A while back stalwart conservative organizations Susan B. Anthony List and Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, filed suit against the Columbus swamp including Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Election Commission’s Director Phil Richter for stonewalling a False Claim complaint. The case (No. 13-193) went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The bottom line, AG Mike DeWine’s amicus brief advocated that lying 90 days before an election is protected speech. The irony here is that even if this was a lie, which it isn’t, DeWine and his rogue prosecutors couldn’t touch me. Mike DeWine is not a conservative and he never will be.
I am pleased to inform you that our organization, the We the People Convention Inc., based on the legal rights granted to us in the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case, do hereby endorse you, John Mitchel, in the Republican Primary for US Congress in the Ohio 10th District. The We the People Convention is dedicated to helping to elect conservative, liberty minded “Citizen Representatives” to public and party offices. We believe in Constitutionally limited representative government, lower taxes, minimum government regulation, capitalism and free markets in order to protect individual freedom and liberty, and create prosperity for all citizens.
We are convinced that you share our goals and values, and thus believe that you will truly be a “Citizen Representative” for all the residents of the 10th Ohio Congressional District if elected. Your endorsement is particularly important to us, and the voters of the 10th District, because your opponent in the Republican Primary has failed to represent his District’s values and goals by his Congressional votes. In fact, your current “Republican” representative in Congress has changed his positions dramatically since he was first elected and now has a literally pathetic FreedomWorks scorecard over the last 4 years that averages just 46%. That is totally unacceptable for ANY real Republican in Congress and is far below that of other Ohio Congressmen like Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson and Brad Wenstrup. We have no doubt that you will represent the goals and values of ALL the citizens of your District, above the interests of your political party and other monied special interests who may try to influence your votes if elected. Therefore, the We the People Convention strongly encourages all Republican voters in the 10th Congressional District of Ohio to vote for John Mitchel for US House of Representatives in the Republican Primary on [May] 8th! Citizens can learn more about our organization at www.WethePeopleConvention.org.
I have attached a copy of our endorsement logo which you can place on your website and Facebook page and use in any additional way that you like. We encourage you to send out a press release announcing our endorsement to your local media outlets. We may also provide additional resources for your campaign as funds allow.
Best of luck in the primary election. […] We thank you for having the courage, passion and fortitude to run for elected office!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Americans for John Mitchel
In response to:
The Honorable Ashton B. Carter
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
3010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-3010
September 24, 2010
Subject: Your Memorandum for Acquisition Professionals, dated 28 June 2010
Dear Under Secretary Carter,
Thank you for the invitation to comment on subject memo, “Better Buying Power: Mandate for Restoring Affordability and Productivity in Defense Spending.” Except for a less-than-ambitious 2-3% expectation for reducing funding for unneeded or low priority overhead (read fraud, waste, abuse, corruption) in the way the Pentagon does business, I couldn’t agree more with your latest initiative to “support our forces at war on an urgent basis” and advance Secretary Gate’s mandate to be “respectful of the American taxpayer at a time of economic and fiscal distress.” Right or wrong, the U.S. has committed its citizens to finance an expensive interventionist foreign policy which cannot be sustained without (1) bankrupting the U.S. economy or (2) drastically reducing wasteful, unneeded, and at times corrupt defense spending.
To help put this in perspective, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), U.S. defense spending in 2009 exceeded $663 billion, which was more than the next 19 countries combined, only one of which is our adversary. Furthermore, as you state in your memo, the money spent annually on overhead alone (salaries and benefits for military personnel and civilian employees, and on buildings and facilities within which they work) totals approximately $300 billion which in 2009 exceeded total defense spending by the next four countries, i.e., China, the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Federation. On top of that we paid nearly $400 billion to the private sector on products and services. This will probably collapse the U.S. economy in the very near future, and 2-3% savings from unneeded and low-priority overhead will not be sufficient to rescue the U.S. taxpayer. To be sure, individual citizens can have no impact at the macro level, but one thing we can do is report on fraud, waste, abuse and corruption at the local level. That is my objective in writing today. I have three specific examples that I believe add little value, if any at all to warfighter support; (1) the 2003 BRAC Initiative agreement between Greene County (OH) and the Dayton Development Coalition, (2) Nextedge Research Park and (3) TPI Composites. You may agree that wasteful, abusive and corrupt practices like these occur all day, every day around the U.S.
On the promise of jobs to his district, in 2005 Congressman Dave Hobson (7th District, Ohio), secured a $4.5 million earmark for TPI Composites to develop an Army vehicle similar to the Humvee, but with lighter materials. Lobbyist Juliet Pacquing collected $60,000 from TPI Composites. Her husband, Kevin Cook was Hobson’s top staffer for the House Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water. For nearly seven months after the Springfield (OH) plant closed in March 2009, Mr. Hobson and his successor, Steve Austria, took credit for up to 100 jobs at that facility. That claim may have helped Mr. Hobson and Mr. Austria raise campaign cash, but if those jobs exist at all they now do so at TPI Composites facilities in China, Mexico, Rhode Island or Iowa. (Sources: Springfield News Sun, Mar 18, 2009, and USA Today, October 16, 2006). Regardless of the success of the Humvee upgrade program, there is a strong argument that the $4.5 million earmark to TPI Composites was purely political and fraught with inefficiencies, not the least of which is the recurring overhead on a vacant production facility at 2145 Airpark Drive in Springfield subsidized by the U.S taxpayer.
BRAC Initiative Agreement
In 2003, without competition Greene County (OH) Commissioners signed a $1.9 million agreement with the Dayton Development Coalition to advocate for jobs at Wright Patterson AFB for the 2005 BRAC. Nearly half of that ($900,000) was a loan (interest paid by Greene County taxpayers) to be used as matching funds for state funding. I personally requested public documents related to the Agreement, and when denied full disclosure, filed suit with the Greene County Common Pleas court to force the Greene County Commissioners to release related documents (Case No. 2009 CV 0305). The Court dismissed my case on a procedural technicality, but less that 24 hours later advised that I could review 26 boxes of documents at my discretion and convenience. In the course of my review, I found evidence of bid-rigging, misappropriation of funds, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice. Furthermore, I learned that in 2005, the last full year of the Agreement, the Dayton Development Coalition paid their CEO and President more than $285,000. This is more than the Vice-President of the United States and about twice what the Governor of Ohio earns, despite having a span of control of less than 30 employees. In any case, after two records review sessions I was contacted by representatives of the FBI, DoD Inspector General and Ohio State Auditor who took custody of the records and asked me to continue to work with them as an informant without pay. I agreed, and during the course of my research, confirmed that Nextedge Development Corporation was and still today is a 501(c) (6) front company controlled by 501(c) (3) Turner Foundation created to launder local, state and federal grants to the benefit of elected and appointed officials, and their special interest advocates. (Source: Nextedge Development Corporation IRS Form 990 tax returns, 2005-2009). According to my FBI contact, this information was reported to the Dayton U.S. Attorney’s office and may or may not have been presented before a grand jury.
Nextedge Development Corporation
Nextedge began operations in 2005 when they received local, state and federal government subsidies to purchase 205 acres of farmland to the east of Springfield (OH) from Wellington Square, LLC for $4.7 million, or $23,000 per acre. At that time, the average cost of farmland in Ohio was slightly more than $3000 per acre. At the time of purchase, both Nextedge and Wellington Square were entities operating under the direct control of the Turner Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization headquartered in Springfield, Ohio. In 2008 Nextedge collected $136,800.08 in total revenue, but paid their Executive Director $121,671 for working 20 hours per week, and also more than $177,000 for non-employee services including Mrs. Steve Austria, allegedly through EFA (Eileen F. Austria) Solutions, LLC. (Sources: Nextedge 2008 IRS Form 990, http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/ and Ohio Secretary of State website) A shallow dive into Nextedge IRS Form 990’s (2005-2009) available as open source intelligence reveals ubiquitous false and misleading statements that are clearly designed to conceal or at best misdirect past and current involvement in Nextedge by congressmen Dave Hobson and Steve Austria.
It’s tragic that except for the alleged fraud, waste, abuse and corruption that may be under investigation by the FBI and Dayton U.S. Attorney, the TPI Composites-related earmarks and 501(c) organizations like the Dayton Development Coalition, the Turner Foundation and Nextedge Development Corporation may be perfectly legal, despite their obvious lack of value to the warfighter or the taxpayer. However, there is one aspect of this investigation that clearly violates federal campaign finance law, and that would be Congressman Austria’s failure to disclose Mrs. Austria’s employment with Nextedge and his association with the Dayton Development Coalition on his Financial Disclosure Statement (Form B) filed on March 15, 2008.
You may ask, “How is all this related to cutting unneeded and low priority overhead?” One straightforward explanation lies in the “fungibility” of money, or the concept that money is a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. For example, the local, state and federal tax dollars that funded the TPI Composites earmark and 501(c) organizations like Turner Foundation, Nextedge and the Dayton Development Coalition are fungible in the sense that they can be equally substituted between national defense and political corruption. There’s compelling evidence that the three examples described above came down overwhelmingly on the side of the latter.
With over 22 years on active duty and eight more as a government support contractor I have seen the best and worst of Department of Defense acquisition. As Commander, Air Force Plant Representative Office in Burbank, CA during the production of the F-117 Nighthawk and sustainment of U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, I became very familiar with high value-added acquisition programs. However, as a former KC-135 tanker aircraft commander I understand the tragic, decade-long failure of our acquisition process to replace our aging air-refueling capability. The only way we can correct the latter is for Congress, the Department of Defense and private industry to cast aside the notion that requirements are driven by the next election, next promotion and next quarterly financial statement. As Secretary Gates has directed, we must abandon inefficient practices accumulated in a period of budget growth and learn to manage defense dollars that is “respectful of the American taxpayer at a time of economic and fiscal distress.”
Thank you again for the invitation to provide my input on this very important national security issue.
Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
|State of Ohio
County of Greene
Subscribed and sworn before me on this _____ day of _______________, 2010.
Notary Public ___________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Americans for John Mitchel
Mitchel rated “True Reformer” by NumbersUSA on immigration
Arlington VA, April 29, 2010: Today non-partisan NumbersUSA rated congressional candidate John Mitchel a “True Reformer” on immigration policy. For comparisons to his opponent, you may review this link: http://www.numbersusa.com/content/elections/races/house-election/2010-ohio-7th-district.html
Roy Beck, Executive Director of NumbersUSA, has been one of the most visible and articulate spokesmen on the effects of mass immigration on quality of life issues in the United States. The Houston Chronicle labeled him “one of the five leading thinkers in the national immigration debate.” The prestigious Foreign Affairs journal stated that nobody has made a more persuasive case for cutting current high levels of immigration. “All sides can learn from Roy Beck,” said Business Week magazine.
In response to the NumbersUSA’s “True Reformer” rating, Mitchel responded, “Our campaign is honored to receive NumbersUSA’s top rating on immigration reform. It’s tragic that many Republicans including my opponent have in large part ignored the immigration issue until the recent storm in Arizona. Our campaign has clearly explained our position on immigration throughout the campaign at www.reformcongress.com. We invite you to review our position statement under the “Issues” drop down menu from our homepage. There’s also a link to Roy Beck’s 14-minute video that explains the dire consequences of continuing our current immigration policy.
Americans for John Mitchel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Americans for John Mitchel 2010, www.reformcongress.com
What are they hiding at Nextedge?
Springfield, Ohio, April 26, 2010: On returning from a Veteran’s Forum in Columbus, Congressional Candidate John Mitchel stopped at Nextedge Development Corporation in Springfield to follow up on an investigation into allegations that Mrs. Austria used Nextedge as a platform to raise money for her husband’s congressional campaign. One day after Mrs. Austria left her job as District Director for Dave Hobson, Steve Austria’s predecessor, she took a job with Nextedge. Mitchel claims that it was not illegal for Mrs. Austria to work for Nextedge, but it violates federal election statutes if Mrs. Austria used Nextedge resources for political purposes. Furthermore, Mitchel claims that Mr. Austria concealed his spouse’s employment with Nextedge on his 2009 federal Financial Disclosure Statement, which also would be a violation of federal campaign finance law.
Mitchel commented, “There are a lot of unanswered questions related to Mrs. Austria’s transition from Dave Hobson’s District Director to her employment with Nextedge, not the least of which deals with her last two months in a $100,000-a-year tax-payer funded job with Mr. Hobson. In late October 2007, Steve Austria announced his candidacy simultaneously with Dave Hobson’s retirement announcement, but Mrs. Austria stayed in that job until December 31st. During that two month period the Austria campaign committee raised over $220,000 ( Austria’s Campaign Contributions for the period of Oct. through Dec. 2007 – Original source: www.fec.gov ). If Mrs. Austria made even one phone call from Dave Hobson’s Springfield office to those contributors that resulted in a campaign contribution, she broke the law. It’s important that the Federal Election Commission subpoena those phone records. Furthermore, many of the contributors on this list had direct ties to Nextedge such as John Landess (Turner Foundation), Lawrence Janning (SAIC, Nextedge tenant), Ray Hagerman (Turner Foundation), and Janet and Willard Pardue and numerous other Qbase associates (Qbase is also a Nextedge tenant). Moving forward, Mrs. Austria worked for Nextedge as Director of Sales and Marketing from January 1, 2008 until at least October, coinciding directly with the 2008 election cycle. During that period, to my knowledge no tenants were added by Nextedge, however the Austria campaign raised nearly $1 million, which begs the question, “Was Mrs. Austria marketing for Nextedge or dialing for campaign cash?” My visit to Nextedge on Monday, April 26th raised even more questions. Apparently Avetec, a Nextedge tenant, is leasing space to Nextedge, which seems strange in and of itself, but when I asked the name of the two Nextedge employees, one Avetec employee said he didn’t know, and the other said he didn’t want to get involved. Since Nextedge was 60-70% funded by tax payer dollars, we believe it’s well past the time Mr. Austria brings into the bright sunshine Mrs. Austria’s activities while she worked at Nextedge from January 1st, 2008 until well into the fall.”
Americans for John Mitchel