Josh Mandel

Last year, following up on an intriguing 2011 piece in the Toledo Blade, I stumbled upon an FBI investigation into more than $200,000 in questionable contributions made by employees of a North Canton, Ohio direct marketing firm called Suarez Corporation to the campaigns of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was challenging Sen.

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Something pretty remarkable happened Thursday morning in Ohio: Two businessmen were charged with serious violations of federal campaign finance law. That doesn’t happen so much these days, what with the United States Supreme Court eviscerating limits on campaign giving and spending and with the Federal Election Commission in a state of permanent dysfunction.

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It's time to recap the most memorable moments of the 2012 campaign.

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FreedomWorks shot for the Senate this year, and fell far short.

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A member of one of America's richest dynasties is running for Senate. And the family is funding his opponent.

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Politicians often get Southern when the occasion demands it. Cleveland boy Josh Mandel joined this noble tradition at a coal mine this week.

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Back in May, while reporting a cover story on the 2012 political landscape in Ohio, I decided to follow up on a article done last year by Toledo Blade reporter Tony Cook, noting the large number of donations from employees of a North Canton direct marketing company called Suarez Industries to Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who is challenging Sherrod Brown, and to Congressman Jim Renacci, who is running against Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in a redistricted seat in northeast Ohio.

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It’s been heartening to see a broad response to the disclosure, deep within the magazine’s new cover story on the Ohio political landscape, that the FBI is investigating questionable donations by employees of a direct-marketing company in Canton, Ohio to the campaigns of Republicans Josh Mandel, the state treasurer challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running against Rep. Betty Sutton in a newly configured House district.

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Lodge 141 of the Fraternal Order of Police is housed, along with 446 jail cells, inside the Mahoning County Justice Center, a forbidding brick and steel hulk at the edge of the frayed downtown of Youngstown, Ohio. It’s a humble office, but its proprietors have embellished it with a number of rather pointed political decorations.

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