Editor’s Note: This is the second of three stories examining Gov. Mike DeWine’s use of pay-to-play when he was attorney general and how the Ohio Republican Party funnels money from donors to individual candidates. This series also will examine the relationship between the party, DeWine and former House Speaker Larry Householder to FirstEnergy. The first story in this series is available here.
The Dayton Daily News in January 2014 reported on allegations of pay-to-play in Attorney General DeWine’s office concerning an advisory panel.
His calendar shows he met frequently with (now deceased) Alex Arshinkoff, a lobbyist and the chairman of Summit County Republican Party who represented four companies doing business with DeWine’s office.
DeWine was not the only Ohio Republican engaging in pay-to-play. Indeed, previous news reports and public records show the Ohio Republican Party funneled money to DeWine and now disgraced former House Speaker Larry Householder from such donors as FirstEnergy.
Arshinkoff reportedly was a master at the concept of funneling candidate money through the state party. He also was a key figure in furthering the ambitions of both DeWine and current state party chairwoman Jane Timken.
Arshinkoff, who died in 2017, was the Summit County Republican Party head for approximately 40 years and had earned respect for building the party up in a strong Democratic territory. His story was told in an obituary on a blog titled GOP Today — United by Core Beliefs, published by Pennsylvania Republican attorney Andrew W. Barbin, who calls himself a friend of Arshinkoff’s.
Arshinkoff always insisted that donors give through the party instead of spreading money out through individual candidates.
This was both the source of his county operation’s might and the heart of the carping criticism against it. Alex understood that a statewide candidate would have little reason to consider general needs of Summit County if its resident’s contributions were merged in and made indistinguishable from those from other counties.