GOP ‘Week From Hell’ Continues; Leader Busted By FBI Over Over Financial Crimes

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The FBI must be working overtime with the flood of political crimes. They just broke down the door to Donald Trump’s private attorney’s office. Now, they have gone to investigate a state House speaker about his outrageously glamorous lifestyle.

One of the most powerful politicians in Ohio jetted about the world from “Europe to Israel to Los Angeles to Boston” and lives in a luxurious condo, which a GOP donor conveniently owns, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. His lifestyle far exceeded his $100,798 yearly salary.

People spoke on the condition of anonymity, because this is an active FBI investigation,

Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, 36, could use his campaign fund to pay for his work-related travel, with an outside group’s scholarship, or from Ohio’s House GOP’s political operation. Still, he has to show the source of his travel money.

Not only that, the speaker cannot accept a dime over $75 from a lobbyist or from an individual. He is strictly forbidden from taking a trip as payment for a legislative favor.

Ohio Representative Kirk Schuring uses a simple guideline on the gift of travel:

‘How does it read on the front page of the paper?’

Rosenberger has had a longtime relationship with the manufacturing heiress, Ginni Ragan, who is a GOP donor. She owns the high-end condo he rents, but he does not have to disclose how much he pays, according to Ohio state law. Since 2012, Ragan, 73, has donated $1.7 to Republicans’ campaigns, primarily those in the Ohio House. She donated $47,000 to Rosenberger’s campaign alone.

She has also paid for travel for an outside group. Rosenberger took a trip to Normandy, France with the National Conference State Legislatures, all expenses paid. Ragan serves on its board.

The heiress has been an advocate for the elderly and those who have Alzheimer’s disease. Many states have implemented  elder abuse laws which appear strict and included financial manipulation, but they tend to be weak. According to The Enquirer:

 ‘Governor John Kasich appointed Ragan to the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging. Her passion for helping those with Alzheimer’s arose after her father, the late Greif Inc. chairman John Dempsey, developed the disease.’

Last August, Rosenberger went on a four-day trip to London with five other GOP leaders. The conservative GOPAC Education Fund’s Institute for Leadership Development paid for the trip. Republican Representative Nathan Manning went along as the speaker’s guest.

Facebook pictures documented that two lobbyists also went along on the trip. Both Steve Dimon and Leslie Gaines work for Select Management Resources, which owns LoanMax.

Title and payday lenders have been trying to kill current Ohio legislation that would effectively place major restrictions on their business. Gaines’ Facebook page sported pictures of the speaker in various locations, even though Gaines was not registered in Ohio. Instead, she was registered as a lobbyist the company’s South Carolina office.

If the lobbyists had paid for Rosenberger’s trips or expenses, they would have had to submit the amounts on state forms. They did not. Neither did Dimon show that he had lobbied the speaker on his own company’s bills, at least, for the latter half of 2017.

Bob Klaffky, Doug Preisse, and Ben Kaiser work for the lobbyist firm, Van Meter, Ashbrook & Associates. They did lobby for Select Management Resources in the last quarter of 2017 on two bills.

Rosenberger resigned. David Axelrod is the speaker’s attorney. He said that thus far, the FBI had not told his client that he is under investigation, nor had he been subpoenaed. The FBI does not comment during ongoing investigations.

Featured Image via Getty Images/Alex Wong.

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