By John Mitchel
RE: ‘Pay-to-play’ alarm should ring here, too, DDN, December 13, 2008. The Dayton Daily News nailed it with their comparison of Ohio’s scandals to that of Illinois. Non-competitively awarded contracts as quid pro quo for special favors, campaign contributions and political patronage have been pervasive in Columbus for decades, no matter which party had control. However, the DDN editorial staff did not have to go 60 miles east on I-70 to uncover fraud, waste, abuse and corruption. There’s an abundance of homegrown politicians that are perfectly willing to spread taxpayer wealth around in exchange for the means to secure and keep political power. Take for example the $1.9 million 2003 BRAC Initiative Agreement between the Greene County Commission, Dayton Development Coalition, Congressman Dave Hobson and his pre-anointed successor, Steve Austria.
I followed the money for nearly a decade and reached the inescapable conclusion that local, state and federal politicians right here in the Miami Valley are trading taxpayer dollars and patronage jobs for campaign cash and special favors. I continue to stake my reputation on these serious allegations, yet no one has come forward to defend themselves. In fact, elected officials from Greene County to Columbus, not to mention unelected bureaucrats and the media, have aided and abetted the cover-up.
Every election cycle Democrats and Republicans debate the same issues at the margins, but nothing changes. Until voters face the fact that corrupt, self-interested politicians are the one and only cause for our woes, economic or otherwise, we will continue to slide deeper into the abyss.