Rep. Thomas N. Kindness, the Ohio Republican Senate nominee, yesterday filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing four Ohio banks of making "illegal contributions" to the reelection campaign of Sen. John Glenn (D) by not requiring Glenn to make regular payments on the $1.9 million he owes them from his abortive 1984 presidential campaign.
In a formal complaint, Kindness said Glenn told the banks that he would not make payments on the loans until after the November election. This enables Glenn to use his resources to raise money for his reelection rather than to repay his presidential campaign debts, Kindness said.
"By virtue of the foregoing transactions, the banks have made illegal contributions," the complaint said. The banks believe that "they can collect more in the future from a sitting senator than from a former one," it said.
Glenn's bank loans and his failure to repay them has been a continuing political controversy in Ohio and have been before the FEC. That agency reportedly has found "reason to believe" that the loans violated election law and is investigating them. A more definitive finding could result in a fine.
Kindness said Glenn's presidential campaign committee rented its contributor mailing lists last March to his Senate campaign committee.
"The lists so rented were property of the presidential committee upon which the banks should reasonably have relied for payment," the complaint said. "In the reporting period during which the presidential committee has refused to honor its debts, the Senate committee has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from contributors who were legally able to contribute. . . to defray the oustanding, unsecured loans."
A Glenn spokesman said the senator has "reaffirmed his commitment to the banks to pay the loans off in full, although it may take him longer than he'd like. . . . "