CLEVELAND, Ohio — Politics is an expensive business in Ohio, like everywhere else.
Since January 2017, state Republican candidates and committees have received $57.7 million worth of political contributions, while state Democratic candidates and committees have received $29.5 million, according to records filed with the Ohio Secretary of State.
People make political donations for all kinds of reasons, said Catherine Turcer, who has long studied money in politics in Ohio. Some major donors have a more general commitment to a political party or a broad ideological cause. But often, they have more specific goals, such as passing or stopping a specific piece of legislation, or creating a regulatory climate that’s generally favorable to their business interests, she said.
“I really believe that monied interests look at making contributions as a way to invest in their future the same way they would invest in stocks and bonds,” said Turcer, the executive director of Common Cause Ohio, a left-leaning good-government group.
Cleveland.com performed an analysis to identify top political donors in Ohio since January 1, 2017. To do so, we examined state and federal campaign-finance records.
This list is not exhaustive, but should offer a pretty good idea of who is influencing politics in Ohio through their checkbooks.