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Extortion a focus of ex-House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger probe: Capitol Letter

August 28, 2018 GMT

Extortion a focus of ex-House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger probe: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

 Rosenberger probe: Records released Monday confirm media reports of a federal investigation into former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s travel, especially a 2017 London trip attended by payday loan lobbyists. Cleveland.com’s Jackie Borchardt catches you up on what new information emerged Monday. Possible federal crimes: The April grand jury subpoena and May search warrant released Monday show prosecutors were considering charges of extortion and bribery under the Travel Act. The warrant named three associates for the payday loan industry, Borchardt reports. Rosenberger’s attorney maintains the former GOP legislator continues cooperating with authorities “in anticipation of his ultimate vindication.” Cleaning out his closet: Reporters received thousands of pages of records pertaining to the investigation and Rosenberger’s travel. One early highlight was a 53-page list of items hauled out of Rosenberger’s office, conference room and closet at the Riffe Center after his resignation. The list includes political trinkets, sports memorabilia, artwork and more than a few odd items.

Recouping money: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced a bill Monday that would send to Ohio school districts any federal funds recovered from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock reports. The state is also trying to recover money from the embattled former charter school. 

NAFTA overhaul: Ohio Congress members are taking a cautious but optimistic approach to President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new trade deal with Mexico, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton reports. Most said they are eager to see details of the deal before deciding whether to support it.

Travis-mentum: Watch out world, the Libertarian Party has finally chosen its statewide candidates. Leading the pack is filmmaker Travis Irvine for governor, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Irvine’s film catalog includes “Coons! Night of the Bandits of the Night” and “Killer Raccoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark.”

She has a dream: Bernice King, the daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has a vision that mirrors her fathers, per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnette. King sat down for an interview and ruminated on the president and the current racial climate, among other things.

Strikingly similar: While the Urban Meyer news has been at the forefront of Ohio State scandals, there’s still a potentially explosive one brewing with the wrestling team (which GOP U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan has been connected to). The Associated Press took a look at the Ohio State wrestling scandal and compared it with the Larry Nassar case at Michigan State, noting multiple similarities.

On the road again: Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine took his jobs tour to Youngstown on Monday. Per the Vindicator, DeWine dodged questions about President Donald Trump and the late Sen. John McCain.

Support for reforms: A new poll from the ACLU and the Pretrial Justice Institute found that a majority of Ohioans support a major overhaul to the criminal justice system, cleveland.com’s Peter Krouse writes. That includes more than half of respondents who want to do away with cash bail.

Issue 1: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Monday announced a title for Issue 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot, “To Reduce Penalties for Crimes of Obtaining, Possessing, and Using Illegal Drugs.” Husted also certified the official form of the ballot, which includes the names of all candidates qualified to run for statewide office.  

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from Democrat Betsy Rader’s financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. House of Representatives on Aug. 16. Rader is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce in the 14th Congressional District in Northeast Ohio.

1. Rader estimates the value of her law firm, Betsy Rader Law, LLC, is valued at $100,001 to $250,000. She didn’t report earning any income from it this or last year.

2. She reported earning $146,727 in 2017 from Thorman Petrov Group, a Chagrin Falls law firm.

3. She previously was senior counsel at the Cleveland Clinic. She has an individual pension plan though the clinic with six different investments valued at $6,006 to $90,000. She received a deferred benefit plan from the clinic but she said its value was undetermined. She has a 403(b) plan from Cleveland Clinic worth $97,006 to $280,000.

3. Rader reported joint accounts with her husband at Key Bank, with $100,001 to $250,000, and Third Federal Savings & Loan, with $15,001 to $50,000.

4. She was a member last year of the boards of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Near West Theater, Russell Citizens’ Park Commission and the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association.

5. She has a life insurance policy worth $1,001 to $15,000 and an investment in Retail Properties of America worth $15,001 to $50,000.


Daniel Dew, Buckeye Institute legal fellow

Straight From The Source


- Gov. John Kasich, on the White House flag flying Monday at full staff following the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain. Late Monday afternoon it was re-lowered to half staff.  

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