Yesterday we wrote about the BWC settlement and how David Brennan’s law firm, Brennan, Manna & Diamond, had been paid over $4.5 Million so far to handle the case. The unbid contract was awarded to Brennan by Mike DeWine, who went to controlling board multiple times to get approval for the 11 payments ranging from $65,000 to $700,000 over a three year period.
And if we’ve learned anything from the ever-growing pay to play scandalinvolving AG’s office, law firms don’t get huge unbid contracts from DeWine unless they are huge campaign donors. Brennan, Manna & Diamond are no exception. In Ohio, lawyers and firms seeking work from the state can’t donate more than $1,000 to a candidate. To circumvent these limits, lawyers instead donate money to ORP or to the Summit County Republican Part where long-time DeWine friend Alex Arshinkoff, the party’s chairman, funnels the cash right back to DeWine’s campaign.
Campaign finance reports show that 17 lawyers from Brennan’s firm have given a total of $149,500 to the Ohio Republican Party’s State Candidate and Execute Committee Funds, and to the Summit County Republican Party’s State Candidate Fund since 2010. The Summit County GOP, under Arshinkoff, has moved over $400,000 to DeWine’s campaign in that same time period. The Ohio Republican Party has been doing the exact same thing.
The average yearly donation from lawyers at Brennan’s firm is about $4,700, well over the $1,000 limit for campaigns, with large donors like Anthony S. Manna giving up to $12,000 in a single year.
Abe Zaidan has been a professional journalist and freelance writer for more than forty years. He was the Ohio correspondent for the Washington Post, as well as a political columnist at the Akron Beacon Journal.