DNC WikiLeaks: The Ohio Emails

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Of the 19,000+ Democratic National Committee emails the internet activist group WikiLeaks hacked and released to the public, approximately 650 are connected to Ohio.

The emails log how the 2016 campaign sausage is made, including circulating polls, media coverage and talking points for Ohio Democrats led by chair David Pepper.

Still, three involve exchanges between reporters, the DNC and/or the Ohio Democratic Party over the Hillary Victory Fund or HVF.

Lucas County Democratic Party chairman Joshua Hughes says on the weekend release on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is a distraction.

"I think it's a red herring and it's detracting from what should be a wonderful week," says Chairman Hughes.

HVF is a fundraising committee which raised money for the Clinton campaign, the DNC and about three dozen state parties, including the Ohio Democratic Party. But the spring saw problems because some alleged, the local level wasn't getting enough money. The Sanders campaign also saw HVF as one more tool to tip the scales against him.

One leaked email reveals an exchange with Politico which questioned the financial relationship between HVF, the DNC, and the Ohio Democratic Party.

"I would prefer not to respond to this," reads the communication between an Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson to Politico's request. "There is no reason to share that level of strategic information with a reporter."

The leaked email reveals Chairman Pepper agreed with this decision.

Chairman Hughes says during the primaries, he didn't see Ohio Democrats shortchanged by HVF or any bias against the Sanders campaign.

"As chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party and my involvement with the Ohio Democratic Party, I did not witness any of that. I witnessed the Ohio Democratic Party and our own county party remaining neutral and allowing the primary process to work," he said. 

And the Democratic primary process nominated Hillary Clinton.

Despite the WikiLeaks emails, she'll become the first woman to accept a major party's nomination for U.S. president.

The question is: Come November, will she win Ohio?