Corporate welfare: 100% wrong, 52% effective

100% Against Corporate Welfare Sticker

Sticker available from click on image to bu

From the very first time I ran for office, I believed that government should stick to doing things that only government should do: provide universal services and amenities to the community it serves. Police, fire, roads, parks, water and sewer are great starting points. Some things aren’t so black and white: trash collection, golf courses and convention centers and concert halls are things that could go public or private, but in general, there is nothing wrong with some publi-private competition.

However, when we start down the road to “economic development” by government, where we pick winners and losers in private enterprise I’m 100% against it. Why one business should get preferential tax breaks or lower interest financing, grants or other tax support, while its competition doesn’t creates havoc in the marketplace.

We’ve gone hog-wild down the “economic development” path in Montgomery County. How do the Wamplers (owners of Hara Arena) feel as Hara Arena has had its business cannibalized  by the Dayton Convention Center, the Nutter Center, and other-tax supported venues?

Despite the fact that Montgomery County hasn’t gained any population in the last 25 years, we’ve been building new housing, new retail space and new office space like crazy- granting tax breaks and creating private taxation districts (TIFS) where the money paid in taxes comes back to the taxpayer (you’d like that deal wouldn’t you?). We now are grossly overbuilt- and facing much larger overhead costs of maintaining all the infrastructure (more roads to plow, pave and sweep). Yet, we scratch our heads about why downtown buildings are empty and being sold for pennies on the hundreds of dollars while we’re pouring tax dollars into Austin Road Interchange and new office buildings.

Finally, the Ohio Attorney general does a study on what we got for all the “investment” in “economic development” read what the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

A new Ohio Attorney General’s report showed that only 52 percent of companies that received Ohio taxpayer-funded economic development awards that ran out in 2010 kept their promises to boost the economy.

The report, released Thursday, identified 200 companies that received grants, tax credits and other awards from the Ohio Department of Development that did not meet their goals for job creation, job retention or other measures.

The awards to non-compliant companies totaled more than $82 million.

via Nearly half of companies that received Ohio economic development awards didn’t keep promises to boost economy, study shows |

The main excuse for continuing playing this game which pits one community against another to give away your hard-earned tax dollars to these corporate charlatans is that “if we don’t do it- the jobs will go somewhere else.” Hence, NCR moved to Georgia, Mead moved to Delaware, Kettering and Miamisburg (depending on which division). The reality is, if your community isn’t a good fit for a company to make money – no amount of sales incentive should make a difference.

This is one of the key pieces of legislation I’d work to introduce in Congress when I’m the Honorable Gentleman from Ohio representing the hard-working people of the tenth district: No tax breaks or incentives can be made for business relocation, or for “job creation” except on a national level- and only for broad industries for companies that have less than 10% of the total market. We don’t need to support the Exxons or Banks of  America anymore, nor do we want our politicians rewarding their paymasters in our auction system of election.

If we really cared about creating jobs in America- we’d make our tax system work to reward those who employ the most U.S. citizens be able to make the most money. You get what you pay for after all- and what we’ve seen over the last 40 years is that the rich 1% have bought our Congress to help them gain even more wealth at a ridiculous rate.

Ending corporate welfare is my number two priority after taking the money out of politics. I hope you’ll consider supporting my campaign.

Unofficial candidates for OH-10

Until the Board of Elections rules on Tuesday, January 3rd, this is the unofficial list of candidate for the OH-10 race.

10th Congressional District
REP John D. Anderson  6904 Joseph Dr. Enon 45323
REP Edward Focke Breen  213 Ernshaw Dr. Kettering 45429
DEM David Esrati  113 Bonner St. Dayton 45410
DEM Olivia Freeman  22 W. Goodman Dr. Apt-24 Fairborn 45324
LIB  David A. Harlow  2243 Keenan Ave. Dayton 45414
DEM Thomas F. McMasters  6934 Sylmar Ct. Huber Heights 45424
DEM Sharen Swartz Neuhardt  4625 U.S. Route 68 North Yellow Springs 45387
DEM Ryan Steele  1421 Meadow Moor Dr. Beavercreek 45434
REP Michael R. Turner ~ 5815 Stone Lake Dr. Kettering 45429 (INCUMBENT)
DEM L. Mack VanAllen  220 Kimbary Dr. Centerville 45458

So we have 3 Republicans, 1 Libertarian and 6 Democrats. The Libertarian, if his signatures are good, doesn’t have to appear in a primary.

McMasters and Neuhardt weren’t in the running last time around:

Which should make you wonder a bit about why they decided they want to run now?

Neuhardt is an attorney and partner at Thompson Hine, and ran previously in the 7th: against Austria and lost. As an attorney she will be the belle of the ball, but if she couldn’t beat Austria, it’s unlikely that she’ll beat Turner. For some reason, we seem to think that attorneys make good politicians when anyone with a brain would see that’s what got us into the mess we’re in. She spent $855K to get 42% of the vote in a race for an open seat.  I don’t believe anyone can win by outspending Turner- or even trying to come close. It’s time for an unconventional candidate and campaign to take a shot.

McMasters is a whole other ball of wax. I don’t have time to analyze his site- so maybe some of you can help: It says it’s done with the approval of his wife. There may be a problem in that he filed as a DEM but says he’s a REP on his site. He’s retired USAF and the father of 5 according to his bio, to which I can’t directly link (fails web 2.0 standards).

Either way, with Austria out, Turner has a much higher probability of winning than he did when we last turned in petitions, making me wonder if the Statehouse-forced re-petition deal was engineered to give Turner more time to work a deal with Austria to clear the path. If this doesn’t reek of election tampering, I don’t know what does.

WHIO reports Austria drops out against Turner for OH-10

Guaranteed, come Jan. 1, 2013 we will find out what the payoff to Steve Austria was to drop out of the OH-10 race:

Republican congressman Steve Austria of Beavercreek announced Friday that he will not seek re-election, allowing the party to avoid what would have been a contentious and divisive primary with Rep. Mike Turner of Centerville.

Although Austria had been easily re-elected last year, he became a victim of a fierce intraparty battle over the new congressional districts. Because of the new congressional map created by the Republican legislature, Austria would have been forced to run in a March 6 primary against either Turner or in the Central Ohio district held by freshman Republican Steve Stivers.

“I am not going to run for Congress next term as a result of the redistricting map,’’ said Austria, who represented the 7th district. He said a primary would have been divisive and “pitted friends against friends.’’

via Rep. Austria will not seek re-election to Congress |

Expect to see Steve Austria become a federal employee or be appointed to some powerful committee.

The WHIO-TV station news people don’t understand Congress at all- with the following fallacy:

The new map presented Austria with a difficult choice: Either run against Turner in a district that favored Turner, or uproot his family and move into Stivers’ district, mounting a challenge against a Republican with close ties to House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Township.

You don’t have to live in a district to run in it or to represent it, just 25 years old and have been a resident of the State for 7 years.

This just saved Turner half a million or so. Maybe he just paid it directly to Austria? It wouldn’t be the first time Austria has been bought:

I turned in 108 signatures at 2 p.m. There were 9 candidates who had turned in already, but one was a Libertarian. Petitions can be turned in until 4 p.m. Turner turned in yesterday. The lineup will be validated on Tuesday around 11 a.m. by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

A peek behind the curtain at the Monarchy of Montgomery County

Regular readers of know that I’ve long talked about what I call “the Monarchy of Montgomery County”- the cabal of politically connected hacks who practice nepotism, favoritism, elitism and above all corruption on a daily basis. Actually, they don’t practice corruption- that one they have down to a science.

Please note, this isn’t an attack on one political party or the other- they are both as guilty. In fact, the practice goes back long before me- to an organization that was before my time (or my awareness) “the All Dayton Committee” which used to meet in private and pick the Dayton City Commission- always keeping the parties balanced with a token shift back and forth. But that’s ancient history. What goes on now is almost becoming comical, because the treasure chest of the community chest has been cleaned out. Now, we fight over scraps and it gets ugly.

In today’s Dayton Daily News, we find that:

The wife of the Montgomery County clerk of courts has been charged with misdemeanor theft in an investigation regarding missing Ohio Lottery tickets.

When asked if his wife, Kymberly, was guilty of what she is being accused of, Clerk of Courts Gregory Brush said “absolutely not.”

He went on to say that he believes the accusation against his wife was politically motivated but did not say who accused her. Gregory Brush, a Democrat, is up for re-election in November. His opponent will be Michael Joseph Foley, a Republican.

Note, it’s been mentioned before on this site via insider reader feedback, that besides making sure his wife had a job at the Board of Elections (the mecca for moolah for the monarchy’s favored sons and daughters) Mr. Brush also hired his father-in-law- who reportedly drove a county vehicle home every night- one festooned with images of his elected son in law.

The next part of the article goes on to tell us that the complaint began on Sept. 26- but wasn’t presented until Dec. 22- note, this started before we knew Mr. Brush had an opponent in the next election.

Vandalia Municipal Court Prosecutor David Caldwell approved the charge against Kymberly Brush, 48, of Butler Twp., after a detective presented the investigation to him on Dec. 22, according to Butler Twp. Police Chief Carl Bush.

The charge was the result of an investigation of a Sept. 26 complaint about Ohio Lottery tickets missing from a machine at Liquor and Wine Warehouse, 3440 York Commons Blvd., near Miller Lane….

Kymberly Brush did work at Liquor and Wine Warehouse, but left the job in the summer, her husband said.

The Vandalia court will cause the party a slight problem in that another member of the interconnect rules the court there, but that is exposed at the end of the article. Of course, the lawyer for the defendant is predictably, another one of the Monarchy:

“I think there was a mutual parting of the ways after some extensive conversations,” said Dennis Lieberman, the attorney representing Kym Brush and the former Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman.

The next part should make every taxpayer wonder what is really going on in the Montgomery County Board of Elections:

Kym Brush also retired on disability from the Montgomery County Board of Elections in 2006. She is employed now, but Lieberman would not disclose her current job.

Mrs. Brush “retired on disability” from the BOE- but, is now capable of holding a job, or several other jobs? Former employees of the BOE have told me that the percentage of  BOE employees who leave on “disability” is unbelievably high. And of course, it’s also the place where disgraced party people are given a desk job to finish their time to retirement when they can’t hold a public position anymore (see Ricky Boyd).

The paper talks a bit about the Ohio Lottery Commission investigation before we have Greg Brush trying to turn this into a political hatchet job:

“I find it highly suspicious,” said Gregory Brush of the timing of the news of the case against his wife. “We have nothing to hide. It’s politics.”

“This smells of a political ploy just to try to throw some dirt on Greg Brush,” Lieberman said. “I believe it’s politically motivated. Not by the police or the prosecutor, but I certainly believe that once the whole story is known it’s going to be clear that she did nothing wrong.”

The paper then prints hearsay- where the former political party chief then identifies “the source” of the leak to the media as a “registered Republican.”

Lieberman, whose wife Debbie is the president of the Montgomery County Commission, said he has no evidence that Foley had anything to do with leaking Brush’s case to the media. “I think this is coming from another source,” Lieberman said. He believes the source is a registered Republican.

Note- all court cases are public record and the fact that it has to take “a source” to leak it to the media shows how asleep at the wheel our media is. The fact that the Montgomery County Pro System- (where you look up court cases) run by no one other than Greg Brush, is designed to make it impossible to easily create links to cases. Yet in the Vandalia court, while having less info, it is possible:

Of course, the Monarchy has another problem- the Judge in Vandalia is queen to one of the kings:

Kymberly Brush is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 5 in Vandalia Municipal Court.

Vandalia Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Heck, wife of Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr., also a Democrat, has recused herself from the case, according to Karen Goffena, Vandalia’s clerk of courts. Darke County Municipal Court Judge Julie Monnin will hear the case .

via Wife of county official faces theft charge.

Time will tell if Mrs. Brush is guilty of stealing lottery tickets. Remember, Al Capone was arrested for tax evasion. The real crimes that are committed daily in our halls of government are much greater than the theft of some lottery tickets. How we have so many friends and family working throughout our “government”- and how we end up with such winners as:

and those are just the highlights from the last year.

It’s time for a chief ethics officer in Montgomery County– to be elected by the people in a nonpartisan election- to clean up this mess. We can’t rely on the media or bloggers to expose this culture of corruption that has turned our government into a political patronage party.

(A note to my faithful readers and supporters, today I go to re-file identical petitions, with new signatures to attempt to get on the ballot AGAIN for Congress in the new OH-10 district. I was already certified on a ballot- with a petition with valid signatures with the exact same information- yet it was tossed by actions of Statehouse Republicans- overriding the will of the people with a valid petition. Wish me luck. It’s not good to kick the hornets’ nest just before you submit your petitions).



The fall of the Montgomery County Republican Party?

Too many sources have been whispering in my ear to let this one go by without mention: The days of Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Greg Gantt are coming to an end with a coming takeover by the Tea Party – led by Rob Scott. The party offices are to be no more- at least not in the Sherry Oakes/Design Homes building with subsidized rent (Oakes is still looking through rose-colored glasses about the FBI investigation into her maze of companies and their questionable minority contracting status). Money is so tight that Gantt borrowed $20K from Sheriff Phil Plummer earlier this year- and now has no way to pay it back.

Not only has the party been ineffective in raising money, somehow, its star, Congressman Mike Turner is now facing a primary after the statehouse Republicans took orders from House Speaker, John Boehner, who used to have part of his district in the county.

Rumors are also flying about a shake-up at the Board of Elections, with top Republicans about to be shifted out.

Montgomery County, as with most counties with a large urban core in Ohio has traditionally voted Democratic, but with the giant sucking sound of people leaving Dayton, the county can no longer be counted as a solid Dem win. The Montgomery County Democrats, under Chairman Mark Owens, aren’t in a whole lot better shape. Still smarting from the underdog victory of Mayor Leitzell over the incumbent party-favored daughter, Rhine McLin, the Dems are now facing challenges for county offices – something that used to get worked out in a back room.

The monarchy of Montgomery County is still hanging onto the last vestiges of the patronage system as long as possible- the recent embarrassment of having a Republican Judge’s son shoot someone five times outside Therapy Cafe on East Third Street- especially ironic because he was in a patronage position for another Republican judge where his job was to assist domestic violence victims in filling out their paperwork and helping them through the system.

To be fair, all of this was standard operating procedure for years, while the local version of the Fourth Estate, the Dayton Daily News, refused to do any kind of investigative reporting, instead believing that they were part of the secret society that ran this town. Now that they have jettisoned the flotsam and buckled down to attempt real reporting- it won’t be long before the entire org chart of both Dayton and Montgomery County gets cross referenced with a genealogical database and all the relationships come to light.

Even with the loss of population, Ohio will still be a key state for the presidential campaign and there will be a lot of money flowing through the party offices. The real question will be if the locals can be trusted, or will outsiders be brought in to try to steer the sinking ships in one last battle royale.