You've heard of Dee and Jimmy Haslam, surely.
The Browns owners?
Last seen vouching for the integrity and solemn remorsefulness of quarterback DeShaun Watson and lavishing upon him the largest contract in NFL history, shortly before Watson was suspended for 11 games for serial sexual misconduct with massage therapists.
Also seen accompanying their charter-school buddy to a meeting with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. (If the Haslams can so easily exploit their political influence to reshape a literal Great Lakes lakefront with their private profit in mind, why not reshape a region's education system for profit, too?)
And then of course seen at the Athletic Club of Columbus, co-hosting a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance, America's "most famous living hillbilly."
The Haslams are trying their damnedest to get Vance elected, never mind that he is regarded by Republican strategists as one of the worst candidates in memory. One fundraiser simply would not do the trick. A candidate this bad needs endless reserves of cash from his rich donors to finance his advertising and public relations efforts, what's known popularly as a political campaign. The Haslams recognize that despite Democrat Tim Ryan's appeals to the political center, big money and Donald Trump's endorsement could be all this bearded bozo needs to succeed Rob Portman in Ohio.
And so the Haslams are now inviting all their richest Cleveland friends to their house in Bratenahl on Oct. 12 for a high-dollar Vance event. (It is these executives and their cohort, not the mythic Appalachian working class, that represents Vance's true constituency.)
Cleveland.com's Andrew Tobias reports that all listed event chairs have committed to a $25,000 gift.
PS on this, event chairs are agreeing to give at least $25k per person or couple, which gets them their name on the invitation, access to a VIP roundtable and a photo. Let's ballpark this event at raising at least $550k for Vance then.— Andrew Tobias (@AndrewJTobias) September 26, 2022
Many of them are highly respected luminaries in the Cleveland business community. Here's who they are:
- MONTE & USHA AHUJA: Monte Ahuja, big shot businessman, founder of Transtar Industries, global distributor of transmission parts. CSU's School of Business and UH's Beachwood Medical Center named after him. Now a hobbyist golf course owner.
- ART & CAROL ANTON: Art Anton, former president and CEO of Swagelok.
- TERRY COYNE: Commercial real estate broker with his own goddamn commercial.
- ED & MARY CRAWFORD: Ed Crawford, alleged "icon" of the Cleveland business community, former president and CEO of Park Ohio Holdings and Trump-appointed ambassador to Ireland. Famous victim of LeBron James.
- MATT & DEBORAH CRAWFORD: Matt is Ed's son and the current chairman and CEO of Park Ohio.
- FRED DiSANTO: Chairman and CEO of Ancora, a wealth management firm. Beloved banker of the GCP set.
- UMBERTO & MARY ELLEN FEDELI: Umberto is the uber rich insurance magnate, President and CEO of the Fedeli Group. Also a wildcat individual investor and host of the famous Fat Cat Fundraiser for Frank Jackson at his palatial multi-plot property in Gates Mills.
- MIKE GIBBONS: Local big-money finance guy. Entrepreneur and investor. Most recently U.S. Senate Candidate who lost to Vance.
- DAVID & REBECCA HELLER: David is the president, CEO and founder of the NRP Group, a development firm, and outgoing chairman of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
- LORIE & NICK HOWLEY: Nick Howley is the chairman of the aerospace parts manufacturer TransDigm, known in recent years for its recurring funny business with U.S. government contracts. He remains the most extravagantly compensated executive in Northeast Ohio by a wide margin, earning more than $60 million last year in total compensation.
- DAVID JENKINS: Browns Chief Operating Officer.
- BILL LENNON: Founder and CEO of Lokring Technologies, active Republican Party donor.
- RON LEONHARDT: Founder and CEO of CrossCountry Mortgage, (a Browns partner.)
- JAY LUCARELLI: Owner and CEO of MinuteMen Staffing, member of Cleveland's Business Hall of Fame.
- BERNIE & BRIDGET MORENO: Bernie sells cars, loves blockchain. Also hilariously ran for U.S. Senate.
- JON PINNEY: Managing Partner of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz law firm. Famously delivered the 2018 speech at the City Club trashing the region's economic development strategies that paved the way for such glistening local efforts as Blockland and Cleveland Rising.
- FRANK SINITO: Founder and CEO of the Millennia Companies, developers and property managers that own Key Tower, among others.
- KEVIN & KRISTEN STEIN: Kevin is the current President and CEO of TransDigm, though still compensated vastly less than his chairman Nick Howley.
- FRANK SULLIVAN: Chairman and CEO of RPM International, brother of Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan.
- JANE & TIM TIMKEN: Jane is the former chair of the Ohio Republican Party and another U.S. Senate Candidate who lost to Vance.
- RON WEINBERG: Director and Principal of the Weinberg Capital Group, big Cleveland Clinic donor.
- JIM & DEBBIE WERT: Jim is the chairman of CM Wealth Advisors.
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