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Campaign Finance in Ohio

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Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher(s): Brennan Center for Justice

Author(s): Suzanne Novak; Maneesh Sharma; Bethany Foster

Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation

Topic: Politics (Campaigns, lobbying, and pressure groups)

Keywords: Campaign Finance Reform; Contribution Limits; Disclosure

Type: Report

Coverage: Ohio


When released, this report found Ohio's campaign finance laws were among the worst in the Midwest. Sky-high contribution limits—in a system riddled with loopholes—created massive opportunities for special interests to corrupt Ohio’s political process.

Ohio's contribution limits are consistently among the highest in the nation giving “special interests enormous leverage in Ohio politics,” said Suzanne Novak of the Brennan Center and lead author of the report. “Limits in the tens of thousands virtually guarantee that wealthy interests can co-opt candidates.” In addition to reining in campaign contribution limits, the report recommends that Ohio restore the ban on all corporate giving, implement consistent disclosure laws, and create a generous public financing system for all statewide, legislative, and judicial candidates.

Catherine Turcer of Ohio Citizen Action states, “This report provides a clear headed analysis of the problem and a solid foundation for reforms that will level the playing field and give regular people a fair shot at being heard in Columbus.”