Politics & Policy

Zach Space Convicted, but not Punished, for Election Law Violation

Zach Space, the well-heeled Democrat in Ohio’s 18th District, is on the hook for having made misleading statements about his opponent Bob Gibbs.

Given the recent attempt by the Ohio Democratic Party to gut American Crossroads for similar violations, this is going to call the Democrats’ commitment to an honest election into question. The Columbus Dispatch reports:

In an increasingly bitter 18th Congressional District campaign, incumbent Rep. Zack Space has been found guilty of violating Ohio election law by making false statements about his Republican challenger Bob Gibbs in a TV ad.

Now Space, a Democrat from Dover seeking a third term in office, says Gibbs, a state senator from Lakeville, has been “caught red-handed stealing from taxpayers” by using a state legislative agency to do campaign research.

The dueling complaints highlight the volatile, high-profile 18th district race, which is drawing attention and resources from both national parties.

The Ohio Elections Commission ruled Thursday that Space broke Ohio election law by falsely claiming in a TV ad aired in Columbus and other markets that Gibbs, as a state lawmaker, voted for a pay raise for himself but failed to vote for tax breaks for average Ohioans. The Space campaign defended the ad, but stopped running it in late June.

The commission meted out no punishment for Space, not even a letter of reprimand.

Space spokesman Andrew Ricci said, “We’re disappointed in the ruling and we don’t agree with it.”

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