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….

 

Author: Rachel

Mom. Conservative. Cleveland Indians Fan.

8 thoughts on “Told You So: ODP Caught Being Pass Through For Bribes”

  1. Andrew Ginther’s response is to state he didn’t know about the bribe that he asked for and received. This is the same guy who as a Columbus School Board member covered up their data-rigging scandal, and helped implement the school board’s “policy governance” management style that wrecked the school district. Ginther is one of the most incompetent and destructive elected officials I’ve ever seen.

  2. Red light and speed cameras are a dirty for-profit business. They should be illegal to use in every state, as they are in some already. Enforcement for profits is 100% wrong, 100% of the time. Ohio residents need to contact their state Representatives, Senators and the Governor to politely – but firmly – insist on a new state law to ban all ticket cameras in Ohio, and require all the existing cameras to be taken down. Contact information:
    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/
    http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/ContacttheGovernor.aspx

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  3. James C. Walker: “Red light and speed cameras are a dirty for-profit business. They should be illegal to use in every state, as they are in some already. Enforcement for profits is 100% wrong, 100% of the time.”

    That sounds like building a straw man so you have something to tear down at James! Red light cameras do not NEED to be for profit only and it would be simple to make them squeaky clean tools for public safety. These are tools that could save hundreds lives and injuries that occur because irresponsible, self important individuals feel a need to be able to run red lights when they don’t feel like stopping or slowing down. These scum can count on the support of “libertarians” like yourself who choose to defend their to right to maim and kill unsuspecting men women and children who just happen to be in their way. So noble you members of the National Motorists Association.

    1. I agree entirely, Bernie. Red light cameras COULD be used to sanction only drivers doing hazardous things – the ones that should get tickets. It would be easy to set the camera and enforcement parameters to sanction bad and irresponsible drivers.

      The problem with that proper approach is that the very expensive red light cameras tend to cost $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera. If the parameters are set up so they don’t give out most tickets to safe drivers with improper traffic light engineering and predatory enforcement rules aimed at safe drivers for money, then the cameras will lose so much money that no city will use them. The cameras are only viable financially if they issue most tickets to safe drivers with improper light engineering and the deliberate ticketing of mostly safe drivers. Also note that many camera programs have increase the total crash rates, something that no rational person can claim is a safety program to cause more crashes.

      James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

      1. OK James I can see now where/why you object. Can you suggest a comprehensive published study that documents the efficacy (or lack thereof) of traffic camera? I like to read it. Also it seems like a good bit of the problem is simply lack of a fair & due process in handling the cases of persons ticketed? That also could be fixed if there was the will to do it. As to containing costs. Couldn’t cites install a lot of dummy cameras that cost nothing to maintain and then randomly move a few active cameras around the city at periodic intervals?

        1. Hi Bernie. The problem is that almost all the camera programs are run by for-profit camera companies and almost all cities go into the business for the profits. Everyone concerned says “it is for safety”, but those statements are nearly 100% false. Cameras are used for profits as the primary or the only real goal. Due process is specifically excluded in the way the laws and the ticket rules are set up – that is on purpose. Most programs ticket the vehicle owner and the violation is strictly civil (like a parking ticket) with no license points and no attempt to identify the driver. Then due process for things like challenging the accuracy, calibration, or maintenance of the cameras is not allowed. This is NOT an accident – it is set up to make real objections and challenges virtually impossible. In Florida, a red light camera ticket is $158. If you challenge in some cities you go before a hearing officer paid by the city that gets about half the fines and if you lose the challenge, the city can charge you up to $250 more than the fine (and they keep ALL of the extra $250 rip off fee) for a total of $408. Guess how many challenges are successful. If you said virtually none, then you understand.

          Red light cameras are a predatory money grab scam.

          See our website for the studies on many programs that have raised crash rates, the documentation on how adding up to one second of yellow drastically drops violation rates, and why the tickets for slow rolling right on red turns go almost exclusively to safe drivers who endangered no one. It is all a scam.

          James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  4. Just to clarify my earlier comments (above). In no way do I support the corruption and bribery of Redflex Traffic Systems, their personnel, or Ohio public officials who are participating in graft and payback schemes. Mike DeWine, you are the Attorney General of Ohio — get to work and send these scum to prison and then propose the necessary reforms needed to make the red light cameras a true pulblic safety tool not arevenue collection scheme.

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