When money and power are involved, it’s sometimes hard to stay on the straight and narrow path and follow the laws. Apparently some Ohio Democrats haven’t learned any lessons from the massive corruption in Cuyahoga County that landed dozens of Democrats in jail because perversion and outright gluttony at the expense of taxpayers. A few years ago they found a campaign cash cow in red light cameras that Ohio drivers hate so much.
Perhaps former Cuyahoga County Commissioner and County Democratic Party Chair Jimmy Dimora predicted this latest revelation of corruption when he said, “I have not done anything that any other public official hasn’t done.”
Karen Finley, the former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems, admitted to funneling money through the Ohio Democratic Party and the Franklin County Democratic Party in order to win or keep contracts. She pled guilty to bribing officials in Columbus and Cincinnati.
From 2005-2013, Finley used a lobbyist to give money to the party and that money then would be redirected to Columbus and Cincinnati Democrats. This would prevent her from being on any campaign finance reports as she solicited contracts that generated significant revenue for her company at the expense of Ohio drivers. The pass through from the parties gave an extra layer of secrecy from the public eye.
Andrew Ginther benefitted significantly from Finley’s admitted bribes. The Columbus City Council President, who is currently running for Mayor, received a $21k donation from the Ohio Democratic Party on November 1, 2011. Campaign finance records show that John Raphael, a Reflex lobbyist, conveniently gave $20k to the Ohio Democratic Party on October 21, 2011.
It took less than two weeks for the Columbus Democrat to receive the intended bribe that was funneled through the ODP. Chris Redfern was the Chairman of the ODP at that time. Gunther is claiming he didn’t know about the donation that Finley admitted. Finley faces a $250k fine and five years in jail
And Third Base Politics told you so. Two years ago, Jake threw up a red flag with regards to Redflex still doing business in Ohio while facing federal bribery charges in Chicago.
The company in question—Redflex—has now lost at least two top executives due to the scandal, and yet, this hasn’t made the big national headlines, despite Redflex having contracts in over 250 cities, including both Dayton AND Columbus, Ohio.
A quick call to the Columbus Police Department confirmed that the city still maintains Redflex as it’s contracted servicer, though calls to Dayton yielded little results. Regardless, Redflex is mentioned in numerous places on both city websites, including a Dayton finance committee presentation from less than a year ago, and the technology pages for Columbus’ photo enforcement program.
It doesn’t take a lawyer to figure out it’s probably not the greatest idea to keep doing business with a company currently under investigation… in Chicago. Do you know how hard it is to get investigated in a city that allows dead people to vote? With a city like Chicago investigating the practices of Redflex, one has to wonder if Columbus and Dayton shouldn’t do the same. At the very least, it is certainly questionable.
It just takes a little common sense to realize where there is smoke there is fire, especially when money is involved. Some Democrats were using traffic cameras that cause traffic issues for Ohioans as a cash cow, not only for their cities, but for their campaign coffers. And it’s right there on the campaign finance reports. You just have to connect the dots.
Now tell me again how the Democrats are for the common man….