Congressman Turner prepares complaint against campaign opponent

The campaign for U.S. Congressman Mike Turner announced on Friday it has prepared a federal elections complaint against a recently-declared opponent.

Turner’s complaint alleges by spending any time running for office, his Democratic challenger Russ Gottesman would violate the terms of two $300,000 state loans he received from the Dayton Development Coalition to start a pair of businesses.

Gottesman, 36, and his wife own Commuter Advertising and MyEndoShop.com. He is also a part-time faculty member at the University of Dayton, according to his campaign website.

Gottesman said last month he will challenge Turner, a Dayton Republican, in the November 2014 election to represent Ohio’s 10th congressional district. The district covers all of Montgomery and Greene counties and part of Fayette County.

The Turner campaign said the types of loans Gottesman received typically require recipients to dedicate “100 percent of their professional efforts” to running the business that received funding.

The Turner campaign reasons that by running for office, Gottesman must either be spending less than 100 percent of his professional time running his businesses, or he got the DDC to alter the terms of his loan, which would be an illegal in-kind campaign violation.

“Either Mr. Gottesman has chosen to shirk his responsibility to the taxpayers, or he has undertaken an action that could be illegal,” said Turner spokesman Tom Crosson.

In a responding statement, the Gottesman campaign said Turner’s complaint is “false” and if it is filed, the Federal Elections Commission would find in Gottesman’s favor.

“If Turner was as successful in focusing his energy on leading and creating jobs as Russ has been, our district would be better served,” said Mohamed Al-Hamdani, a Gottesman spokesman. “Russ is proud of the innovative services he’s provided and the jobs he’s created for our community. But maybe Congressman Turner doesn’t understand how small business works – since he’s a career politician, receiving taxpayer-funded salaries for over a decade.”

When asked, Crosson said the Turner campaign does not have specific knowledge that the DDC changed the loan terms. He also said the Turner campaign has no specific timeline for filing the complaint.

“It appears that there are some serious questions in his actions in his preparations to run for Congress,” Crosson said.

Dayton Development Coalition spokeswoman Kristy Rochon confirmed the loans, but declined to answer specific questions about them, saying the terms are confidential, and the DDC does not comment on political races.

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