's campaign to Taylor's husband, Donzell Taylor, that was part of the candidate's campaign finance filing on Thursday.
The case appears to hinge on whether Taylor and her husband co-mingled their money, as marital property, or held it separately. Michael Duchesne, Taylor's campaign spokesman, said the loan and repayment were both legal.
Duffey alleges that the money would represent an illegal campaign contribution if Taylor's husband is the source of the loan, citing Ohio law that says only the candidate can contribute legally to a campaign. It also would mean her earlier reporting was falsified.
Taylor previously reported loaning the campaign $3 million on Jan. 26, filed her campaign finance report, and then reported repaying herself later that same day. The move likely was aimed at boosting the apparent strength of Taylor's campaign finances alongside rival Mike DeWine, the state attorney general.
Since Ohio law caps individual contributions to a statewide candidate at $12,707 a year, Duffey's complaint alleges a loan from Taylor's husband, an Akron-area builder and developer, would exceed campaign finance limits by about $2.9 million. Based on that amount, a finding against Taylor could result in fines as high as $8.9 million
Duchesne called the complaint a campaign ploy by a supporter of DeWine.
"Stop the presses. D.C. DeWine has one of his Swamp cronies file a complaint on his behalf," he said. "This is just the latest example of the DeWine camp trying to muddy the waters so Ohio voters won't be focused on his pathetic, liberal record. It's not going to work. Ohioans are too smart to be tricked by these amateur hour attacks."
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