Uh-oh: Richard Cordray might just have a big, fat #metoo problem

Just over a week ahead of Ohio’s first gubernatorial debate, TBP Muckraker has learned that Richard Cordray may have an additional scandal lurking in his background that Ohio media and even the DeWine campaign are unaware of.

During Cordray’s tenure as chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency allegedly developed a #metoo problem.

cordray

Specifically, under Cordray’s leadership, a former CFPB employee-turned-whistleblower says the agency employed senior male staff who were the subject of #metoo claims, the details of which could prove “devastating” to Cordray and the agency’s reputation if made public.

The male staff in question are allegedly a group of current and former managers. Most are believed to have departed the agency, but some may still be employed there.

At present the details of any sexual harassment and/or abuse claims are not known.

However, an opposition research firm in Washington, D.C., has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to any claims in order to uncover more specifics.

It is unclear whether a FOIA request will turn up full details of whatever occurred at CFPB, since personnel privacy issues may be at play and any settlements with affected CFPB staff may have confidentiality provisions that prevent details of underlying claims from being disclosed.

However, redacted records may be possible to obtain. That would provide greater insight into what is alleged to have occurred at CFPB on Cordray’s watch without the names of either accusers or accused employees being disclosed.

It is worth noting that quite apart from alleged #metoo problems, Cordray reportedly oversaw a “toxic and retaliatory” workplace at CFPB, where an “unprecedented number of complaints” involving “discrimination against women, blacks, older workers, immigrants and gays” were filed.

According to the Ohio Star, “more that 200 complaints were filed between August 2013 and March 2014, with many of the employees describing the abuses as widespread.”

The bottom line appears to be that with less than 60 days left until the election, far more scrutiny of Cordray’s record by the De Wine campaign, the Republican Governors Association, and Ohio media is needed.

Cordray has positioned as an advocate of women’s rights and women’s advancement, LGBT and minority rights and advancement, but his record at CFPB appears to tell a very different story—one that is very relevant to the job he is de facto applying for right now.

RPCC Chair Rob Frost Skewered In New Ad

The State Central Committee races are underway. These races are always important, but there is added meaning this year as Republican Party of Cuyahoga County Chair Rob Frost recruited candidates across the state in a bid to take control of the Ohio Republican Party.

A brutal new ad was just released that looks to paint Frost as a liberal who doesn’t support President Trump.

WATCH:

President Trump Came To Cleveland, So Where Was Rob Frost?

When Air Force One touched down in Cleveland today, there was someone noticeably absent – Rob Frost.

It was quite telling that when President Trump descended from the airplane, he was greeted by Congressmen Renacci and Gibbs, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, and Summit County GOP Chairman Bryan Williams. Even though Trump was in Frost’s home county, the embattled local Chairman was not there.

It’s interesting that Bryan Williams was there. Frost’s Executive Director Becca Armstrong initially pulled State Central Committee petitions against Committeewoman Debbie Walsh, an ally of Bryan Williams. Like Williams, Walsh is also loyal to Timken. After Cleveland.com reported about Armstrong’s unusual candidacy, she dropped out.

When the President was in Cuyahoga County, Williams was there but Frost wasn’t. 

The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County Chair may have found himself to be a persona non grata after making a power play by recruiting candidates for State Central Committee, in what clearly appears to be an attempt to take control of the party.

The races that Frost apparently targeted are currently filled with Jane Timken loyalists. For example, Gene Allen is challenging Scott Kayser. Allen has been quite vocal in telling people that Frost recruited him to run. Kayser is a strong supporter of Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken and in his first term on the Committee.

Frost had Alex Thomas help him recruit these candidates. Thomas, who is an SCC candidate himself, works at Roetzel and Andress with former ORP Chairman Matt Borges. Prior to that, he worked closely with John Kasich.

Frost tried to distance himself from the unpopular Governor at last week’s RPCC Central and Executive Committee meeting. That’s a hard pill to swallow as Kasich appointed Frost to the Kent State Board of Trustees just a few days prior.

John Kasich rules with an iron fist and a vindictive attitude. If Frost truly had been as disgusted with the Ohio Governor as he claimed to be, it’s hard to believe that Kasich would appoint him to anything.

It is often muttered that Rob Frost is the best Chairman the Cuyahoga Democrats could ask for. His repeated absence appears to be reinforcing that point.

These races are getting more interesting as primary election closes in.

Nick Mascari: A Life Well Lived And A Legacy To Remember

“How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so damn awful.” – Evan Valens

The best friendships leave a lasting impression on your heart. They also make saying goodbye excruciating. That is what so many of us are feeling as we say goodbye to Nick Mascari for the final time.

Nick was a friend who always had an ear to listen to your concerns. He’d have a friend’s back in times of battle, but he wasn’t afraid to tell friends when he thought they had it wrong. His witty sense of humor provided many of us with endless laughter. His friendship was balanced and completely authentic.

Even in this era of hyperpartisan politics, Nick didn’t have a litmus test for friendship. He considered Joe from the left-wing site, Plunderbund to be a friend. Nick believed in there being a time to campaign and a time to lead. We tried to find common ground on bipartisan issues that we could both promote. Nick talked about all of us getting together for a drink. He thought it would shock all the right people.

Nick was also humble. He didn’t toot his own horn. He played down the impact his Ohio-based website, Third Base Politics had. Each time a story was referenced by a respected publication, he acted as if it had never happened before. Over time, we discussed revamping the site. Nick wanted to shake things up and add more contributors.

Then in August 2016, Nick received a cancer diagnosis.

Nick was incredibly brave in his battle. He was optimistic, but realistic as well. A few months ago he confided that he understood the five-year survival rate for the type of lung cancer he had was grim. He told me his big regret was that he didn’t meet his beloved wife Ady earlier. He said nine years of marriage with her was simply not enough.

Nick’s loyalty can be exemplified by the fact that he remained a frustrated Cleveland Browns fan to the end. Yes, the Cleveland Browns that went 0-16. I told him many times that he was in a lifelong abusive relationship with the Browns. He was apparently aware of this but just couldn’t quit this awful team no matter how many times they betrayed him.

While he recognized the Browns weren’t going to have anything resembling a winning season anytime soon, his true sporting love was baseball and the Cleveland Indians. He relished every moment of the 22 game winning streak the Tribe put together in 2017. His heart broke when they lost in the playoffs, but he was looking forward to next season in hopes that the Tribe would end their drought and win the World Series.

On Wednesday, Nick became one of the 422 people to die of lung cancer just that day alone. Of course, he will never be just a statistic, but Nick certainly would want that number highlighted to shine a light on those still struggling with this dastardly disease. Cancer ended his life, but it will never define it.

People keep asking me how they can honor Nick. Being that he was very humble, I think he would encourage you to make a memory at a Cleveland Indians game. Head out to the Jake next season (sorry Progressive) and be part of the Tribe’s future quest to win the World Series.

If someone would like to make a financial contribution in honor Nick, please consider sending it to Taussig Cancer InstituteAmerican Cancer Society or Compassion International.

As the tears fall on my keyboard, I realize it is nearly impossible for me to pay tribute to Nick properly. He was such a dear friend to so many. While so many of his friends grieve this wonderful man, the sadness felt by his family must feel insurmountable at this time. Please keep Ady, Paige, Nicholas, Nick’s parents, siblings, and the rest of their family in your prayers.

Goodbye, Nick.

Blackwell Speaks Out About How Crony Richard Cordray Hurts College Graduates

We have been bracing for Richard Cordray to announce that he is running for Governor of Ohio. The head of the CFPB has been using the power of his position to apparently earn favor with liberal donors in preparation for a run.

Former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has some comments below on how Cordray’s actions have harmed Ohioans and college students in particular.

Crony Cordray Hurts College Graduates

Ken Blackwell

There is no doubt about it. Richard Cordray, the far-left head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) wants to run for governor of Ohio. Speculation is growing that an official announcement could come at any moment.

I have no doubt that my fellow Ohioans will reject Obama-era holdover Cordray’s radical philosophy on Election Day, just like they did when he ran for Attorney General in 2010.

One might assume that a government agency with “consumer financial protection” in its name might actually protect consumers. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. Cordray’s agency, with more than a $600 million annual budget, has developed a lengthy track record of mismanagement, heavy-handed mandates, and outright corruption.

Cordray knows his time is limited, which is why he is desperate to use his rogue agency to garner political support from the political swamp for his future gubernatorial campaign.

In a stunningly brazen move, we are just learning of a secret deal Cordray made last month with hedge fund manager David Uderitz of Vantage Capital to manage student loan collections for the same delinquent student loans his firm owns through the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts.

As too many students and parents are aware, more than 1.1 million students are in default on their school loans, and more 40% of student borrowers are not making any payments. This is a financial disaster that cannot be sustained.

Part of the trusts’ problem is many of their ownership details of loans are incomplete. But instead of this being fought out in court through a lengthy process with borrowers, Corday’s CFPB has agreed to give Udertiz’s firm full control over the collection process.

This is crony capitalism at its worse. This deal would allow a hedge-fund manager profit from the CFPB’s decision by circumventing the legal system. This hedge fund now has CFPB’s blessing to charge fees and administer a $21.6 million government settlement trust owed to students. And, as the fund owns some of those delinquent, they will be pocketing the remaining funds.

Why would Cordray and the CFPB intervene? The Ohio Republican Party recently filed a FIOA request to get answers. But there is no doubt that this move would not only give Cordray an empty campaign talking point about doing something on student loans, even though in reality he simply turned over student loan collections to a well-connected hedge fund.

Cordray and the CFPB have far exceeded their authority in this matter, and are only making things worse. This difficult situation for students and lenders should be settled in court, not by politically motivated bureaucrats who invent their own rules.

Obama is no longer in the White House, but his legacy of unconstitutional overreach and unchecked regulations lives on through the CFPB. President Donald Trump should have fired Rich Cordray and replaced him long ago.

Ken Blackwell served as the mayor of Cincinnati (1979–80), the Ohio State Treasurer (1994–99), and Ohio Secretary of State (1999–2007). He was the Republican candidate for Governor of Ohio in 2006. Most recently, he served as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team.

 

Cordray Does Big Favors For Liberal Donors; Is Campaign Announcement Next?

Speculation continues to swirl that current director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray may wind up running for Governor. So far, President Trump doesn’t seem to have helped him along that path; early in Trump’s term, there was chatter that he’d fire Cordray, which would have immediately freed Cordray up to run and potentially given him a better platform for doing so, at least among Elizabeth Warren-idolizing, Trump-hating Democrats. Cordray remains in office, with his options left open. And he’s finding plenty of things to do in his current job that will help him a lot if he decides to take the step to run to succeed Gov. Kasich.

Case in point: Under Cordray, the CFPB just recently put on the books an “anti-arbitration rule” that pushes financial services companies away from arbitration and towards the regular court system. By virtue of that simple fact, it’s a huge boon to trial lawyers—a great fundraising base for a future Democratic gubernatorial candidate who could very well get in the race at the very last minute, and need immediate, big fundraising hauls as a result. Is that calculation behind Cordray’s action here? Or is he just another liberal who inherently views going to court as better than arbitration, per what he’s probably been hearing for years and years from his trial lawyer pals?

According to the House Financial Services Committee, “Even the CFPB’s own study shows that consumers who use arbitration actually gain more favorable outcomes than those who hire trial lawyers for class action lawsuits. The average payout for consumers in a class action is $32, while the average trial lawyer receives nearly $1 million. Making consumers pay more for less is the exact opposite of ‘consumer protection.’”

It appears that Cordray is using his position to bolster his financial base in a Democratic primary. The CFPB is expected to roll out new payday lending regulations any day now. This is red meat for the liberal Democratic base. It also would greatly appease Google who has invested heavily in personal lending services, LendUp and Lending Club. Appeasing Google by knocking its competitors out at the knees might give him political capital with the internet giant.

Talk show host Jerry Springer is also considering jumping into the Democratic primary. The former mayor of Cincinnati who wrote check to pay a prostitute, describes himself as a “populist, liberal progressive.” While his talk show and prostitute past might prove to be a liability to some voters in a general elections, Springer has immediate name ID for a Democratic primary.

If Cordray is to actually face Springer, he will need to shore up the Democratic base. This is likely why he is using the CFPB to his own political advantage.

Springer is planning to make an official decision in the next two weeks. Perhaps Cordray will follow.

The LA Times’ Fake News Hit Job on Ken Blackwell

The national media has its sights set on Ken Blackwell. The former Ohio Secretary of State is on President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This has made him the target of a bit of a smear campaign fueled by misinformation.

The Voter Integrity Commission is simply asking for information thats already public record
to ensure that no legitimate vote is canceled out by an illegitimate one. A single invalid vote in each district can change entire election outcomes – and the course of history.

The LA Times and other outlets have accused Blackwell of unethically publishing social security numbers on the Secretary of State’s website as if it was leaked information.They are using false headlines from 2006 while Blackwell was engaged in a gubernatorial primary with Jim Petro. Nothing was leaked although that is how they are framing it to tarnish Blackwell.

They say that Blackwell can’t be trusted because of this. But, what they are failing to understand was that this wasn’t an issue from Blackwell. This information mostly came from banks and lawyers. At the time, state law didn’t address the specific situation of redacting this information. The issues of the law highlight the fact that this wasn’t a “leak” as the media is portraying it.

The state’s only role in handling these bank documents was to post them within 3 days. State law was ambiguous about removing information on these forms. Blackwell then worked with the legislature to amend the law to allow for the redaction of this information.

Blackwell moved on the issue very quickly.

“Blackwell acted correctly after initial resistance to removing the numbers, said Christian Jenkins, an attorney representing truck driver Darrel Estep. “What we’ve seen here is a 180-degree about-face and a decision to do the right thing,” Jenkins said. “I see that as a very good result in a very short time.”

This is what happens with the media recycles poorly placed news from over a decade ago. They are using highly biased Ohio articles to hit the Trump Administration. It’s cyclical. Ohio’s bad political writing from 11 years ago appears to be in a time warp and has been recycled for 2017.

Other media sources are trying to portray Blackwell as a vote suppressor because of a paperweight rule from his successor, Bob Taft. This dates back to 2004 when Ohio required that voter registrations needed to be on 80 lb paper.

The recommendation for this came from the United States Postal Service because people were cutting registration cards out of newspaper or regular paper and simply mailing them in. This type of paper was not made to endure USPS equipment.

There were no call of outrage form the left about this rule when Taft was Secretary of State, but they simply used it as a wedge to attempt to smear Blackwell in his gubernatorial run. Now, uninformed and biased journalists are regurgitated this 13 years later to attack President Trump.

Jon Husted Scores Major Endorsement in Governor’s Race

The prominent 2nd amendment group Ohioans for Concealed Carry have announced their endorsement of Jon Husted for Governor. Ohioans for Concealed Carry is a grassroots political advocacy group whose original goal was passing concealed carry in Ohio, and has since worked to expand carry rights. Recently in late April an appeals court sided with the group in a case against the city of Cleveland; Ohioans for Concealed Carry sued the city claiming their gun regulations ran afoul of state law. The group has challenged the City and won other prior cases as well.

 

This endorsement of Husted in the crowded GOP field for Governor is a big win for Husted. Of the four known candidates: Husted, DeWine, Taylor, and Renacci, all but DeWine have high ratings with 2nd amendment groups like the NRA and Buckeye Firearms. Husted’s obtaining this endorsement helps boost his conservative credentials in a primary battle that could be won by a slim margin if all four contenders stay in the race until next May.

Ohio poll: Kasich approval falls, Trump more popular; Mandel slight lead over Brown

Gravis Marketing has published a new poll and it contains bad news for Governor John Kasich. It appears that his approval rating has taken a huge hit as a result of his weeks-long 2020 presidential campaign book tour out of state, combined with his insufferable preaching about how he was the only reasonable alternative to Trump.

AP photo
AP photo

Kasich’s approval in Ohio is now down to 42%. Compare that to 50s at various points in 2016 and record high 60s in 2015.

The same poll found President Trump at 49% approval in Ohio.

Kasich’s faltering approval in Ohio could be due to several factors, including:

  • The jobs Kasich promised for years never arrived. The governor loves to talk about all the jobs regained since the recession, but he always implies that those are part of an “Ohio Miracle”. Its a lie, because every state in the union has regained jobs since then. But under Kasich’s leadership, Ohio’s job growth can’t even outperform the national average.
  • Kasich is now a part-time governor, flying all over the country to do interviews about his book and telling an adoring media how he is the only reasonable Republican left. In fact, he is literally “phoning it in”.

    From Darrell Rowland: “These phones do work all the way back to Ohio,” Kasich told The Dispatch in — yes — a phone interview on his way to a CNN appearance Monday in New York City. He noted his next call was with his budget director, Tim Keen.

  • His enormous ego is now on full display. From the same Dispatch interview, Kasich said,

    “I think I helped Ohio when I ran for president. People are proud of Ohio. They learned a lot about Ohio,” Kasich said. “The message that I have I think is a very good message and a very positive message for the country,” he said. “And I don’t think it should be just confined to the state of Ohio.”

    Reminiscent of Barack Obama, there are a lot of Is in that statement. The governor wants us to believe that he doesn’t need to be in Ohio doing his job, because getting his message out to the country is more important. The country needs John Kasich so bad, you see. Never mind that he had a chance to do that for months during his presidential campaign. People didn’t want to hear it then, so why would they want to hear it now?

    More narcissistic is his assertion that people are now proud of Ohio because of him.

Other tidbits in the poll are that Josh Mandel has a slight lead, 45/42 over Senator Sherrod Brown, whereas Congressman Pat Tiberi is slightly behind Brown at 41/43.

Attorney General Mike Dewine is leading the pack of candidates in the primary to succeed Kasich. DeWine registers at 31% with Secretary of State Jon Husted at 14%, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor at 10% and Congressman Jim Renacci at 6%. 40% are uncertain.

Even more wide open is the Democratic primary. Connie Pillich, Joe Schiavoni and Betty Sutton are all declared candidates, but they are all bunched around 10% with 2/3 of Dem voters undecided. There is also speculation that Rich Cordray will enter the race.

SB145 Will Force Abortion Proponents To Defend Dismembering Babies

Ohio Right to Life’s legislative agenda has the possibility to make huge strides for the pro-life movement.  The newest bill, Ohio Senate Bill 145 has the potential to save thousands of lives and completely change the narrative on abortion.

This bill seeks to ban dismemberment abortions (otherwise known as “dilation and evacuation” or “D&E” abortions) in Ohio. That will put abortion proponents on their heels by having to justify ripping a child apart limb by limb. This brutal practice accounts for 95% of second trimester abortions. To put this in perspective, 3000 of the abortions performed in 2015 in Ohio were dilation and evacuation abortions. So, this bill could save thousands of lives annually.

The pro-abortion crowd has sought to dehumanize the child in an attempt to justify ending its life. But, their tired argument about a baby just being a clump of cells no longer holds water. The prevalence of ultrasounds like the one in the video below, put that argument to rest long ago. This bill will now force them to explain why they feel it is ethical and responsible to dismember a living child.

These children deserve humane treatment because they are indeed humans. Their heartbeats and bodies prove exactly that. How is it possible to justify ripping a child’s limps off? That is the fight that NARAL and Planned Parenthood will have to make if they’re going to oppose this bill.

Pro-lifers are often referred to as “extremists” by the other side. But, this bill spins that label right around on NARAL. It will be hard for the average Ohioan to accept that the extremists are the people who are defending children from being ripped apart. This will be some very heavy-lifting for the pro-abortion crowd. Their old cliches won’t likely work on this one.

DE-4-panel-1

Like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which took effect in Ohio this March, SB 145 is part of the national strategy to end abortion. It is also written in a manner that addresses SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) which upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. Kennedy is a swing vote on abortion so his words in that decision are imperative.

“[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus…” He said, “No one would dispute that for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.”

You can send your State Senator a message of support in favor of SB 145 by clicking here.