Page 3 Special Edition
The Smithburglar After Effect
This week Page 3 will look at the fallout from Rosenberger's resignation and the ongoing FBI investigation.
Who Will Fall Next?
Wealthy Financier - Ginni Ragan - Ragan is the single largest donor to Team Smithburglar, she provided expensive housing to both Rosenberger and Smith at some unknown and unverified cost, and is listed on their financial disclosure forms as providing gifts to all of the major players. Does Ragan fit into the larger investigation? It remains to be seen.
Representative Ryan Smith - The possible Pay-to-Play funds were raised for the sole purpose of electing candidates that will vote for Representative Ryan Smith as the next Speaker. You really can't talk about Rosenberger without including Smith in this scandal, and his recent efforts to distance himself from his buddy border on the pathetic.
Representative Kirk Schuring – Known by many as the proverbial “great guy,” was Rosenberger's number 2, has traveled extensively with and carried the legislative water for Resigned Speaker Rosenberger. Rumor has it that Rosenberger would refuse to even take meetings without Kirk present. Will he be next to resign?
Representative Nathan Manning - Representative Manning was on the now infamous PayDay lender trip - will he be implicated? We don’t know and he’s not talking (probably wisely.)
OHROC is a DISASTER. Who in their right mind would continue to send them any contributions, let alone want to be associated with them? Some questions we thought we would offer for conversation sake around the water cooler are below:
Will Rosenberger land a cushy high paying job hidden at OHROC, or is his career toast? The former seems inconceivable.
Will the FBI freeze funds in the OHROC account?
If these dollars are tainted by the scandal should they be returned to the donors?
Shouldn’t OHROC staffers and fundraisers resign immediately?
There are two PAC's that fund campaign activities on behalf of team Smithburglar, Honor & Principals PAC & The Conservative Alliance PAC. The Honor & Principles PAC filed with the FEC as an independent expenditure only PAC "Super PAC" two weeks ago, stating they intended to raise unlimited amounts of money. PACS are prohibited from coordinating with candidates or committees. By law, it cannot conspire with Representative Ryan Smith or OHROC. But this two week old PAC that originally had no funds is only targeting Householder supporting candidates? Hmmm….
OHROC’S Late Night Scrubbathon!
As news broke this week that globetrotting, flashing dressing Cliff Rosenberger and his OHROC slush fund were under investigation and he might resign, legions of OHROC staffers sprang into action. Their goal? Scrub all mention of Cliff Rosenberger from the pages and sites of his OHROC endorsed candidates.
A pic of legal nightmare John Plecnik at a Cliff Rosenberger hosted fundraiser?
How about Dave Ferguson with Cliff Rosenberger at the State of the State?
How about Michael Canty with minority leader to be Ryan Smith and the Cliffster?
Yup, gone too.
An event of this magnitude is the type that loses a majority. Is Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper poised to take advantage of the scandal? Even if he isn't, 3rd Rail has been reporting for months that outside PACS and Community organizations are inserting themselves successfully in campaigns around the country. Will Ohio be next?
Can Integrity Be Restored To The House?
Given the magnitude of the events at hand, is there any possible way integrity can be restored to the people's House? While it seems doubtful there will be the political will to "clean up the House," there are steps that could be taken to restore public confidence in the chamber immediately. Schuring should be out and a neutral Speaker with broad appeal and a solid reputation should be in… Bob Cupp, anyone?
The new leadership team would review all legislation and match it with the yet to be disclosed current OHROC donations to ensure there are no Pay to Play ties. New leadership would manage OHROC staff and campaign contributions which alone could solve many if not most of the problems.
But what is the will of the House?
Based on a source reporting from the House yesterday, with Shawn Kasych delivering the message, Interim Speaker Schuring and Ryan Smith have informed the staff at the House that it is business as usual.
Sounds like just another day at the office with these people!