Ruling restricts campaign probe
Judge: Secretary of state can’t force nonresidents to testify on finances
Thursday, June 9, 2011 03:08 AM
BY JOE VARDON
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Secretary of State Jon Husted no longer may issue subpoenas outside Ohio, nor can he compel out-of-state residents who already had been called by his predecessor to testify in the investigation of LetOhioVote.org.
U.S. District Court Judge George C. Smith ruled yesterday that Ohio’s secretary of state does not have the authority to issue subpoenas beyond the state line when investigating potential campaign-finance violations.
Smith’s ruling grants relief sought by New Models, a mysterious Virginia nonprofit group that has not disclosed its donors and gave $1.55 million to LetOhioVote.org in 2009. The ruling also grants relief to two Virginia men: Norm Cummings, a Republican operative tied to both LetOhioVote.org and to former Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, also a Republican, and New Models President Tim Crawford.