Former Senate Chief of Staff Jason Mauk


Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – Ohio Senate Staffer Edition

By Connor Brown


When super lobbyist Neil Clark joined the Ohio Senate in 1980 he was offered the princely sum of $14,000 as a starting salary.  In today’s dollars, that pay would translate to just under $45,000 per year.  


My, how things have changed.  And in several key ways.


Take this trio, Jason Mauk, John McClelland, and Angelika McClelland, for example.  


Jason Mauk served as the Chief of Staff for the Republican Majority for the Ohio Senate for the past seven years.  Salary data for the Ohio Senate only goes back for five years.  But in that five year period we can tell you that Jason Mauk earned a whopping $637,763.72 from the taxpayers.  This includes the year 2017 where he earned a mind boggling $177,255.48 due to the fact that he cashed out all of his accumulated leave.  


And that’s not all.


In 2014 the Dayton Daily News reported that Mauk and John McClelland formed a for profit limited liability company, the Penmen Group LLC, and used it for political consulting work while they were employed full time at the Ohio Senate.  An ethics investigation was opened and then closed without any charges. Public records show that the Penmen Group LLC was paid $79,600 for consulting work in 2014 by the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.  Mauk also earned an additional $197,158.77 during this time period as a consultant for the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, the Ohio Republican Party, and Friends of Faber.  His grand total for that five year period is a whopping $834,922.49.  


Not bad work if you can get it.


As 3rd Rail Politics reported exclusively, Jason Mauk recently left the Ohio Senate to work fulltime as the head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.  But what hasn’t been reported until now is that he has also set up shop as a lobbyist and now is free to lobby his former bosses in the Ohio Senate while he also helps run their campaigns.  


On January 8, 2018 Mauk made a slew of filings with the State of Ohio to report that he is now lobbying for the Coalition for Redistricting Reform, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association, Flats East Development LLC, the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, Physicians for Fair Coverage, and RBM Consulting.  It appears that Mauk is either sharing space with or has joined the lobbying firm of Byers Minton, although their website has not yet been updated to include this fact.


All of this wealth has allowed Mauk, who is single, to drop a cool $352,000 in 2015 for this sweet brick colonial in the Windsor neighborhood of New Albany.



Public records only show employment in the Ohio Senate for John McClelland for all of 2013 and parts of 2014.  Between those two years he earned a total of $155,457.30 from Ohio taxpayers.  


But he really cashed in on the campaign side.


Public records show that during this time period he earned a whopping $812,023.48 for consulting for the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, the Ohio Republican Party, and/or Friends of Faber.  His company, Trimac Advisors, was also paid $74,000.00 for work during this time.  Part of the fees collected by Trimac including consulting for a branch of the Ohio Education Association (OEA).  His grand total for this period is a whopping $1,121,080.78 when you include the Penmen payments.  


John McClelland is also now a lobbyist and he can legally lobby his former employers, who still employs his wife; all while helping manage their campaigns. His current lobbying clients include Advantage Capital Partners, American Electric Power, AT&T, CoreCivic, DraftKings, FanDuel, and the Hondros College of Business.  


John and Angelika McClelland are married and they also now live in New Albany.  In 2015 they paid $459,000 for this cute white colonial.



Angelika McClelland is still employed by the Ohio Senate as a top aide.  Over the past five years she has earned $548,954.44 for her work on behalf of Ohio taxpayers.  She has also been paid $3,505.67 by either the Ohio Republican Party and/or the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.


When Neil Clark and the late Paul Tipps first went into business together, times were much different.  Neither Clark as Chief Operating Officer of the Ohio Senate or Tipps as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party ever made this kind of money while working for the taxpayers and/or the party.  


The key difference from then and now?  Clark and Tipps and other political operatives of their generation worked long hours at low pay for the taxpayers and/or political parties.  Public employment isn’t designed to make a career but to be a stepping stone for young people on their way up the career ladder.  They didn’t make their fortunes until long after they left public employment, not during it.  Even more importantly, Clark, as a former employee of the Ohio Senate, was prohibited by state law from lobbying his former employer for a full year or more.  


Ohio’s so called revolving door statute has long been struck down by federal courts.  Today, a person can work as Chief of Staff for the Ohio Senate on Friday, quit, and begin lobbying their former employer on Monday.  


Times have certainly changed.  And maybe not for the better.