Ohio Senate candidate tries to buy Cleveland Indians, opponents say it didn’t happen

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(WJW) – There is a controversy between two candidates vying to replace Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

One candidate says he offered to pay $ 1 billion to keep the Cleveland Indian name, but the current owner says the conversation never took place.

“There is a process that you go through and there are a lot of questions you can ask Bernie about our process and see if he actually followed it,” said Republican Senator and part-Indian owner Matt Dolan.

Family team owner Dolan disputes claims by political opponent Bernie Moreno that he offered to buy the Cleveland Indians for $ 1 billion.

The two are running as Republicans to replace Sen. Rob Portman in next year’s election.

Long-time car dealership owner Moreno told FOX 8 last week he made an offer to prevent Indians from changing their name to Guardians.

“I had an idea if you could buy the team and we could also issue a digital currency that we would call Tribecoin, which would allow people in Northeast Ohio to own part of the team, so 49 % of the prize was going to be a digital currency that would anchor the team in Northeast Ohio and so every fan could own a part of the team, ”Moreno said.

But on Monday, Dolan told FOX 8 News anchor Joe Toohey the conversation never happened.

“It’s not true, so I don’t know why Bernie would decide to say this,” Dolan said. “You’re going to have to talk to Bernie about why he thinks he made an offer.”

FOX 8 contacted Moreno’s campaign, who says he’s traveling, but released a statement that said in part:

“I spoke with the Dolan family to buy the Indians, keep their name and build a winning team.

“If the Dolans have changed on the 100% buyout or name change, then we’ll come back to the table. I would like nothing more than to save the Indians.

Dolan and Moreno are among several candidates vying for the soon-to-be-opened seat in the Ohio Senate. Moreno tells FOX 8 that all negotiations over the sale of the Indians have been rejected.

“We would use a portion of the ticket sales to honor and support Native American causes in Ohio and honor Native American heroes throughout the stadium and really make it a name of honor that the name is called Cleveland Indians and not one in in any way that would be disrespectful, ”Moreno said.

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