By John Mitchel
RE: Dayton Daily News, February 11, 2012, “Millions spent, hopes remain for more jobs”
The Nextedge Applied Research and Technology Park in Springfield offers yet another sad commentary on malfeasant government intervention in the private sector. Beginning in 2005, Nextedge received at least $13.7 million, all of that taxpayer funded. Nextedge, a subsidiary of the Turner Foundation, is now bankrupt, but taxpayers are left holding the bag. The Turner Foundation simply walked away from their obligation to repay a loan funded by local, state and federal taxpayers. The Turner Foundation has lost nothing except their reputation, but even that is spun by the media and others to attempt to make non-profit Turner Foundation a “white knight” whose only sin was a bad business decision, but there’s more than meets the eye.
Take for example QBase, Mills Morgan, SAIC and Avetec, who received virtually all the Nextedge taxpayer subsidies along with the Turner Foundation. These private corporations have one thing in common; their managers and employees have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to former Congressman Dave Hobson and his successor, Steve Austria (Source: www.fec.gov), not a bad return on the $13.7 million received from the taxpayers. And then there’s Steve Austria’s failing to mention on his Federal Financial Disclosure Statement Mrs. Austria’s employment with Avetec, which she began less than a week after leaving her job as Dave Hobson’s District Director.
This is pay-to-play politics at its worst, but the real tragedy is the career politicians and their corporate cronies who continue to bankrupt America but are never held accountable. You can put lipstick on a pig to divert attention away from harsh reality, but at the end of the day a pig is still a pig, and no matter how you spin it, Nextedge is (was) still an ATM machine for Hobson, Austria, other career politicians and those who supply the campaign cash to keep them in office.