Retired Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman traded jabs with Ohio Republican Josh Mandel on Saturday over President Joe Biden‘s plans to resettle tens of thousands of Afghanistan refugees in the U.S. following the troop withdrawal.
Republicans have remained unified in its criticisms of the Biden administration’s chaotic Afghanistan evacuation effort, but the resettlement of refugees at home has begun to divide members of the party. Some have slammed Biden for abandoning U.S. allies, while members of the GOP’s anti-immigrant wing have condemned the president for allowing what they call an influx of threatening foreigners into the U.S.
Mandel, a former Ohio state Treasurer and Marine veteran running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, called Vindman a “liar and traitor” on social media after Vindman’s wife, Rachel Vindman, criticized his opposition to the resettlement of Afghan refugees.
“You are a fool looking for attention,” Alexander Vindman, who testified during the House impeachment hearings of then-President Donald Trump in 2019, tweeted in response. “You don’t represent Jewish values. You preach hate for refugees, when your own ancestors came here as immigrants and refugees. Sit down and shut up. #RefugeesWelcome.”
Mandel has always been a horrific piece of shit but he’s doubling down on his Trumpism so he can beat the Hillbilly Elegy author in the primary who’s nothing but a huge Rust Belt fraud:
In what was portrayed in the press as a hopeful homecoming story, author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, who was still basking in the success of his best-selling memoir Hillbilly Elegy, announced in 2017 that he would be returning to Ohio to help combat the rust belt’s opioid crisis and other social issues. “I’ve talked about these problems and I came to the conclusion that maybe I should be doing something to solve them,” Vance told The Columbus Dispatch at the time, while explaining what motivated him to start splitting his time between D.C. and the area where he grew up. Four years after the launch of Our Ohio Renewal, the nonprofit appears to have done very little to help struggling Ohioans, but its founder, a former conservative Donald Trump critic, is now gunning for MAGA voters in the state’s Republican Senate primary.
According to an Insider investigation of the nonprofit’s tax filings, in 2017, more of its expenditures went to “management services” fees for its executive director, Jai Chabria, than to efforts aimed at reducing addiction or helping addicts. During that first year of its existence, Our Ohio Renewal raised $221,135, with about $50,000 being spent on programming and $63,425 going to Chabria, a former John Kasich adviser who Insider says is now working for Vance’s Senate campaign. The only notable outreach efforts listed in the nonprofit’s 2017 tax filing is an expenditure of $45,000 that was spent on a study of the “social, cultural and general welfare needs of Ohio Citizens,” per Insider.
Interestingly, a spokesperson for the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance, what Insider says is the largest in-state anti-opioid coalition, informed the outlet that they had never even heard of Our Ohio Renewal. It is also difficult to find evidence of the nonprofit’s day-to-day work, as its Twitter account has been dormant for more than three years and its website is offline, Insider notes. (Our Ohio Renewal declined to respond to questions from Insider about its programs and finances.) “It’s just not my instinct to care about the website,” Vance said during a 2019 interview with Columbus Monthly. He did assure the magazine that his group is still focused on “conducting and promoting research into innovative ways of combating the epidemic and its fallout.” For instance, as the Monthly reported at the time, the nonprofit was funding a yearlong residency for a research fellow from the American Enterprise Institute—a conservative D.C. think tank where Vance was a part-time scholar in 2019—to live in southern Ohio and work with a local social services agency.
However, some critics aren’t buying Vance’s philanthropic effort. Doug White, a nonprofit and fundraising expert, told Insider that the group “is a charade.… It’s a superficial way for him to say he’s helping Ohio. None of that is actually happening, from what I can tell.” (Insider writes that the group told the outlet it has “commissioned a survey to gauge the needs and welfare of Ohioans,” but that Vance’s campaign did not offer any documents verifying the project.) As noted by White, the group’s lackluster fundraising numbers are the most eye-raising detail found in its tax filings. “It’s a pittance, given what they said they want to accomplish,” said White. “This is a very small operation. They’re not doing much. I don’t think it rises to the level of fraud, but they are sitting around doing nothing.” The group’s donation numbers over the past three years have been so minuscule—less than $50,000 annually—that it has not had to report its activities and finances to the IRS since 2017, according to Insider.
Democracy and Health are on the ballot and we need to get ready to flip Ohio Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D. OH) U.S. Senate campaign and his fellow Ohio Democrats campaigns:
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