Dave Hobson, part time Congressman…..
…..full time real estate tycoon
(Part 4) To continue with our 6-part series highlighting Dave Hobson’s frequent but clandestine involvement in real estate connected to earmarks engineered for his political class cronies, OCGJ will take a closer look into campaign contributions to Steve Austria during Mrs. Austria’s last few months as Dave Hobson’s District Director. You have seen this link twice before, but it’s important we take a closer look at a list of Steve Austria’s “first responders” to his cry for campaign cash in 2007 before his inaugural run for congress in 2008. This list characterizes the lowest of the low hanging fruit available to Dave Hobson during his tenure and Steve Austria, Hobson’s handpicked successor. In fact, it appears that some were so eager to contribute they exceeded the legal limit and had to return excessive contributions.
Qbase: Austria’s “first responder” list reveals 16 Qbase-related transactions in late 2007; 14 contributions from Qbase executives and two returns from Janet Pardue, Qbase co-owner along with husband Willard (Bill). Less than three years after these contributions, Qbase, one of the first Nextedge tenants, crashed and burned leaving a trail of collateral damage. Of course Steve Austria was nowhere to be found when Qbase sold out for pennies on the dollar to avoid bankruptcy. Here’s a list of the losers, all of which, except of course for the taxpayers, were coaxed into the Qbase investment by Dave Hobson, the Pied Piper of failed earmarks and Steve Austria, his anointed successor:
- City of Springfield and Clark County taxpayers lost $500,000,
- Ohio taxpayers lost up to $3.6 million through mal-investment by the Ohio Department of Development,
- Qbase shareholders lost $7 million,
- The Turner Foundation, former owner of defunct Nextedge Development Corporation, lost $4 million,
- Developers Bob Mills and Sam Morgan traded a $5 million loan for subordinate shares in the purchasing company,
- Qbase executives lost $500,000 in deferred wages that were never paid and another $443,420 in loans converted to subordinated shares.
We shouldn’t feel sorry for those in the private sector who lost money as all of the above contributed to Hobson’s and Austria’s campaigns falsely thinking they would be the “rainmakers” who would turn their greed into instant wealth. However, let’s not forget the taxpayers who unknowingly shouldered the risk and much of the loss; but there are winners who appeared on Steve Austria’s “first responder” contribution list.
Oberer Companies: George and Michael Oberer have a wide and deep track record for contributing to local, state and federal politicians. You won’t find this on their website, but what you will see is characterization of a very successful company doing business in the Miami Valley since 1949. Oberer defines its legacy as, “From the very beginning, the Oberer Companies have been guided by the principles of quality, integrity, and commitment to community.” Despite a few complaints, Oberer companies have a pretty good rating by the Better Business Bureau and it’s more likely that Oberer’s success was due to their own devices rather than the thousands of dollars they pumped into the campaigns of career politicians.
Select Tech: That’s not necessarily true of Select Tech Services Corporation. It appears they got a lot of help from the political class as did Nextedge and TPI Composites. For Nextedge and TPI it was millions in taxpayer funded subsidies and earmarks from Dave Hobson and Steve Austria, but for Select Tech it was small business set asides and contract awards short of full and open competition. Having said that, at least it appears that Select Tech is profitable unlike TPI Composites and Nextedge that suffered millions in losses for both political class investors and the citizens. Select Tech’s money trail goes full circle with 11 contributions (five in excess of legal limits) at the end of 2007 and ending in 2013 with President Scott Sullivan receiving the Dayton Development Coalition’s annual Dave Hobson Dayton Region Advocate award. Presiding at the presentation were former and current Coalition CEOs, J.P. Nauseef and Jeff Hoagland. Of course you won’t find Coalition reps in the same area code with the likes of Nextedge or TPI Composites, two monumental failures of their public-private partnerships which usually means tax payer dollars going into private pockets.