Ohio Hampton Inn Entangled in HUD Loan Gone Sour.


  In 1998 Hampton Inn Developers including John Helline were granted federal loans to open a Hampton Inn in Massillon, Ohio, But since that time the developers have been unable to make the annual payments on the $2.25 million in federal loans.

    However Mayor of Massilion Frank Cicchinelli, has used taxpayer's money to make payments on the loans for the privately owned Hampton Inn. In 2010 Massillon paid $211,000 from it's federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and to date has paid over $1.4 million dollars on the loan.    


As posted on IndeOnline.com :



With unanimous council approval, the city took out a federal $2.25 million, 20-year Section 108 Loan administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The loan can be used for “economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities rehab, construction or installation for the benefit of low- to moderate-income persons, or to aid in the prevention of slums.” The public-private partnership is known as Canalview Center.


Technically, the city does not make a mortgage payment; it pays on the loan. The city took out the loan from HUD, securing it with payments from the developer and the CDBG.


In turn, the city loaned $2.25 million to Downtown Massillon Hotel Ltd. The developer’s loan from the city is secured by a mortgage on the hotel property. The city is a second mortgage holder. A bank holds the first mortgage, which Helline said is being paid with private dollars.


To date, the city has paid $1,416,985 million using the CDBG, while the developer has paid the city $777,851. Of the $2.2 million paid so far from both sources, $1.5 million is on the principal.




Like the Section 108 loan, the CDBG can be used for a variety of projects that benefit low- to moderate-income areas. The city has used the money to pave roads, provide housing assistance and to support social service agencies, such as the Salvation Army and Boys andGirls Club.




At the time the project was approved, the city received more than $1 million for the CDBG, but by 2010 the city’s share was down to $789,000. Community Development Director Aane Aaby recently cut the proposed budget by 15 percent, a reaction to deep federal cuts to the program.











  Essentially  Cicchinelli is robbing Peter to pay Peter, but in 2010 Development Director Aane Aaby stated that the city would save $500,000 through 2019 when the loan will be retired. Aaby stated that current interest rates range from 7.5 percent to 8 percent, but could drop below 1 percent if refinanced. When the loan were refinanced last year, records show the city owes $380,000 of interest and $1.725 million in principal on the loan. It refinanced last year through HUD, saving $98,000 in interest over the final eight years. Saving only a fifth of what Aaby initially said the city would save.






OFA and the DNC: ACORN 2.0

If elections were like football games, this would be your two minute warning.  All of the passion, energy and renewed interest in politics that propelled the tea party movement of 2009 opens the door to a new level of involvement. As patriot groups around the country prepare for the November 2010 elections, a quiet force has been building behind the scenes.

Investigative reporter Carol Greenberg's work inside Obama's Organizing for America has already helped expose the OFA's connection to ACORN and its network of top Democrat party insiders. Greenberg's latest article explains the OFA plan to deploy rapid response teams to Ohio ahead of the elections.

Any liberal discussion of Ohio includes the sentiment that “Ohio is ground zero for the left.” Long a playground for groups like ACORN, they conducted voter experiments, filed lawsuits against the state and their voter fraud shenanigans led to a civil RICO suit brought by the Buckeye Institute. ACORN's settlement of the case required that it surrender its business license in the state.

Unfortunately for conservatives, the awareness of ACORN's network of organizations and mob like behavior come at a time when he same political workeasily be done by Obama's permanent campaign. A campaign that was absorbed into the Democratic National Committee after it ceased being Obama for America.

Obama's ACORN cronies designed a system that could be substantial from any number of leftist organizations, including the DNC.

“Apparently, ACORN and Project Vote were 'smack dab' in the middle of another one of Obama’s voter registration drives. According to ACORN reports, ACORN was Catalist’s first client. Let me be clear, the ACORN VBASE, is the archetype of the Obama campaign. ACORN’s technology combined with union money elected a president.”

Draft slides of a 2006 Project Vote PowerPoint show that Project Vote's method could produce the desired results to sway an election.


Critics of Project Vote and ACORN underestimate their effectiveness in contacting voters to move them on an issue or to the polls.

Other slides detail their plans to turn this Voter Mobilization Network over to the leftist friends (including the DNC).

The left may scoff at whether this connection exists, but Karyn Gillette, then development director of Project Vote, also gave me a copy of the 2004 DNC donor list to work from. Karyn Gillette came to Project Vote from Ohio where she was employed by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

“According to a court filing in Ohio alleging ACORN violated state Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, 'Project Vote, regularly advises Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (hereinafter “Secretary Brunner”) on election strategy, and recently issuing a news release claiming credit for Secretary Brunner’s directive restricting challenges to suspected unlawful voter registrations.'

"Maurice Thompson, the attorney handling the Ohio RICO action, told me late yesterday, 'Evidence of collusion amongst ACORN, Project Vote, the Obama Campaign and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner comes as no surprise to us -- these supposedly separate entities appear to have been co-mingling funds, trading political tips, and helping each other gain power for years now.'"

Here is a screen shot of the email Gillette sent to ACORN.org email addresses containing the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Though a number of news outlets like the New York Times had copies of the DNC donor list,  it was never made public, until today.

Click here to view the DNC major donor list ACORN used to fundraise for its voter registration drives.

The OFA's organizing machine can track millions of calls and mobilize countless volunteers and it would behoove the right to take notice. Twitter and Facebook may spread the message and connect folks but there is a serious need for some good old fashion grassroots door knocking. If conservatives are going to win in November there must be a combination of new and old organizing. In 2004 Ohio surprised the nation by going red for Bush. As many others have noted, there was initially a

...lack of outreach among African American communities. Karl Rove proved in 2004 with black voters in Ohio that persons should not assume that African Americans will consistently vote progressive."

Organizing for America has stopped the game clock with the unveiling of Vote 2010. November is the goal and they have the ball. Kickoff events are scheduled around the country for June 5th. Inviting emails with subjects like “What are you doing Saturday?” are making the rounds.

Conservatives, what are you doing this Saturday? If you want to win in November, it should be attending one of those kickoff parties. OFA, it's the new ACORN. Learn who they are and how they operate. Click here to find an event near you or to sign up for their updates. If the OFA can continue to organize to pass Obama's agenda and maintain the Congressional majorities, and all of the momentum of the past year and a half will be lost.


Ohio – Obama Preaches To The Wrong Crowd.

I can’t get no satisfaction could well be President Obama’s mantra these days. Picked audiences or not it just keeps getting worse for the embattled Barack Obama, while telling us about the ‘green jobs’ that may or may not be created by research into solar power and wind generation, which most experts agree will never amount to more than 20 per cent of the power requirements of this country at best. All the while bringing the entire weight of the government and its unelected regulatory agencies to destroy our most abundant sources of energy, coal, oil and natural gas.

It is so typical of Obama to speak out of ‘both’ sides of his mouth… promoting an unproven and economically questionable technology while attacking another economic sector and its jobs. Speaking of his administration’s recent debacles in collisions with the American people Obama said, “I’m not going to walk away just because it’s hard”. Sounds a lot like Hillary saying, “I don’t feel no way tired”.

John Boehner

The fact is he got his butt kicked good and hard. Ohio Republican Minority Whip, John Boehner, speaking of Ohio’s TEN POINT NINE PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT rate, referred to Obama’s touting of his failed stimulus. “Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs since the stimulus was enacted”. “Nine straight months of double digit unemployment”. The rest of the country echoes these words.

The entire machinery of Democratic governance nation wide is a runaway freight train on a collision course with the real world. Witness the State of California under a ‘liberal’ RINO (Republican In Name Only) Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), with a completely leftist state legislature more attuned to social engineering than action which would save this most populous state in the nation from bankruptcy and economic oblivion. With an unemployment rate at more than 10.6 percent, and some areas such as the San Joaquin Valley as high as FORTY PERCENT.

Ron Nehring

With our total state budget deficit at close to SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS and many of our Governor’s spending ‘cuts’ amounting to book-cooking budget shifts, the state legislature is proposing a universal health care system at an annual cost of some 200 billion dollars annually. I have run out of superlatives to describe this nuttiness but Ron Nehring, California State Republican Chairman, put it nicely, “California Democrats are either tone-deaf or delusional”.

This exact statement could be used just about anywhere in the country and especially at the national government level. The Democrats simply seem unable to stop or change course. The American people will no longer tolerate BUSINESS AS USUAL, from Democrats or Republicans. That’s the message. Ignore it at your peril.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010


A Bet On Health Care That We Can't Afford To Make

One of the toughest things in business is to truly cut costs without hurting the business when you do it. There are two parts to that. First is finding a way to cut costs in one area without causing costs to increase ‘downstream'. A lot of times a cost decrease in one area merely pops up somewhere else.

It is very difficult to get cost cuts to show up on the bottom line. The second part of the problem is to cut costs without hurting the operation or delivering a worse product to your customers. This is really hard! To cut costs without hurting the business or the customer requires a great deal of experience and talent. All good business people know this.

Which brings me to my concern with what Washington now wants to do with Health care. They claim they want to cut costs, add customers and not hurt the product. And the politicians and the bureaucrats will figure out how to do this. No one in Las Vegas would take that bet, but the politicians want the American people to make that bet - and the stakes are the lives of our citizens and the economic future of our children. And by the way, it is a bet that they won't make for themselves or for their families. Let's not let them do this to us!

 Also posted at Tom Ganley For Senate.

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Guilty Pleas in Ohio Voter Fraud - A Warning to States, Parties and Candidates

From the Columbus Dispatch, three staffers for Vote Today Ohio have plead guilty to illegally registering and voting in Columbus during the so-called Golden Week - a seven day period when Ohio residents could register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time.

This will likely be a footnote it what was a monumental disaster perpetrated by the Ohio Secretary of State and supporters of Barack Obama.  But it highlights three important realities:

  • The extreme vulnerability of Election Day Registration
  • The enormous influence one highly partisan election official can have on the process
  • The need to invest in ballot security programs

For those who have forgotten, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner unilaterally re-interpreted Ohio Election statutes governing the overlap of the voter registration deadline and the start of early vote to create a de-facto seven day window of Election Day Registration whereby residents could fill out an application and immediately cast a vote.

She ordered the unprepared and understaffed County Election Boards to set-up voting centers that would ensure a massive turnout. Then Brunner amazingly banned all pollwatchers from the vote centers.  Chaos without witnesses.

Many County Election Boards balked and the Ohio Republican Party unsuccessfully sued to stop her, but it was too late.

From the beginning, stories of fraud and misconduct were widely reported.  The Obama Campaign, ACORN, Vote Today Ohio, and Vote From Home were all linked to voter fraud during Golden Week. See here, here, here, here here here here here here here here 

But, as is the case when elections aren’t close, Obama’s victory overshadowed the widespread fraud of Election 2008.  But it happened in Ohio and it happened on a much larger scale then what is being reflected by three guilty pleas.  It will be interesting to see if any of the other groups named above will face similar charges.

This should be a wake up call to any state that is considering EDR without significant safeguards in place,  any political party that isn’t heavily investing in Secretary of State races, and any campaign that doesn’t have a ballot security program. 

The three who plead guilty are:

Amy Little, 50, of New York. (Ms. Little was a consultant for Congressman John Hall (D-NY) until news broke in October that she illegally voted).

Daniel Hausman, 32, of New York.

Yolanda Hipplesteele, 30, of California.

crossposted at www.electionjournal.org

Obama to defense workers: Drop Dead

Evidently the President has identified the one federal program that was not underfunded by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

The defense budget

I'll allow those more steeped in geopolitics to discuss the message this sends to Moscow, Beijing, Teheran and some cave on the Pakistan-Afghan border, but it certaintly doesn't convey the Reaganesque message of "peace through strength"  

The other problem, is much as I am a spending hawk, is we don't have a "peace dividend" to give away like we did in the 1990's. U.S. defense spending is only about 4% of GNP (relatively small compared to its 1980's level).  Moreover, what is spent is now largely devoted to the "boots on the ground" deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a result of needing to properly fight these wars, much of the planned technological upgrades to the U.S, military to apply the "revolution in military affairs".  haven't been rolled out quickly and are in dire need of being procured promply to avoid serious functional deterioration of American defense capabilities. (as part of the "peace dividend", a lot of 1990's era weapons like the Seawolf submarine weren;t purchased in bulk or cancelled in toto)

Case in point is the F-22.   This "shovel ready" aircraft already has had it's proposed deployment reduced, although the plane it is replacing, the F-15 has been beset with numerous crashes owing to age; the planes were originally developed in the 1970's.  So, the Air Force's idea to keep these planes in service beyond 2025 seems more based on political correctness than operational requirements. Not replacing the older F-15C's may make the numbers work. And that's it. 

And the Air Force was playing "nickel and dime" under the Bush budgets.   And this isn;t the only weapon system rolled out slowly to put off the cost.  The Virginia class submarines were procured at a rate of one boat a year.  Congressman Joe Courtney  has been vocal in pressing for a two sub a year procurement, which will keep both the EB yard in CT and Newport News in the sub business. This is likely to fall by the wayside, as will be the goal of building 30 new subs. Even at buildout, this fleet will be inadequate to replace the Los Angeles class fleet; maybe we can keep the 688i's running; but  even then we are talking about trying to secure millions of square miles of water with about 50 boats.

And let's not forget the aerial tanker debacle which the Obama team needs to address on their watch; or  the fact the Navy hasn't gotten a proper replacement for their surface warfare ships in the pipeline.. And if the budget gets cut, the U.S.S. Gerald Ford may be the last flattop we launch for a very long time.

So why do I think the hardware gets slashed. Because even if Obama cuts the cost of the Iraq deployment. he;s already proposed to recommit those troops and funds into an augmented effort in Afghanistan.. And cancelling weapons systems is what Democrat presidents like to do even when the world isn't at peace.

Now for the political ramifications. The defense industry is a major component of that long lamented sector known as American manufacturing. It's employees are well paid and highly skilled. And if you don't buy weapons, these workers are forced into lower paid service sector jobs.

Now perhaps the Obama team thinks that angering folks in Georgia, where the F-22 is built doesn't matter.  But the engines for new aircraft are made in Ohio   and Connecticut.. And naval vessels are built in Connecticut,  Maine ,  and Virginia . Hmm, didn;t Obama win these states---and by only a narrow edge in VA and OH?

So, look for this effort to be a major issue in House and Senate races in many states. I could readily see this being unpopular for Democrats in the open Senate seats in Ohio and Missouri (the F-18 is manufactured in St. Louis), as well as a number of House seats which have recently flipped to the Democrats ( OH 1; VA 2 ; CT 2).

The bottom line is that not surprisingly the former community organizer wants to hire more community organizers with tax dollars.     while putting people who make weapons out on the street.  I have to admit this is not a choice I would have thought John McCain would have made.

Yep, elections have consequences. Perhaps the trade unions at the defense plants who endorsed Obama ought to chew on that idea a bit. 


Right wing groups in Ohio

Does anyone know of right wing (preferably online) groups in Ohio like RightMichigan.com?

The Future of Ohio and the Republican Party

[Former Congressman John Kasich says this is the time to rebuild, reorganize and restructure the Republican Party. - Jon Henke]

Congratulations to Democrats on their victories in elections across the country yesterday.

As pundits continue to analyze the exit polls and the final election results, we Republicans must take a minute to look in the mirror, and then refocus on the daunting task before us.

Now is not the time for hand-wringing or finger pointing, which has already begun. Now is the time to dig in and start rebuilding for the future. We must figure out how to reorganize and restructure ourselves so that we can once again command the confidence and respect of not only the members of our own party, but voters of all stripes.

In recent years we've lost our way, but that ends today. From here forward we must be committed to winning the battle of ideas in this country and in this state.

Ronald Reagan once captured the imagination of a country that he called a shining city on a hill. Like Ronald Reagan, I'm hopeful about the future of our party and our country. But as we get ready for the fight ahead, we must return to the fundamentals of what it means to be a Republican. We must communicate clearly what we stand for, and make the case for why our ideas are better. We must reassert the importance of limited government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, individual responsibility, and restrained government spending.

America is not about entitlement, but about being given the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, whatever that dream may be. As Republicans we must find new and innovative ways to think about the role of government in our lives so that we are free to pursue new opportunities and create prosperity.

Here in Ohio, our economy is in a death spiral, our tax system is burdensome, and people are fleeing the state. We must redouble our efforts to reinvigorate businesses and foster an environment that creates jobs. This will require new leadership and a new vision as we seek to overcome these problems.

The path ahead for our party is not easy, but we must embrace this challenge. I know together we can make a difference to reposition our party, revitalize our state and reconnect with voters to ensure a better America and a better Ohio for ourselves and the next generation.

This post is also posted at RechargeOhio.com

Final Electoral Predictions: What a McCain Upset Would Look Like

Cross-posted from NextGenGOP.

At this point, I don’t think that any of us can effectively predict what the outcome of tomorrow’s elections will be. Quite frankly, I’m not even sure that we’ll know the who the next President of the United States is going to be for many hours, if not days, after polls close. That said, it seems that there are three possible scenarios that could play out in tomorrow’s Presidential election:

  1. Barack Obama wins in a huge landslide.
  2. Barack Obama wins in a close race.
  3. John McCain pulls off an historical upset in a close race.

Barack Obama Wins in a Huge Landslide

This seems to be the narrative that the Leftosphere would like us to believe. This scenario seems to be the most unlikely due to a number of factors, including the huge percentage of undecided voters (which should break for McCain), McCain’s success in raising doubts in the minds of voters about Barack Obama, and Obama’s struggles with working-class voters in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Nonetheless, if current polling is to be believed, then we should see a such a landslide with an electoral map looking something like this (this is pulled straight from the RCP “No Toss Up States” map):

Barack Obama Wins in a Close Race

Unfortunately, I strongly believe that this scenario is the most likely. Basically, I see Florida and Ohio departing from their current polling numbers and going for McCain. Obama is polling near, but not at, the 50% mark in each of the states, and I think that the vast majority of undecided voters will swing to McCain in these states, allowing him to win each of them, albeit closely. Thus, the final electoral map in this scenario would look like this:

John McCain Pulls of an Historic Upset in a Close Race

I am extremely hopeful that John McCain can pull off an upset tomorrow. Unfortunately, looking at the electoral maps above, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he can accomplish such a difficult feat. However, if it’s going to happen, I think that in addition to Ohio and Florida bucking the current polling trends, so will Pennsylvania and, out of necessity, another state with a couple of electoral votes. Based on current RCP averages, I’m of the opinion that Nevada is the other state most likely to swing.

First, let’s talk about Pennsylvania. I’m Pittsburgh born and raised, and so I’ve lived in Pennsylvania my entire life. As a former Santorum 2006 staffer, I know that accomplishing a statewide victory in Pennsylvania is an incredible challenge for Republicans. However, I also believe that the dynamics of Pennsylvania’s electorate make it the next most likely state to flip from polling projections after Ohio and Florida. No, this isn’t because we’re racist or a bunch of rednecks (although I believe that Murtha’s comments may drive an increased number of Republicans in his district to the polls tomorrow, which is undoubtedly in McCain’s favor). Rather, I believe that the blue collar voters of Pennsylvania, although reliably Democrat, find it extremely difficult to swallow Barack Obama’s “spread the wealth around” policies – and as a result, they may either decide to not vote at all, or to pull the lever for John McCain. Additionally, there are a number of highly competitive Congressional races in PA in which an outcry of Republican voters could help turn the race in favor of McCain. Specifically, I look to William Russell’s race against John Murtha (which I mentioned above), but also to Lou Barletta’s race against the filthy Paul Kanjorski, in which I think Lou will defeat Kanjorski. With Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida going against polling trends, the electoral college stands at 270 for Obama-Biden to 268 for McCain-Palin, requiring one more state to flip for a McCain-Palin victory.

In my eyes, there are two other states that potentially could end up becoming red despite polling that indicates otherwise: Virginia and Nevada. Winning in either of these states will prove difficult for John McCain. However, he only has to flip one of them from its polling trends in order to win. So a McCain-Palin victory might look something like this:

The roadmap to victory for the McCain-Palin ticket is enormously difficult and quite improbable, although certainly not impossible. Some important questions to ponder over the next day or so: Can Barack Obama close? Will the GOP’s vaunted GOTV machine have the success we’ve seen in previous elections? Will young voters turn out in droves, and if so, will they really disproportionately vote for Obama? And, most importantly, does John McCain’s campaign have the ability to pull off an unprecedented and historic electoral victory?

RICO Lawsuit Filed Against ACORN

ARRA News Service - Dan Spencer reports that in Ohio, a state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit was against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). The lawsuit alleges ACORN has engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime. It seeks ACORN's dissolution as a legal entity, the revocation of any licenses in Ohio, and an injunction against fraudulent voter registration and other illegal activities. According to the press release, Plaintiffs Jennifer Miller of Mason, Ohio and Kimberly Grant of Loveland, allege that ACORN's actions deprive them of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process:

They allege fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters. "The right to cast a vote that is not diluted by fraudulent votes is a fundamental individual right," Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said. "ACORN appears to be recklessly disregarding Ohio laws and adding thousands of fraudulent voters to the state's roles in the process," Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said. "Such voter fraud erodes the value of legally cast votes," he added. In the complaint, Thompson cites an accumulation of evidence showing numerous instances of admitted fraud by ACORN employees, as well as individuals solicited by ACORN. "In light of its hiring, training and compensation practices, ACORN should have known its conduct would cause fraud," Thompson said. "It also should know that its conduct will cause fraud in the future." In addition, the complaint cites conduct by ACORN in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

TBlumer reports Obama’s name comes up at least three times in the complaint:

(Page 3) 18. Defendant is engaged in massive voter registration drives and political canvassing throughout the state of Ohio and the United States of America; some of this work is performed on behalf of current United States of America presidential candidate Barack Obama. (Page 3) 19. ACORN’s political wing has endorsed Barack Obama for president, and during the primary season, the Obama camp paid Citizen Service Inc., $832,598 for various political services according to Federal Elections Commission filings. Citizen Services, Inc. and ACORN share the same board of directors. (Page 9) 69. In Texas, where ACORN’s affiliate, Citizens Services Inc., has provided contract work on behalf of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, the Houston Chronicle reported on August 17, 2008 that “About 40 percent of the 27,000 registration cards gathered by ACORN from January through July have been rejected or placed in limbo pending the gathering of more information, according to the county” while “about 6,600 were filled out by people already registered, and many others contained insufficient information.” A full copy of the complaint is available here.

See also: ACORN Registers a 7 Year Old Mickey Mouse Registers to Vote Obama Invites ACORN To Shape Presidency Stop ACORN Now

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