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Ethics Panel Says Renacci May Have Campaigned With Taxpayer-Funded Resources

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-16), then a candidate for U.S. Senate, in a photo taken in his House office and tweeted by his campaign account on March 13, 2018, to remind voters to cast ballots in both the May primary and the November election.
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-16), then a candidate for U.S. Senate, in a photo taken in his House office and tweeted by his campaign account on March 13, 2018, to remind voters to cast ballots in both the May primary and the November election.

Independent ethics investigators say former Congressman Jim Renacci misused official resources for his campaigns for governor in 2017 and US Senator last year.

A video from “Fox and Friends” on January 12, 2018, is among the Renacci tweets that got Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper to ask the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate.

The office now says there’s substantial reason to believe that Renacci inappropriately used taxpayer funded resources to take videos and photos inside government buildings to promote his campaigns for governor and US Senator on social media. And the report says he continued to even after he and his staff were questioned about it.

But because Renacci is no longer in office, it’s unlikely he’ll be sanctioned.  

Renacci responded with a statement saying he cooperated fully, though he noted the office isn’t the House Committee on Ethics and that the report doesn’t confirm any misuse. And Renacci says he considers the initial claim "frivolous".

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Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.