According to the Federal Election Commission, “The donation of office machines, furniture, supplies-anything of value-is an in-kind contribution… A donation of services is also considered an in-kind contribution. ”
In nine of the districts, in-kind donations totaled more than $2 million over the past decade.
The rankings appeared to be a measure of which districts had been most competitive over the past ten years, since many of the districts that received the most in-kind contributions had alternated between Republican and Democratic control
“Ray-was running a quick analysis on inking contributions made to house races over the last decade and thought you’d find it interesting which districts were on top,” Troy Judy, House Speaker Batchelder’s chief of staff, wrote in an e-mail.
DiRossi wrote back a few minutes later, expressing surprise at the position of two of the districts on the list, and added, “But we have made significant improvements to many HDs [House districts] on this list. Hopefully saving millions over the coming years.”
DiRossi’s comment seemed to suggest that the new maps would be less competitive, and thus would require fewer campaign donations—a potential savings of millions of dollars.
“It’s 1AM—go to bed you political junkies,” Heather Mann, another of the state’s redistricting staffers, wrote back.
Dittoe said the contributions statistics were sent to several people, and that since the redistricting maps were already complete by the time the e-mail was sent, the statistics could not have prompted any changes in the maps.
DiRossi and Mann, who is currently a deputy legal counsel in Batchelder’s office, were each paid $105,000 in public money for a few months of redistricting work, according to public documents obtained by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting.
Anything said about redistricting by politicians can be used as evidence in a legal challenge of a mapping plan-so politicians are typically warned to keep silent in public about redistricting plans. In a ProPublica interview last week, Georgia Congressman Lynn Westoreland, a point man for the Republicans’ redistricting effort, said Congressional delegations were briefed on redistricting protocol and warned that whatever they said could be used in court.
Westmoreland said he also warned congressman to work as a team and “not to get greedy.”
“Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” he said.