We're shocked...shocked!
Board of Elections' Matt Damschroder Continues his impressive 'bi-partisan' record in Ohio.
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2005, 10:50am PT  

From Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning...

A member of the Franklin County election board said Friday that prosecutors are investigating whether a GOP political consultant tried to bribe the board's director to buy voting equipment made by his client, Diebold Inc.

The director, Matthew Damschroder, has told prosecutors that the consultant, Pat Gallina, came to his office in early 2004, offering him $10,000.

"Pat Gallina came into my office at the Board of Elections and said, 'I'm here to give you $10,000. Who should I direct it to?' " Damschroder recalled. "I said, 'Certainly not to me. But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a voluntary donation. That was my first mistake."

The law prohibits Damschroder from accepting political contributions on county property. He said he took the check home and mailed it to the party, where he had just completed a stint as executive director.
...
Damschroder told prosecutor O'Brien of Gallina's visit after his testimony was sought in a civil suit filed by one of Diebold's competitors, Election Systems and Software.

ES&S charges in that suit that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell improperly favored Diebold in selecting electronic voting machines for use statewide.
...
Gallina told him that he and Cummings agreed on the cut-rate price Diebold would charge the state for its machines, and that Gallina promised in return to give $50,000 to "Blackwell interests."

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, called the claim "absolutely ridiculous," and that Cummings has not negotiated any part of the state's voting machine contracts.
...
Diebold executives had ceased contributing directly to political campaigns in October 2003, after the company president sparked an uproar by saying he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes" to secure President Bush's re-election.

Spokesman Mike Jacobsen said the firm pays Gallina - through Celebrezze & Associates - to work as a liaison on state and county government contracts.

"It's a separate company," he said. "Just because we contract with a lobbyist and they make a contribution doesn't mean, in any way, that we use them as some sort of political back door to curry political favor."

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter, KestrelBrighteyes for the catch via RAW STORY)