Joel Mowbray

While the news this election cycle has been focused on horse races and high-wattage personalities like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, one of the most important races in the country has slipped below the national radar—despite the fact that one of the key figures involved has a nasty habit of mingling with Islamic extremists.

In the crucial bellwether state of Ohio, there are two up-and-coming candidates squaring off for state treasurer—and the stakes are very high. Democrats are desperate to defeat the Republican, state Rep. Josh Mandel, a Marine veteran whom many observers see as a major star-in-the-making after he helped spearhead the effort to divest Ohio’s pension funds from companies that do business in the Iranian energy sector.

But Democrats’ obsession with knocking off Mandel means that they are backing incumbent Treasurer Kevin Boyce, whose competence and ethics have been called into question by mainstream media outlets.

George Soros-backed Progressive Majority, a moveon.org-style group that focuses on state and local races, has looked past these problems and made Boyce its top candidate this cycle.

Backing Boyce means more than just supporting a flawed candidate, however, as he has handed control of his office over to his top staffer, Deputy Treasurer Amer Ahmad, who has a habit of hanging around people who are well-known for ties to Islamic radicals and terrorists. Ahmad does so in his professional capacity, as well as in his personal life, choosing to attend an infamous mosque near Columbus, Ohio.

Although Boyce’s name is the one voters will see next Tuesday, Ahmad will continue to be the one effectively running the office if the Democrat wins. Several former Ohio Treasury officials who spoke with this journalist on the condition of anonymity say that Boyce has given Ahmad “free reign” to run the office as he sees fit.

One of Ahmad’s most questionable decisions was to spend his July 4 holiday as the keynote speaker at a dinner sponsored by Amana Funds, a Sharia-compliant mutual fund company whose co-founder and current trustee Yaqub Mirza was targeted for terrorist connections in an FBI raid in 2002, as were two other longtime trustees, Iqbal Unus and Jamal Barzinji. (Barzinji left the board in 2001.)


Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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