Ohio Republicans target taxpayer-funded ad campaigns


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An amendment tucked into the Ohio House version of the state operating budget aims to curb taxpayer-funded advertising campaigns like the one starring Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Mandel, who is running for U.S. Senate, spent about $2 million on ads that featured him and Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. His office used a loophole to avoid spending approval by the Controlling Board by paying for the commercials in increments under $50,000.

The amendment released by House Republicans requires Controlling Board approval for any advertising that, in total, exceeds $50,000.

Mandel’s spokesman did not say if the state treasurer was the target of the latest amendment. He did say Mandel’s office reviewed the amendment, and “we have no problem with it.”

The House is expected to approve its budget Wednesday.