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Government and Politics

Josh Mandel says there's no coordination with former aide
Non-profit launched $1 million ad campaign against Sen. Sherrod Brown
This story is part of a special series.

Kabir Bhatia
GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel told the crowd in Akron on Saturday about winning his election to the state house by wearing out three pair of shoes campaigning
Courtesy of Robert Sustersic
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In The Region:
Clarification: The campaign of Josh Mandel says it does not know the philosophy of the group backing the attack ads on Sen. Sherrod Brown. An earlier version of the story characterized the two as sharing a philosophy.

A former aide to Senate Republican challenger Josh Mandel has ties to a non-profit that’s launched a $1 million advertising campaign against Mandel’s opponent, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports that Mandel says any ties are coincidental.
Mandel says no coordination with former aide

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Documents show Joel Riter, who was state Treasurer Josh Mandel’s aide until June of 2011, consulted with Cap Square, a lobbying firm owned by Thomas Norris. The non-profit investigative reporting group, ProPublica, first reported last week that Norris is also chairman of the Government Integrity Fund, which has bought ads attacking Mandel’s opponent, Sherrod Brown.

Independent groups can keep most of their donors and operations secret, but are forbidden from coordinating with candidate’s campaigns.

Last week, Riter declined to comment to ProPublica on any involvement with the Government Integrity Fund.

Josh Mandel was in Akron over the weekend, speaking at the commencement for the for-profit school, Herzing University.

“Our campaign does not coordinate with any outside groups.  Whether it’s the outside group on the left, like the SEIU or the AFL-CIO and Harry Reid’s Super PAC, that have been beating me up with a bunch of negative ads.  Or groups on the right.  We don’t coordinate with groups on the right or the left.  We’re running our own campaign and one of the reasons we’re tied in the polls is because we’re running a positive campaign while Sherrod Brown is running a primarily negative campaign.”

AP also reports that an attorney for the Government Integrity Fund says Riter was involved in errands, but there has been no coordination between the non-profit and Mandel’s campaign.
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