Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Cleveland Teachers Union Files Another Complaint With Elections Commission Over Opposition Group's Failure to File Finance Report

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 4:31 PM

  • Cleveland Transformation Alliance

The Cleveland Teachers Union, via union president Shari Obrenski, has filed a second complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission alleging that the opposition group that's funded a campaign to defeat the CMSD levy failed to register as a PAC and failed to file the appropriate finance reports by the state's deadline.

A pre-General Election filing was required by PACs this year by Oct. 22, which the anti-Issue 68 cabal has apparently failed to do. (See the full filing below.)

While a pre-General Election filing report wouldn't illuminate the specific contributors, it would tell the public how much the group has raised and would specify its expenditures.'s Brent Larkin in a recent column estimated that for the multiple mailers (9), online ad spot and website, the group might have raised and spent upward of $500,000.

The opposition group is organized under Cleveland's Future Fund LLC and has gone to great lengths to hide the identities of those running and funding the effort.

Crain's has reported in the past month that downtown property owners, including K&D's Doug Price, are thought to be involved.

Price is the only one so far to admit his participation.

"The levy is crazy," Price told Crain's in one interview. "It's no surprise there is an anti-levy campaign. Business conditions are terrible, and it's a 30% increase in our taxes."

Other well-known downtown developers and land owners have been rumored as well, though they have flat-out dodged reporters' phone calls and messages to remain scot-free of public admonishment, letting the river of turmoil roll past them while promising to, in theory, help children. (Many of them have also been the beneficiaries of generous tax-incentive packages from the city of Cleveland.)

The Cleveland Teachers Union filed a separate ethics complaint with the state last week against the opposition group.

CMSD CEO Eric Gordon has said that, should the levy renewal and increase fail, the district would be looking at staggering cuts, including closing more than two dozen schools and slashing millions of dollars in staff and extracurriculars.

The ethics complaint will likely go nowhere, at least in terms of unmasking those involved in the effort, but CTU is doing what it can.

(Mobile users may have to switch to desktop mode to read the PDF)

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More on Scene & Heard

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation