Report Reveals True Election Meddlers and Outsiders



Toledoans for Safe Water
Markie Miller, organizer
Crystal Jankowski, organizer

Toledo, OH: Yesterday, the post-election campaign finance reports from the February 2019 Special Election revealed that out-of-state opponents of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) spent almost 50 times as much as Toledoans for Safe Water, the group trying to protect Lake Erie. Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition, which formed to oppose the LEBOR, led a well-funded campaign against the citizens initiative during the special election. Nevertheless, more than 61 percent of Toledo voters voted in favor of Lake Erie.

BP Corporation North America, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is listed as the sole monetary donor to the anti-LEBOR campaign, donating $302,000 with a wire transfer on February 12, 2019. Toledoans for Safe Water spent a total of $5,899.57 to advance the LEBOR.

Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition list campaign payments to Yellowstone Associates for consulting and New Troy Strategies for targeted direct mail, phone calls, radio ads, and text messages. Both organizations are based in Virginia and registered to Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, according to the Virginia Secretary of State website.

“The time has come for corporate-owned politics to take a backseat to the citizen-led efforts and movements for change. We want to be the ones who influence and shape our communities to reflect our values and protection for the city we call home,” stated LEBOR organizer Julian Mack.

Although voters in Toledo approved the Lake Erie Bill of Rights in February, this David vs. Goliath battle continues in the courts. Drewes Farms Partnership, another outside interest, sued the city only 12 hours after the passage of the law by Toledo voters. The City of Toledo agreed to a preliminary injunction against enforcing the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

“Lake Erie is the lifeblood of our community. Without a healthy lake, we the people of Toledo, not Columbus or Virginia, will suffer the consequences of health problems and economic loss. LEBOR shows how people can and should address the democracy problem that creates and fosters the major environmental issues we have been powerless to stop. These campaign finance reports, plus the lawsuit filed by another large corporate entity reveal the system and structure that has to be changed if a livable future in Toledo will exist at all,” commented Bryan Twitchell, LEBOR organizer. The reported contributions and expenses are listed below.

Contributions: $313,205
CrossRoads Media, LLC. – $3,705
BP Corporation North America, Inc.  – $302,000 – Monetary $7,500 – In-Kind Monetary
Total: $305,705
In-Kind Total: $7,500

Expenses: $305,645

Yellowstone Associates (Virginia)
$10,000 – Consulting

Shumaker Advisors (Ohio)
$10,000 – Consulting

BP Corporation North America Inc (Texas)
$12,708.61 – Donation Refund

Chain Bridge Bank (Virginia)
$140 – Bank Fees

Battleground Strategies, LLC (Ohio)
$25,000 – General Campaign Consulting

CrossRoads Media, LLC (Virginia)
$105,444 – Radio Ad Production and Placement

DDC Public Affairs (Washington, DC)
$10,000 – Digital Ad Production and Placement

Langdon Law, LLC (Ohio)
$10,000 – Legal Fees

New Troy Strategies (Virginia)
$122,352.39 – Campaign Outreach
$82,987.36 – Direct Mail, Targeted Voter Data
$16,500 – Radio Ad Production
$2,857.08 – Direct Mail
$10,514.82 – Text Messages, Phone Calls
$9,493.13 – Text Messages, Phone Calls

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