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Everyone should have a spouse 'with benefits'

turner.jpgSometimes, it’s not who you know but who you’re married to that’s important. This time it’s U.S. Rep Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and his wife, Lori, who are in the news after Lori’s marketing firm picked up $300,000 in work from the Dayton Development Coalition, which lobbies the Ohio delegation for funds for local projects.

Tom Beyerlein’s story, “Questions raised about branding contract by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner’s Wife,” in the Dayton Daily News has Lori Turner’s defense:

“Everybody in this community at one time or another lobbies my husband for money,” she said. “I don’t. That’s not my venue. This is my business and my career path. I am well aware that there’s this perception out there and people are looking for something wrong, but that’s absolutely not the case.”

Still, perceptions are hard to shake when, as the article points out, you note that Lori Turner’s firm won the contract without having to submit a competitive bid. As Public Citizen’s ethics expert Craig Holman says in the article: “If a lobbyist can find a way to funnel money to a member of Congress, they’ll do it — even if it means hiring the congressman’s spouse.”

Steven Reynolds at the All Spin Zone blogs about it:

Oh, this is sweet. Another scandal with another Ohio Republican politician. Another intrenched Republican politician. And that’s got to turn the voters towards change, both in the Democratic direction, and probably among Democrats it will turn a little bit in the Obama direction.