Dave Hobson, part time Congressman…..
…..full time real estate tycoon
(Part 5) The purpose of disclosing campaign contributions is to give the citizens visibility into any real or apparent conflicts of interest with our public servants. Although every contribution has a story behind it, today OCGJ will examine several of the most compelling cases for full and open disclosure of campaign contributions to Steve Austria in late 2007. These contributors are at the top of Dave Hobson’s “A-list,” which Hobson no longer needed once he retired from congress and hand-picked Austria as his successor.
Lisa and Travis Greenwood: You may recall the Greenwood family business, The Greentree Group, as the information technology company that was awarded the $1.9 million, no-bid BRAC Initiative Agreement contract funded by Greene County and Ohio taxpayers. Greentree employees and Greenwood family members have consistently been in the top two in campaign contributions to Dave Hobson along with the defunct PMA Group, whose founder and president was sent to prison for making illegal campaign contributions to dozens of congressmen, including Dave Hobson and Steve Austria.
Ray Hagerman: OCGJ had been following Ray Hagerman since 2005 when suddenly he disappeared from the Miami Valley Radar screen in spring, 2013. We believe we know why. According to IRS records available to the public, Hagerman was getting 6-figure salaries at the Turner Foundation (Springfield) and the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) until he escaped to New Mexico. Here’s Hagerman’s resume with his new company in New Mexico. The problem here is Mr. Hagerman takes credit for managing Turner Foundation’s $130 million investment portfolio. Public records indicate that Turner Foundation assets dipped to less than $58 million by 2010, three years before he fled Ohio, which may explain why he left the Turner Foundation for the DDC in 2009 and then departed Buckeye-land in 2013.
John Landess: John Landess has run his grandfather’s Harry and Violet Turner Charitable Trust since 2000. According to Ray Hagerman’s resume with his firm in New Mexico, the trust at one time was valued at $130 million, but has now dipped to less than half of that under John Landess’ and Ray Hagerman’s leadership. One reason for that is a loss of at least $4 million from an investment in Nextedge, a project Dave Hobson is lauded by the political class for earmarking. Another is that in 2010 Landess paid himself $227,994 from his grandfather’s charitable trust. All legal perhaps, but what about the taxpayers who also lost millions on the deal, never had a say in Hobson’s earmarks and didn’t have a multi-million dollar inheritance to cover their losses?
James Leftwich: James Leftwich could serve as “poster boy” for self-dealers who are aided and abetted by the political class through public-private partnerships. Leftwich left the Dayton Development Coalition in 2011 where in 2010 he made $257,000 plus bonus, most of it paid for by taxpayer funded grants and dues-paying local governments. He then was hired by Ohio Governor John Kasich for an $85 an hour job with the Ohio Department of Development, but stepped down in August, 2011 when Governor Kasich brought in Mark Kvamme to manage JobsOhio, which replaced the Department of Development. Leftwich was hired a month later by the State of Ohio as an “intermittent employee” where he was paid $114,580 over the next year for working less than four days a week. During that time he signed a contract with Wright State to pay his Viance Partners LLC $20,000 a month. In October, 2012, the Kasich administration terminated Leftwich and referred the matter to the Ohio Ethics Commission because of Leftwich’s conflict of interest as a state employee advising Wright State through his Viance Partners, a private company. (Source: Laura Bishoff, Meagan Pant, “Ex-state official loses job in ethics flap, Dayton Daily News, November 24, 2012)
Next week OCGJ will cover four more of Dave Hobson’s and Steve Austria’s “A-list” contributors, but for now there’s an important development to report regarding the May 6th, 2014 primary. We received a robo-call from Mrs. Steve Austria urging us to vote for Steve so he can continue his “honesty and integrity” by electing him to Ohio’s State Republican Central Committee. We also received a mail piece suggesting Mr. Austria could stop Obamacare from his seat on the state central committee. Here at the OCGJ we are in awe of the political class’s capacity to lie, misdirect and misinform, but even more amazing, how do the citizen’s continue to buy into their deceptive social engineering?