By John Mitchel
This reporter recently requested records related to the 2003 BRAC Initiative Agreement (October, 2003 to September, 2006) where Greene County Commissioner Marilyn Reid and two retired commissioners signed a contract for $1.9 million with the Dayton Development Commission to lobby for Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It appears that part of that money was used as a loan for $900,000, with interest paid by Greene County taxpayers, to provide matching funds to qualify for a State grant. Greene County taxpayers and others around Ohio should be outraged to learn where and to whom those tax dollars went.
Although Ms. Reid and Mr. Perales have not produced the requested public records, including the Ohio grant application and Ohio Department of Development’s response, there is sufficient information available in the public domain to give Greene County voters good reason not to vote for Reid or Perales in the March 6th primary. Ms. Reid is running for reelection as Greene County Commissioner and Mr. Perales left his County Commissioner seat to run for District 70 State Representative.
For starters, in a display of corporate cronyism at its worst, the Dayton Development Coalition paid their President and CEO over $285,000 in salary and benefits in 2005, the last full year of the Agreement (Source: Dayton Development Coalition 2005 IRS Form 990). But that’s not the worst of it. The Coalition also paid $560,000 to the Paul Magliocchetti & Associates (PMA) Group, a Washington lobbyist, between 2003 and 2006 (Source: www.opensecrets.org ). Magliocchetti, PMA’s founder and president, is currently serving 27 months in federal prison for illegally bundling campaign contributions to dozens of congressmen, including former Congressman Dave Hobson and his successor, Steve Austria (Source: www.fec.gov ).
Follow the money, and you will learn as I did that Reid, Perales, Hobson, Austria and others are not the limited government conservatives they claim to be. Contrary to their rhetoric, they are more than happy to shovel our tax dollars to public-private partnerships like the Dayton Development Coalition that tragically draws support from so many leaders in academia, the private sector, local governments and even Wright Patterson AFB. Remember, when you hear the buzz phrase, “public private partnership,” invariably you can follow the money from taxpayers to private pockets and then back to the politicians through campaign contributions. Enough is enough; on March 6th let’s send a message to the career politicians that we want our government back. Sending Marilyn Reid and Rick Perales back to the private sector would be a good start.