State Chair Paduchik Denies The Ohio Star Credentials to Cover Friday’s Ohio GOP Central Committee Meeting

The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party denied press credentials to The Ohio Star and its national political editor Neil W. McCabe for Friday’s Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee meeting at Lewis Center’s Nationwide Conference Center.

National Political Editor Neil W. McCabe (pictured left) interviews an Ohio Republican Party member.

“I sent your request to Chairman Paduchik, and he asked me to send you this response on the record: ‘Your request for credentials to attend the meeting as a journalist have been denied because The Ohio Star is fake news and you’re not a journalist,’” said Daniel J. Lusheck, the 30-year-old party spokesman and Marine Reserve veteran.

Lusheck, a spokesman for President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 Ohio campaign, replaced Tricia McLaughlin as the ORP communications director.

The Star requested the credentials, along with answers to questions from Chairman Robert A. Paduchik regarding an “agreed upon procedures” report created by the Greenwood, Indiana-based Compass Pointe CPAs for the party.

This report was represented as an audit by National Republican Committeeman James F. Dicke II in his email to all committee members.

The report is not an audit; instead, it is an “agreed upon procedures” report that is limited to a specific survey of invoices and deposits related to the so-called “Rep. Stivers receivables” which totaled about $655,000. The receivables sat on the ORP books as unpaid for years until ORP State Central Committeeman Mark A. Bainbridge raised questions about them in 2021

The Compasse Pointe “agreed upon procedures report,” sent to the ORP and dated January 11, 2022, dealt only with why this $655,000 in receivables sat on the ORP books from 2017 to 2021, when they were reduced to zero. Though the receivables were marked as paid, Compasse Pointe noted in its report that it had no record of who paid the receivables.

Bainbridge, a certified public accountant who retired as a partner from Ernst & Young, now in private practice, raised other questions about the state party’s financial statements, including an unexplained $3 million reduction in the party’s equity in unaudited ORP financial statements covering the period 2017 to 2022.

Listen here to Mark A. Bainbridge’s guest segment on The Ohio Star Podcast at the 18:37 mark:

 

The CPA told The Star that when he asked questions about the state party’s financial records at the May meeting of the ORP’s Fiscal Review Committee, he was reprimanded by Paduchik and treasurer David W. Johnson for asking too many detailed questions.

The fiscal review committee did not meet again until December, and before that meeting, Paduchik removed Bainbridge from the committee.

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @neilwmccabe2.

 

 

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