The opp-research knives are out. Politico reports an attack line regarding 16th District Republican Jim Renacci that suggests he has used litigation as a means to bully competition and cheat customers:
Renacci, who is running against freshman Democratic Rep. John Boccieri in Ohio’s 16th District, has made millions in real estate, nursing homes and other businesses. His campaign calls the suits “an everyday occurrence in the business world” and says Renacci is “proud of the fact that he’s never lost a lawsuit involving his businesses.”
But a review of the litany of cases Renacci has faced and filed reveals a ready willingness to go to court — and aggressive use of the technicalities of the system to bring them to resolution.
He has initiated cases against former business partners, companies he has worked with and the state of Ohio.[…]
Renacci held millions of dollars in a specific type of trust that had previously been tax-exempt. The state changed the law, but Renacci excluded the trust income from his tax return anyway and objected to a state assessment that said he owed the money. He paid the state nearly $1.4 million, including $294,000 in tax penalties.
That judgment is the subject of an attack ad that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spent $750,000 on to run against Renacci.
“Renacci hid $13 million and was forced to pay $1.4 million in back taxes and penalties,” the narrator says. “What do you think?”
Renacci sued the group for defamation – a move that will open him to questioning under oath, possibly during the campaign – and his lawyers have begun the discovery process.
But Renacci or his companies have also been involved in a series of suits related to care given at his nursing homes, including one suit alleging a patient’s wrongful death.