A $2 million, taxpayer-funded ad campaign last year by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has already been criticized for a lack of transparency. Now Ohio State University says it, too, has no documents related to the commercials, co-starring head football coach Urban Meyer and filmed in the Buckeyes’ practice facility.
Mandel, a Republican, already has said there was no written communication among him and his senior staff about the cost of and payments for the commercials, the methodology of which earned a rebuke this year from the Republican-controlled legislature.
The commercials promoted the STABLE program, which allows families to set up tax-free accounts for disabled children.
They aired just before Mandel announced another run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. That prompted watchdogs to say they appeared to be taxpayer-funded campaign commercials featuring Mandel alongside Meyer, the state’s highest-paid public employee and arguably the most popular individual in Ohio.