Tag Archives: Dayton Development Coalition

Driving Job Away From Ohio

By Jeff Putman

Just when I was beginning to think that Gov Kasich might be not a RINO after all (supporting SB-5), he goes and appoints Jim Leftwich to head up the Ohio Department Of Development.

Leftwich is a leftist in more than just name only. As head of the Dayton Development Coalition, he maintained a policy of making the Dayton area economy COMPLETELY dependent on federal spending. Substantial amounts of DDC money have been spent on DC lobbyists. Read that again. Your Ohio tax dollars are being used to pay DC lobbyists!

A year ago, on WHIO radio, DDC said that they were surprised to learn that no other economic development agency in the country was doing anything like that. They had just always assumed that hiring lobbyists is the normal way
that everyone does business. It had never occurred to them that anyone might see anything questionable about it.

Leftwich populated DDC with mindless yes men who, with cult-like obedience, carried out a policy whose legality is questionable at best. Good managers hire people who think for themselves, who offer their insights and contribute
to everyone’s understanding. Leftwich, who before joining DDC, spent his career with the federal government being trained to systematically eliminate anyone who dares to think for himself. Such people are condemned as “not team

The “entrepreneurial development” side of DDC is also devoted to federal dependency. All of the entrepreneurs they assist are federal government contractors. Entrepreneurs that go to DDC with proposals to make products for
sale to the general public are ignored.

Where is this policy leading us? Where will the federal government get the money to pay all these contractors if there’s no civilian economy left? Where will the parasite get its food after it’s sucked its host dry?

DDC has ignored dozens of new products that could have been in production by now. Thousands of new jobs could have been created. And now it looks like this policy is going to be implemented statewide. If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to help build Ohio’s civilian economy, don’t expect any help from ODOD. Myself, I’m looking to other states.

Dayton Development Coalition Scam May Be Coming To An end

By John Mitchel

RE: “Officials to review coalition’s funding”, Dayton Daily News, December 18, 2010: For years
our public servants have been writing blank checks to the Dayton Development Coalition on the
pretense that they and they alone are responsible for “saving” jobs at Wright Patterson. Rarely, if ever
do the Coalition or the politicians give credit to Wright Patt leadership or the folks that actually do the
work that has established Wright Patterson as a national treasure.

Instead they heap credit on themselves and the Coalition’s President and CEO who was paid $285,000
in 2005 — that’s about double what the Governor of Ohio earns and more than the Vice-president of the
United States. And don’t believe the lie that those exorbitant salaries and bonuses are not funded with
taxpayer dollars. You see, a basic principal of finance and economics teaches us that money is “fungible,”
or is universally exchangeable between two obligations, in this case between public corruption and national
defense or local infrastructure. Unfortunately the corrupt politicians and their insider sycophants at the
Coalition are the big winners here.

However it looks as though enough is enough and at least some elected officials are demanding transparency
at the Coalition and elsewhere. It’s time to clean out the barn and shutting down the Dayton Development
Coalition would be a good place to start.

Other commentary and analysis by John Mitchel may read at www.reformcongress.com.

The rest of the story

RE: “Greene County snubs advocate of its interests,” Dayton Daily News, Friday, January 29, 2010. Greene County Commissioners Marilyn Reid and Alan Anderson were correct in significantly reducing taxpayer contributions to the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), except their rationale for doing so didn’t reveal the whole story. True enough, the budget is tight, but even in good times our elected officials shouldn’t be throwing money over the fence to special interests without competition for that work, without value added and without oversight. That’s precisely what happened in 2005-2006 with the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) Initiative Agreement between Greene County and the DDC. The simple truth is the only jobs protected by this effort were high priced consultants, lobbyists and career politicians who received kickbacks to their political campaigns. Here are the facts to support that assertion.

In 2005 and 2006, the last 21 months of the $1.9 million BRAC Initiative Agreement, the Dayton Development Coalition also received a $2.34 million Third Frontier grant through Development Research Corporation, a non-profit company fronting for the DDC. In 2005-2006 the DDC paid over $500,000 to their President and CEO, over $300,000 to a Washington lobbying firm currently under investigation by the FBI, $190,000 to Qbase which is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and over $200,000 to two other consultants, not to mention at least $50,000 on domestic and foreign travel.* Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s hard to disagree that it reveals a broad pattern of self-dealing, waste and abuse, if not blatant corruption by the Dayton Development Coalition and their inner circle.

Ms. Reid and Mr. Anderson finally understand that Greene County and Ohio taxpayer dollars had minimum impact if any at all on saving or creating jobs at Wright Patterson. But what they did impact was the financial well-being of the special interests that recycled that money back to the politicians who in the end took credit for job creation they had nothing to do with. This is an insult to Greene County taxpayers, not to mention Wright Patt professionals that day in and day out provide the real value added to our warfighters who put everything on the line to protect our freedom and liberty.

*Source: BRAC Initiative Agreement, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Election Commission records and other documents obtained in a public records disclosure lawsuit against Greene County Commissioners (Case #: 2009CV0305).

Steve Austria doomed to defeat

It’s never too early to face the facts, not to mention plan for their consequences, and the simple truth is that Steve Austria will be gone from Congress no later than 2012. The reason; after the 2010 census, Ohio will lose two congressional seats and the 7th Congressional District will be carved up to protect more senior incumbents from both parties. Here’s why you can take that to the bank.

Ohio is dying — that is reflected in the fact that since 1980 we have lost five Congressional House seats. As those seats drop off the electoral map, the competition for the decreasing number of voters becomes keener and the preferred method of competing is to make promises you can’t keep, including earmarks and spending for your constituents, but more important, for special interest campaign contributors. Because there’s only so much campaign cash to go around, fund-raising has become a ruthless science based on deception and fear mongering. Although it won’t do Steve Austria and his lobbyist spouse any good in the long run, here’s how they came to power, which also explains why they will be irrelevant at the turn of the decade.

Both Steve and Eileen Austria sat on the Dayton Development Coalition Wright Patt 2010 Advisory Committee, Steve as a State Senator and Eileen as Dave Hobson’s District Director, and as such, rubbed elbows with Miami Valley’s most wealthy and influential “kingmakers.” Since Dayton is dying faster than the rest of south-central Ohio, the powerful elitists in Montgomery County thought it was only fair they redistribute Greene County wealth among the Coalition’s inner circle. Although the double dealing is wide and deep, the 2003-2006 $1.9 million taxpayer-funded BRAC Initiative Agreement provides us with the most flagrant and transparent example of “pay-to-play” politics. Steve and Eileen Austria as well as Greene County elected officials were willing participants because that guaranteed political success, at least for the short term.

Briefly, here’s the money trail that starts with Greene County and Ohio taxpayers and ends with Dave Hobson, Steve Austria and other elected officials after it is money-laundered through the Coalition. In 2003 Greene County Commissioners awarded $1.9 million to the Dayton Development Coalition to protect existing jobs and attract others to Wright Patterson AFB. The Coalition in turn hired the Greentree Group in Beavercreek, Washington lobbyist PMA Group and other high priced consultants who had passed through the revolving door from the Department of Defense to the private sector. For example, IRS public disclosures indicate that the Coalition President and CEO, a former Air Force officer and close friend of the Austrias, received more than $500,000 in compensation in 2005 and 2006, the last two years of the BRAC contract. According to www.fec.gov and the Greene County Board of Elections, he in turn contributed thousands to Hobson, Austria and other elected officials in Greene County. The list goes on and on. Greentree associates and their families have contributed over $50,000 to Hobson and Austria. In return they received Hobson earmarks and a “no-bid, no work, no value added contract” funded by an interest free loan, $900,000 from the Ohio Third Frontier initiative and an outright $100,000 grant. During the period of performance of the BRAC Initiative Agreement, the Dayton Development Coalition paid lobbying firm PMA over $500,000. According to www.fec.gov, over the years PMA associates and their families contributed more than $100,000 to Hobson and Austria. PMA has recently closed its doors after being raided by the FBI in November following allegations they illegally bundled campaign contributions to Dave Hobson, Steve Austria and other Congressmen, which brings us back to the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Compared to Austria, the four Republican Congressmen whose districts border Austria’s 7th District (Turner, District 3; Jordan, 4; Boehner, 8; and Tiberi, 12) are virtually untouched by the PMA scandal. The political reality is that after the 2010 census, they will all need Republican votes from the 7th District to survive. Regardless of which party controls redistricting after the 2010 census, Republicans will be Mr. and Mrs. Austria’s worst enemy as they will carve up the 7th District and redistribute conservative voters among neighboring districts. In short, because of the PMA scandal, Austria will be odd man out to protect the other four Republican Congressmen in central and south central Ohio. Maybe then folks in Greene, Clark, Fairfield and other counties in the 7th District will understand the real Hobson/Austria legacy.

Austria contributors in bad company

Although it was not announced until recently, back in November the FBI raided the offices of PMA, a Washington lobbying firm. Just like Dave Hobson before him, Congressman Steve Austria received thousands from PMA associates, including Paul Magliochetti, who founded the firm in 1989. According to John Bresnahan, Politico, sources close to PMA said the firm has “disintegrated” in recent months and Magliochetti has hired criminal defense counsel.

For more than two years this reporter has been requesting an investigation into Hobson’s and Austria’s connections with PMA and the Dayton Development Coalition. I have been seeking public records from the Greene County Commission that could point to Hobson and Austria steering the no-bid BRAC Initiative contract to the Coalition in 2003. According to Bresnahan, Pentagon officials are also studying whether the military is “receiving value” for work done by small defense firms like Greentree Group and Qbase, two companies paid by the Coalition to work on the BRAC Initiative, a $1.9 million contract funded by Greene County taxpayers. Greentree and Qbase employees have also contributed thousands to Hobson and Austria. Furthermore, according to www.opensecrets.org, during the BRAC Initiative period of performance (October 2003 – September 2006), the Dayton Development Coalition paid PMA more than $500,000 to lobby on “real estate” matters. I have a hard time connecting the dots between “real estate” and protecting defense related jobs at Wright-Patterson.

In any case, it’s time Dave Hobson and Steve Austria return their PMA contributions or better yet, give them to charity as other legislators have pledged to do, unless of course Hobson and Austria expect they will need that money at some point for their own criminal defense counsel.

$900,000 missing in Greene County?

By John Mitchel, LtCol, USAF (Ret)

John Mitchel, Patriots Against Public Corruption founder, announced that he would testify before the Greene County Commission on February 10th at 9:00 AM. He claims that the Greene County Commission has conspired to illegally launder County tax dollars into the campaign funds of Dave Hobson, Steve Austria and other Greene County politicians. Furthermore, according to Mitchel, the Board of Commissioners has collaborated with other elected and appointed officials to cover up pervasive “pay-to-play” politics in Greene County.

In response to the announcement Mitchel commented, “In 2003 the Greene County Commission signed an un-bid contract with the Dayton Development Coalition for $1.9 million to lobby for Wright Patterson AFB during 2005 Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) negotiations. Except for politicians, officers and staff at the Coalition, and a few consultants, this sweetheart deal did nothing to advance economic development in the Miami Valley, let alone Greene County. Not only does this look and smell like money laundering on behalf of Austria, Hobson and others, it may violate three state laws, not to mention the federal Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.”

Mitchel added, “I think it’s strange that even though the contract was for $1.9 million, only $1 million was financed by Greene County taxpayers through a grant and Economic Development Note with interest. I believe the citizens first should know why they paid the interest on an interest-free loan to the Dayton Development Coalition, a private corporation, and second, what is the source and what happened to the unaccounted-for $900,000. Sooner or later we will learn the answers to those questions. Hopefully that will happen Tuesday after I offer my testimony before the Greene County Commission.”

Greene County Commissioners “spreading the wealth around”

By John Mitchel

Republicans justifiably attack Senator Obama and the Democrats for their plans to redistribute wealth from those earning more than $ _____ (fill in the blank), to those at or below ___ (fill in the blank) times the poverty level. The simple truth is; Greene County Commissioners have been spreading around Greene County taxpayer wealth for years.

Take for example the BRAC Initiative Agreement running from 2003 to 2006 that sent $1.9 million to the Dayton Development Coalition. Those Greene County tax dollars found their way into a no-bid, no-work, no-oversight, no-value-added contract with The Greentree Group, a Beavercreek government support contractor, and also trickled down to Paul Magliochetti and Associates (The PMA Group), a Washington K Street lobbyist.

According to IRS filings, in 2005 Greene County taxpayers also helped pay the $285,854 salary of J P Nauseef, President of Development Projects, Inc., a Dayton Development Coalition 501(c)(3) front organization located at the same address as the Coalition. Total revenues in 2005 for Development Projects, Inc. were $1,390,723. I believe we can safely conclude that more than 20 percent of a non-profit’s revenue going to its President, who by the way contributed big-time to Dave Hobson’s and Steve Austria’s campaign funds, pretty much passes the “spreading the wealth around” litmus test.