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Springfield Township Area Residents Take a Stand!

Third time’s the charm – Citizens for the Future of Springfield Township

We received the second amended return for the pro-JEDZ PAC, Citizens for the Future of Springfield Township yesterday.  It’s a joke.  It’s become obvious to us that the board of elections isn’t going to do anything about their amateur reporting skills, and the Ohio Election Commission has bigger fish to fry, so we are just going to use the court of public opinion on this one.  Here is a copy of the report.

If you compare this report to the original filing and the first amended report they filed, you will notice that they changed what they needed to change in order to be in compliance. This does not change the fact that it was originally reported wrong and it seems to us that they are still in violation, and all this new amended report does is try to cover their violations up.

First, you will notice that they actually got the date of the election correct, I guess I have to give them kudos for that one.  Second, the original report and the first amended report both showed an illegal cash donation of $200 (donations more than $100 have to be in the form of a check).  So the treasurer, John Allen, now makes it look as if his wife contributed half of that.  Third, on the first amended report there was a check from the township seniors that was dated before the pre-primary filing deadline which would have put them over the $1000 threshold, requiring them to file a pre-primary campaign finance report.  In this new report, they simply changed the date.

It’s all a bunch of BS, but there’s nothing we can really do about it except shine a spotlight on all the shady stuff that is going on, for instance…  A simple search on the Clerk of Court website turns up that at least one of the poll workers they hired is a criminal.  Gojuan Spurling has an enormous rap sheet including theft, drugs, possession of a firearm under disability, felonious assault, you name it.  Over 40 municipal and common pleas cases.

Makes you wonder where they found these people, and what lengths they will go to in order to win an election.  It’s pretty sad…

Potential bad news – City of Mt. Healthy considering tax increase…

The JEDZ tax that passed in May is based on Mt. Healthy’s tax rate.  The contract states that the rate of the JEDZ tax (currently 1.5%, which is Mt. Healthy’s current tax rate) cannot exceed the rate that Mt. Healthy has.  Well, Mt. Healthy is most likely putting an issue on the ballot in November that raises that tax rate to 2%.  If that happens, the JEDZ board, without any voter approval in Springfield Township, can increase the JEDZ tax to 2% as well.

We’ve been ringing this bell for a long time, this is one of the many reasons we said the JEDZ tax was a bad idea.  Didn’t think our predictions would come true this quickly.  It’s a shame…

Here’s a link to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about the tax increase…

CIC meeting set for Wednesday morning has been canceled

We received a notice from the township that the CIC meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8am has been canceled.  The next regular CIC meeting is going to be held on Wednesday, October 15 at 8am.  I have inquired as to the reason for the cancellation but have not received a response.

UPDATE – The township responded to my email stating that one of the board members is out of town and that there are no action items to be brought before the board and those are the reasons for the cancellation.

New central committee nominee – Mike Wilson

Great news!  Cincinnati Tea Party Founder, Mike Wilson, has agreed to be nominated for appointment for central committee in precinct Springfield-T.  This is one of the spots that was unfilled after the May primary election.  So we now have 6 of the 14 empty seats filled, only 8 more to go!  Here is the list of people we are nominating for open seats:

Alecia Bradford – Springfield-A
Theodore (Ted) Lierl – Springfield-N
Mike Wilson – Springfield-T
Ryan Gifford – Springfield-X
Phillip Rowe – Springfield-Y
Katherine (Kate) Blanton – Springfield-Z

Here is a list of seats that still need filled:

Springfield-E
Springfield-F
Springfield-I
Springfield-K
Springfield-L
Springfield-O
Springfield-P
Springfield-Q

If you or anyone you know might be interested in filling one of these open positions, please contact us!  It is vitally important that we get as many nominees for open seats as we can before the next executive committee meeting.

A tale of two campaign finance reports…

Curious about how much money was spent and who donated to their campaign, our group recently requested a copy of the campaign finance report for a PAC (Political Action Committee) called “Citizens for the Future of Springfield Township” (CFST for short).  This is the pro-JEDZ PAC responsible for the yellow yard signs and the pro-JEDZ attack ad mailers this past primary election cycle.  Aside from the regular semi-annual filing deadlines, there are additional filing deadlines for active PACs before and after elections.  There was a filing required for any activity prior to April 16 that was due on April 24.  There was also a filing due on June 13 for any activity after April 16.  PACs are required to file if during the reporting period there is activity over $1000, whether that is donations received, or expenditures…

CFST did not file a report before the April 24 deadline, so we are led to believe that they didn’t have any activity during the reporting period before April 16.  They did, however, file a post-election report which you can find here.  After receiving the copy of the report, we contacted the board of elections to let them know that we found many discrepancies on their report, and we were informed that they had already contacted CFST to ask them to file an amended campaign finance report.  Here are the issues that we found in their original report:

  1. The numbers didn’t add up. The total contributions listed ($12,150.00) did not match the total from the Form 31-A attachments ($6450.00).
  2. The total In Kind Contributions listed ($906.66) did not match the total from the Form 31-J-1 attachment ($906.99).
  3. The PAC treasurer, John Allen, donated $200.00 CASH. Campaign Finance Law states that donations over $100 must be in the form of a check.
  4. Form 31-B for Expenses did not include legible check numbers for 7 out of the 8 poll workers. One check number was listed as 9150, although the rest appeared to be crossed out.
  5. Form 31-B for payments to PCS Marketing Group and Peerless Printing listed the check numbers as “n/a.” By law, there must be a check number included, or, if payment was made by credit card, an itemized credit card statement along with a cancelled check to the credit card agency must be attached.
  6. They are required to file a form 30-B-1 for corporate donations and no such form was filed for the contribution from Forrest Lytle.
  7. There were multiple violations with addresses not being listed. Complete names and addresses are required. (No zip code for Gwendolyn McFarlin on Form 31-A, misspellings for “Joesph Hornerlaw”, “Forrest Lyle”, “Galbreath Road”, no addresses for 8 poll workers listed, no addresses listed for PCS marketing Group or Peerless Printing.)
  8. The date of the election is wrong! It was May 6, not May 9.
  9. Missing an expenditure for robo-calls. CFST made robo-calls the day before the election reminding people to vote. When pressed about it, Assistant Township Administrator Chris Gilbert informed us that the township’s emergency alert system was not utilized to make these calls, so there should be an expense somewhere.  Here’s a recording of the robo-call that went out to residents:


Yesterday, we received the amended report, which you can see here.  There are still numerous issues with this report and there are some new, more serious violations:

  1. The amended report shows that CFST received multiple donations before the April 16 reporting date totaling over $2400. Since they had over $1000 in activity before the 16th, they were required to file a report due on April 24. They failed to file this report.
  2. There are $5700 in additional contributions on the amended report, why weren’t these included in the original filing?
  3. The amended report still does not include the required addresses, check numbers or any of the form 30-B-1’s required for corporate donations. There are additional corporate donors on the amended report as well that do not have a 30-B-1 included.
  4. Many of the other minor errors, such as spelling of names, the date of the election, total in-kind contributions, etc., are still wrong. Also, with in-kind contributions you must specify what was donated, and this was not done for over $600 in donations.

Here are some additional facts about the CFST PAC:

  1. The PAC’s registered address, 9227 Winton Rd, is the address for Trustee Joe Honerlaw’s law firm.
  2. The main donors are as follows:
    Joe Honerlaw – township trustee                 $2284.99
    Gwen McFarlin – township trustee               $1000.00
    Forrest Lytle                                                  $1000.00
    Dan Deters                                                    $ 622.00
    Bob Leininger – fire chief                               $ 500.00
    John Jurgenson                                             $ 500.00
    Mark Berning – township trustee                   $ 500.00
    Prus Construction                                          $1000.00
    Dan Berning – township fiscal officer             $1000.00
    John Allen/RA Consultants – PAC treasurer  $1200.00
    Springfield Township Senior Citizens             $3200.00
  3. Township employees were caught in the act “campaigning on the taxpayer dime” by offering contact information for the pro-JEDZ PAC and also offering to deliver pro-JEDZ yard signs which is a HUGE violation.  And here is our proof, two phone calls to the township administration office involving two different employees:

 


Conclusions:

Many of CFST’s donors are township officials, two of which are career politicians. You’d think they would know how to fill out a campaign finance report by now. Was this simply an oversight on their part, or is this a cover-up gone wrong?

We feel that CFST has blatantly violated campaign finance law.  The township officials involved in this PAC are the same people who will be administering the JEDZ tax.  They will have access to detailed tax records for all of the businesses and employees who work in the township, and will get access to even more of your personal information when you apply for the CIC grant if you live and work in the township.

Do you really want this group of individuals, who can’t even do simple math and correctly follow instructions to file a campaign finance report, to have access to all this information?

The residents of Springfield Township need to hold our government officials accountable.  Don’t let this get swept under the rug…  Please show up to the trustee meetings, ask for explanations, and make your voice heard on this issue.  Enough is enough!

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