Dave Hobson, part time Congressman…..
…..full time real estate tycoon
(Part 6) This week we’ll continue with three more of Dave Hobson’s and Steve Austria’s “A-list” campaign contributors who are more or less related to Dave Hobson’s secretive real estate transactions. OCGJ considered a fourth for today’s post, but during our research found Ms. Barbara Schenck’s conflicts of interest so wide and so deep that we decided to cover her in one post next week. In any case, here are today’s subjects who are among those who have received the biggest bang for their campaign contribution buck.
Thomas Loftis: Tom Loftis is another name often associated with Dave Hobson’s questionable real estate dealings. Recall that while in Congress Hobson never disclosed his financial interest with Midland Properties owned by Loftis. The bottom line, Dave Hobson was listed as a Midland Properties agent and Midland Properties got the TPI Composites leasing deal at 2145 Airpark Drive in Springfield. Recall Hobson earmarked $4.5 million to TPI Composites on the promise of 100 jobs at that Springfield plant. Then Steve Austria claimed he helped Hobson create those jobs seven months after TPI shuttered their Springfield operation. Hobson’s earmark actually helped finance TPI Composite’s Mexico and China operations. Loftis also had his fingerprints on the Nextedge deal as he was Nextedge President in 2010, the year before the Turner Foundation subsidiary went bankrupt, going from assets of over $4 million to $16.00….that’s sixteen dollars and no cents. This is clearly a transparent attempt to unwind the corrupt Nextedge land purchase in one fell swoop. If the IRS and U.S. House Ethics Committee are not all over this one, they should be.
Yaromir Steiner: Mr. Steiner owns Steiner and Associates, the company that developed The Greene, a mall at the corner of Indian Ripple Road and I-675 in Beavercreek. This 2007 chart and letter to the editor pretty much follows the money from the taxpayers to the political class, but there is one aspect of this case that often slips under the radar. The seven Beavercreek City Council members could pass the $14.7 million Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) by a simple majority vote, but the citizens can overturn that vote with a ballot initiative, which we tried to do. The problem is former City Manager Tim Hensley illegally acted for the Greene County Board of Elections by not delivering the 2000 initiative petition signatures to the Board for their consideration. Hensley also violated the federal Privacy Act by giving the petition signers’ addresses to Steiner who thought he could flip the petition signers with a patronizing letter. City Council knew the TIF for The Greene would not pass so they just kept it off the ballot just as they did with the Fairfield Commons Mall. Council was never happy with Hensley, so after he hijacked the citizen’s petition they fired him and gave him a generous buyout package equal to about one year’s salary.
Woolpert, Inc.: A report written by T.W. Farnam for the Washington Post in January, 2012 confirms Dave Hobson (R-Ohio) has earned $540,000 while lobbying for Woolpert, which received a $1.6 million Air Force earmark requested by Hobson in 2008, his last year in congress. Hobson’s $30,000-a-month contract with Woolpert is focused on defense appropriations, precisely related to Woolpert’s business as a defense contractor. After reviewing these Woolpert campaign contribution disclosures to Hobson and others in the political class reported by Influence Explorer, it’s easy to understand why Hobson did not return a request for comment. There’s one aspect of Woolpert’s and Hobson’s pay-to-play politics that rarely if ever is addressed by the media, political opponents or anyone else. That would be, “How do Woolpert’s employees view the outrageous lobbying fees taken out of their company’s bottom line that could be used to pay salaries to the folks that actually earn an honest living?” Come on now….. $30,000 a month to a career politician who always had the best healthcare at minimum out-of-pocket costs, generous state and federal government retirement plans and job security guaranteed by millions in campaign contributions from special interests. OCGJ knows of government support contractors that have recently taken 30-40 percent pay cuts so bosses like those at Woolpert can keep their companies profitable, but Woolpert still found a way to transfer the fruits of their employee’s labor to a multi-millionaire career politician turned lobbyist.