Regardless of whether or not Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray ever announces he is mounting a campaign to run for Ohio governor, groups are already putting money into making sure he never gets there.

For most of the year, there have been rumors that Cordray would end his term early at the bureau to run for Ohio governor. However and to no surprise, Cordray has yet to comment on the matter.

But that hasn’t stopped a lot of other people on Capitol Hill from saying he is running for office, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and President Donald Trump.

The idea that a decision from Cordray to run is imminent is enough for one group to launch an entire website against him. And, as part of promoting this agenda, the group selectively pushes unfavorable news coverage from unaffiliated publishers such as the Wall Street Journal, Politico and HousingWire.

But who is behind the website?

According to an article in The Columbus Dispatch by Marty Schladen, a nonprofit ‘dark-money’ group is put up a website that at first glance would seem to be promoting the Cordray campaign.

Below is a screenshot from the website.

Click to enlarge

housing

From the article

“Republicans seem to be taking the potential for Cordray running pretty seriously,” said Kyle Kondik, director of communication at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

It’s hard to know exactly who is behind the “Cordray for Ohio” website because Protect America’s Consumers was formed as a 501(c)(4) — a tax exempt “social welfare” organization that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. “Dark money” has gotten its name because a complete lack of transparency makes it impossible to identify who gave and the amounts they contributed.

Ideally, if Cordray does choose to run for governor, he would need to enter the race by the end of summer, well ahead of the Ohio filing deadline. The deadline for candidates to file their petitions for the 2018 Ohio Governor Primary is Feb. 7, 2018.