Told You So: ODP Caught Being Pass Through For Bribes

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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….

 

Fitzgerald Endorsed Ohio House Candidate Wrote Book With Anti-Semitic Undertones

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The Ohio Democratic Party has had a miserable year. With Ed Fitzgerald weighing down the top of their ticket, the remainder of their statewide slate has essentially no chance to succeed. The blame for this all rests at the feet of ODP Chair, Chris Redfern who failed to vet Fitzgerald, giving him a rubber stamp of approval for Governor based on his smile and a very short lived stint at the FBI.

The Democrats have another endorsed candidate who should be bringing them some shame. Kent Smith is running for Ohio House District 8, the seat being vacated by Former House Majority Leader and candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive, Armond Budish. Along with the other Democrats and the party, Fitzgerald and Budish have endorsed Kent Smith’s candidacy.

But, there’s a problem. Smith wrote a book he says is about The Tea Party, but it relies heavily on anti-Semitic and anti-Christian undertones. His book, “Please God Save Us” is highlighted on his campaign website as an accomplishment. The artwork is more than a little inflammatory in nature. It depicts Republicans as evil elephants displaying crosstikas, a combination of a cross and a swastika.

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While the First Amendment gives someone protection and the right to make fools of themselves or say something inflammatory or blasphemous, typically elected officials and candidates are held to higher standard. After all, they are supposed to represent all their constituents, not just the ones who agree with their charged views. His book might very well prevent Smith from properly working with Republicans or people of faith. The State government will continue to be dominated by Republicans. If elected, Smith would be forced to work with Republicans, but after writing a book that has artwork equating them to Nazis, it is easy to question how he can successfully reach across the aisle.

Mikhail Alterman is Smith’s opponent in next month’s election. He obviously is concerned about this book and believes it is reflective of Kent Smith.

“The whole concept of blasphemy is foreign to him. It is difficult to decide what is more upsetting, the images and the things this book is talking about or the fact that to this day the candidate is oblivious to it, is proud of it and is bragging about it on his campaign website.”

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Smith does not hide from this book. If anyone vetted him, they would have easily found the book, which should have raised their eyebrows. Budish claims he has not read the book. Apparently he follows Chris Redfern’s lead with endorsing people without vetting them. Now they have a candidate in a heavily Jewish district who doesn’t seem to be sensitive to the constituents.

Nina Turner funds website encouraging herself to run for Ohio SOS

A new website, “Run Nina Run,” appears to be encouraging State Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, to run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014.

But get this — it’s paid for by Nina Turner’s campaign.

Take a look for yourself – it clearly says so right at the bottom of the page. You just can’t make this stuff up, folks.

“Everywhere Senator Nina Turner goes, people are asking her if she’s going to run for Ohio Secretary of State next year,” according to text on the website’s homepage. “They thank her for being a great advocate for voting rights and fair elections. All across Ohio, people are saying Nina would be the strongest candidate and the best Secretary of State.”

Maybe Nina’s support is just the thing that will push Nina to make the choice to run.

Just in case, maybe Nina Turner’s next step should be to create a website encouraging Nina Turner’s “Run Nina Run” site to keep up the pressure on Nina Turner to run.

All paid for by Nina Turner, of course.