Greene County Commissioners Marilyn Reid and Alan Anderson were correct in significantly reducing taxpayer contributions to the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), except their rationale for doing so didn’t reveal the whole story. True enough, the budget is tight, but even in good times our elected officials shouldn’t be throwing money over the fence to special interests without competition for that work, without value added and without oversight. That’s precisely what happened in 2005-2006 with the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) Initiative Agreement between Greene County and the DDC. The simple truth is the only jobs protected by this effort were high priced consultants, lobbyists and career politicians who received kickbacks to their political campaigns. Here are the facts to support that assertion.
In 2005 and 2006, the last 21 months of the $1.9 million BRAC Initiative Agreement, the Dayton Development Coalition also received a $2.34 million Third Frontier grant through Development Research Corporation, a non-profit company fronting for the DDC. In 2005-2006 the DDC paid over $500,000 to their President and CEO, over $300,000 to a Washington lobbying firm currently under investigation by the FBI, $190,000 to Qbase which is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and over $200,000 to two other consultants, not to mention at least $50,000 on domestic and foreign travel.* Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s hard to disagree that it reveals a broad pattern of self-dealing, waste and abuse, if not blatant corruption by the Dayton Development Coalition and their inner circle.
Ms. Reid and Mr. Anderson finally understand that Greene County and Ohio taxpayer dollars had minimum impact if any at all on saving or creating jobs at Wright Patterson. But what they did impact was the financial well-being of the special interests that recycled that money back to the politicians who in the end took credit for job creation they had nothing to do with. This is an insult to Greene County taxpayers, not to mention Wright Patt professionals that day in and day out provide the real value added to our warfighters who put everything on the line to protect our freedom and liberty.