Did Jones-Kelley use her office to raise money for Obama?
posted at 11:20 am on November 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Helen Jones-Kelley initiated an investigation into Joe Wurzelbacher on his tax records and potential child-support payment issues when his question to Barack Obama threatened to derail Obama’s election. Now we find that Jones-Kelley may have abused her position in Ohio state government to assist Obama’s fundraising. A separate probe into her actions will finish later this week, according to Ohio’s inspector general (via William Amos):
Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles’ investigation into whether Helen Jones-Kelley used her top-level state job for improper political fundraising could be finished this week, Charles said on Monday, Nov. 10.
Gov. Ted Strickland has placed Jones-Kelley, 57, of Clayton on paid administrative leave from her $141,980-a-year job as director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services due to what Strickland called the “possibility” that a state computer or state e-mail account was used to help in political fundraising for the Obama for president campaign.
Jones-Kelley, who contributed $2,500 to Obama, formerly headed the same department in Montgomery County.
Earlier, we assumed the suspension related to the unwarranted probe of Joe the Plumber’s records that Jones-Kelley initiated, and later allegedly tried to cover up. Apparently, Jones-Kelley tried creating a little more Hope and Change in her official duties as JFS Director than first thought. Governor Strickland has directed the IG to combine the two investigations into a single effort.
What did Jones-Kelley do? She tipped off Team Obama to potential donors for an Obama fundraiser at a Dayton school, and used her work e-mail to do it. She identified at least one other public official as a potential invitee, who did get an invitation and attended with the requisite $2,500 donation.
The revelation of partisan electoral activities by Jones-Kelley adds to the skepticism over her actions in investigating Wurzelbacher. Jones-Kelley had already abused her position to raise funds for Obama, and so her transition to trampling Wurzelbacher’s civil rights in order to help smear him after the presidential debate seems more consisten in that context. If Strickland doesn’t take action against Jones-Kelley, Ohio voters should remember that in 2010 and kick him out of office.