Countdown To Election Day: Congressman Renacci’s Relationship With Ben Suarez
November 2, 2018
As the clock ticks down to Election Day, we’re taking a look back at the lowlights of Congressman Jim Renacci’s Senate bid – a campaign that’s been defined by embarrassing stories, despicable lows, and complaints from Republicans that Renacci never “even picked up the towel.”
Today we’re taking a look at Congressman Renacci’s long relationship with convicted felon Ben Suarez.
Be sure to continue following along over the next four days as we count down to the end of Congressman Renacci’s pathetic political career.
Congressman Jim Renacci and convicted felon Ben Suarez have a relationship dating back to at least November 2010. The shady connection has taken the spotlight in recent months, ever since Suarez launched a “retribution campaign” on Renacci’s behalf.
See the timeline of Congressman Renacci and Ben Suarez’s relationship below:
November 2010: The first of more than 40 phone calls between Congressman Renacci and Ben Suarez occurred. As the Dayton Daily News reported, “Telephone logs captured by federal investigators in that case show Renacci and Suarez exchanged more than 40 calls between November 2010 and May 2012.”
March 29, 2011: On March 29, 2011, Congressman Renacci wrote a letter to Governor John Kasich on Suarez’s behalf. Cleveland.com reported back in 2013 that the letter “urged Kasich to contact California Gov. Jerry Brown to intervene in a legal dispute that Suarez, a North Canton direct marketing company, was having in California.” Cleveland.com also recently reported that Suarez and Renacci exchanged “a call on the day before Renacci wrote the letter to Kasich.”
March 30 & 31, 2011: In the two days after Congressman Renacci wrote a letter to Governor Kasich on Suarez’s behalf, “checks from Suarez employees were headed to the congressman’s campaign treasury, eventually totaling a reported $100,000.” As Cleveland.com reported, court documents from Suarez’s trial show “telephone calls between Renacci and Suarez in the week before the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions began to arrive.”
August 19, 2011: The Toledo Blade first reported on Ben Suarez’s shady donations to Congressman Renacci on August 19, 2011.
August 20, 2011: One day after the Toledo Blade first reported on the shady campaign contributions, Renacci and Suarez exchanged a phone call at 2:23pm, according to court records.
May 21, 2012: On May 21, 2012, the Associated Press first reported that the campaign contributions Suarez and his associates gave Congressman Renacci were subject of an FBI investigation. Cleveland.com recently reported that Renacci and Suarez exchanged a call “within hours” of the AP report.
July 20, 2012: July 20, 2012 was the day Congressman Renacci finally returned the $100,000 in shady campaign contributions he received from Suarez and his associates. The Renacci campaign said the only reason they returned the donations was to take the issue “off the table” for Renacci’s opponent, saying they were “taking away her last tool of distraction.”
June 20, 2018: Ben Suarez came back into the news on June 20, 2018 when the Associated Press reported on the Justice Association LLC. The Justice Association was founded by Suarez and his corporation “about a month after U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci joined the Senate race,” and is dedicated to running a “retribution campaign” against Sherrod Brown and boosting Renacci’s Senate bid.
TODAY: Despite Ben Suarez’s retribution campaign to boost his campaign and the lingering questions surrounding their relationship, Congressman Renacci has remained stunningly silent.
Read more here:
Columbus Dispatch: Renacci calls with Suarez came at key points in criminal case
Cleveland.com: For Senate hopeful Jim Renacci, Ben Suarez is baggage that will not go away, nor should it: Brent Larkin
Associated Press: Convicted Republican businessman’s company targets Democrats
Cleveland.com: Convicted businessman Ben Suarez confirms retribution campaign targeting Democrats
Dayton Daily News: Canton businessman and ex-convict seeks to help Renacci in Senate race
Toledo Blade: Renacci says connection to felon Ben Suarez is ‘old news’