Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

By By JULIE CARR SMYTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's state treasurer has received permission to conduct campaign-style telephone town halls using public money.

Republican Josh Mandel (man-DEHL') recently requested an opinion on the matter from Attorney General Mike DeWine, as his re-election in November nears.

An opinion DeWine issued Wednesday cleared Mandel to use taxpayer dollars to contract with a private firm specializing in organizing and conducting such calls as long as their content sticks to state treasurer's office business and not politics.

The opinion says Mandel is free to target his audience for such conference calls as long as people not invited to participate are given the chance to be part of the call.

Mandel's office says he has no immediate plans to hold a town hall and is simply exploring communications options.

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