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Monday, April 30, 2018

The Straw Donor Scheming of Rokita, Messer, Walorski & Renacci

Ohio Congressmen Jim Renacci

Good Evening Friends. INDY REPUBLICAN here just though we would report on one of the newest twist and turns in what has become the GOP Senate Primary from Hell here in Indiana. This latest scandal engulfs three of our Congressmen Todd Rokita, Luke Messer, and Jackie Walorski. (IR has mentioned Walorski in this previous post) We are referring to Todd, Luke and Jackie's having been accused of being involved with some campaign donation shenanigans. Last Friday April 27th, 2018 Tony Cook and Kaitlin Lange's article "Rokita, Messer deny wrongdoing in possible straw donor scheme". Mr. Cook and Ms. Lange wrote that Congressmen Rokita, Messer and Walorski:

gave and received money from Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci in what experts said may have been an improper straw donor scheme. Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, denied any wrongdoing. Rep. Jackie Walorski's campaign did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Cook and Lange cite a story from the Cincinnati Enquirer by Deidre Shesgreen where Ms. Shesgreen reported about Messer and Walorski receiving contributions from Renacci between April and June of 2017. Shesgreen's story as pointed out by Cook and Lange did not mention Todd Rokita.

Congressman Todd Rokita

Cook and Lange go further and write:

Within two months of receiving a donation, all three then contributed money to Renacci's gubernatorial campaign. In Messer's case, the contribution occurred just one day after his campaign received a donation from Renacci. Under Ohio's campaign finance laws, Renacci was prohibited from transferring more than $12,707 from his federal campaign to his gubernatorial account once he announced he was dropping out of the congressional race to run for governor in March 2017

Congressmen Luke Messer

According to Cook and Lange: 

Ohio's campaign finance laws,  Prohibited Renacci from transferring more than $12,707 from his federal campaign to his gubernatorial account once he announced he was dropping out of the congressional race to run for governor in March 2017. But over the next few months, Renacci's congressional campaign gave out $56,000 to 12 House Republicans — eight of which donated a collective $26,700 back to Renacci's state campaign for governor, often within weeks or even days of receiving the contribution from Renacci's federal campaign.

The Cincinnati Enquirer spoke with election ethics expert Brendan Fischer. Fischer told the Enquirer:

"this sounds like is a straw donor scenario, where Renacci is using funds from his federal campaign account to unlawfully support his state gubernatorial run and doing it through his fellow elected officials,”

INDYSTAR makes mention of the following suspicious campaign donations:

Renacci's congressional campaign gave Messer's campaign $4,000, and his leadership PAC an additional $2,000 on June 27. The very next day, Messer's campaign donated $2,000 to Renacci's gubernatorial campaign.

As mentioned earlier in their article at the time of these donations Renacci was running in a primary for Governor of Ohio. Renacci has sense abandoned the race for Governor and is running for the U.S. Senate against Sherrod Brown. Renacci has been endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Walorksi, Messer and Rokita have not donated to other GOP members of Congress who like Renacci were also competing in governor's primaries. The Star examine the campaign finances of Rokita, Walorski and Messer and found they had not donate to the gubernatorial campaigns of Ron DeSantis of Florida, Diane Black of Tennessee, or Raul Labrador of Idaho.

Andy Downs political scientist at IUPU at Fort Wayne told IndyStar:

"That’s another piece of evidence that you could argue is kind of damming," said Andy Downs, a political scientist at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. "If this is really about supporting your friends in contested primaries … or supporting a conservative candidate, why didn’t you also give to X,Y and Z?" Rokita, for example, has strong ties to both Black and DeSantis.

This isn't the first time that Congressman Renacci has been accused of being part of a straw donor scandal. IndyStar says that:

In 2014 Renacci's campaign found itself in the middle of a court case involving another alleged straw donor scheme in Ohio. Federal prosecutors accused an Ohio direct marketing firm and its owner of skirting federal campaign contribution limits by funneling about $200,000 through the company's employees and their spouses in 2011 to the campaigns of Renacci and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was running for Senate. The company's owner, Ben Suarez, was found not guilty of violating campaign finance charges, but was sentenced to 15 months in prison for witness tampering in the case.

Given what we know especially of Rokita and Walorski. We are firmly convinced there is something extremely unethical, possibly illegal going on with this straw donor scheme of Renacci's. Especially in light of Renacci's past donor troubles back in 2011.

Earlier today on WIBC's morning show "Chick's on The Right". Rob Kendall the producer of the show had some interesting things to say about the straw donor scandal. We highly recommend that everyone listen to what Rob has to say. We thank you all again for your continued support. And bid you all good night.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Vulgar, Profane, Corrupt and Stingy Todd Rokita

What are we Hoosier's to make of Todd Rokita? IR has been writing about him for sometime now. But the events of the past week even have us stunned at this man's arrogance, condescension, and unbelievable sense of entitlement. Brian Slodysko over at the Associated Press and Rob Kendall host of the "Rob Kendall Show" on WIBC have done a great job at holding Old Todd's feet to the fire. Their are some individuals to whom the people of Indiana owe the greatest debt of gratitude for helping to show Todd Rokita for the clod and buffoon he is. All we can tell you our readers is these persons have been more than generous at helping to get the truth out about Todd. We are eternally grateful to our sources for reaching out to us and trusting INDY REPUBLICAN with much needed information. Now back to less pleasant topics. The chief of them being Theodore "Todd" Rokita.

On April 9th, 2018 Kaitlin Lange over at INDYSTAR reported that:

 Leaders of Trump's Indiana presidential campaign announced their official endorsement of the U.S. Senate candidate Todd Rokita Monday, just days after a report that the congressman called President Donald Trump "vulgar" in early 2016. Rex Early, the Trump Indiana State Chairman, and Tony Samuel, the vice chairman, said what set Rokita apart from the other candidates was how Rokita supported Trump after he secured the GOP nomination.

Ms. Lange cited an article by the Associated Press in which Rokita gave his reasons for endorsing Senator Marco Rubio instead of Donald Trump for the Republican Presidential Nomination in 2016. Rokita is quoted as saying:

"When you see Marco contrasted with Donald Trump — I mean someone who is vulgar, if not profane," Rokita said at the time. "At some point you have to be presidential. People expect that and you see that in Marco Rubio."

Let's stop and examine Rokita's standards regarding what he considers "Vulgar, if not profane". In light of Rokita's endorsement of Marco Rubio for the GOP Presidential Nomination. Rokita must have some rather unusual idea of what constitutes vulgarity. Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana in February 2016 wrote a post called "Marco Rubio's Days May Be Numbered". Gary reported on rumors that Marco Rubio having attended gay foam parties in South Beach, Flordia. Gary even provided these photos which appear to be of Rubio. One shows Rubio looking like a Chippendales Dancer, the other shows what maybe Rubio at gay foam party. One person commented on Welsh's post: "Evidently, Chris Christie was on the mark when describing Tio Taco Rubio as 'the boy in the bubble'.

Here are the photos in question. Look at them if you dare:

Marco seems to be devoid of vulgarity and profanity in Rokita's eyes. Which is interesting considering sources have told us that Rokita and Rubio share many similarities OUTWARD appearance however is not one of them. 

Rokita in his haste to try and make himself look important jumped on the endorsements of the leaders of Trump's 2016 Indiana Campaign as proof that President Trump was endorsing him in the Senate Primary. As usual Todd jumped the gun. Brian Slodysko reporting for the AP on April 18th, 2018 that: 

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has demanded that Rep. Todd Rokita take down yard signs it says give the false impression the president endorsed the Indiana Republican’s Senate bid, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. The rebuke came after two volunteers who led Trump’s bare-bones 2016 campaign in Vice President Mike Pence’s home state endorsed Rokita during an Indianapolis news conference last week.The Rokita signs, which have gone up since that event, proclaim in large white letters “Endorsed by Trump/Pence,” with smaller letters below adding “2016 Indiana Team Leaders.”

All the Rokita campaign said is "We do not comment on yard sign strategy". Here is what some of Rokita's yard signs look like since being bitch slapped by Trump officials:

INDY REPUBLICAN has made clear in the past that most of us here are not Trump supporters. But by what twist of logic can Rokita having been endorsed by some of Trump's campaign staff translate into an endorsement from Trump? What's next is Todd going to receive a pastor's endorsement and then claim God is backing him? Or what if some Kroger or Eli Lilly worker endorses him? Is he then going to claim that he has the backing of Kroger or Eli Lilly?

A reader sent in their idea of what kind of sign Todd would make up to convince people God was on his side:

Todd cannot even get it right when attacking his opponents. Here is a tweet in which someone responded to Rokita's attack on Mike Braun facing lawsuits over pay issues:

In several past posts on this blog. IR has pointed out how Rokita loves to misuse his office staff to further his political ambitions. We have mentioned how he used his office staff when he was Indiana Secretary of State to do political work for him on government time. And how some complaints were made to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and the State's Inspector General as far back as 2011. But nothing was ever done. Turns out Rokita appears to still be continuing his habit of using office staff for political work. Rob Kendall posted an interesting find on Twitter earlier today:

Hat tip to Mister Rob Kendall for catching old Todd in the act. None of us here have ever met Nathan Brand Todd Rokita's spokesman. But he seems to be a poor man's version of his boss. Being Todd Rokita is bad enough. But being a pale imitation of Todd that is just pathetic! Oh and thanks again to our "sources". Until next time this is IR saying keep up the pressure on frauds and fakes like Todd Rokita. We will be back in awhile. Until our next post,Goodnight Everyone! That's a wrap! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

RIP Barbara Bush

First Lady Barbara Bush

INDY REPUBLICAN has just heard that former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92. She was a fine woman and a wonderful First Lady. She has gone home to be with our Lord. Mrs. Bush may you now be free of pain.

Judge Napolitano Explains Why Attorney-Client Privilege Doesn't Protect Michael Cohen

Last week the FBI raid the law offices of Michael Cohen personal attorney to President Donald Trump. Since the raid of Cohen's offices the President has been claiming that the raid on his lawyers office has destroyed attorney-client privilege.

Other's are not buying President Trump's logic however:

The great Judge Andrew Napolitano explained yesterday what attorney-client privilege actually is. And to the Judge's credit he points out the problems associated with the President and Michael Cohen trying to invoke the privilege in this case:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Rokita's Ethics Problems are Much Worse Than you Think

Congressman Todd Rokita

INDY REPULICAN's least favorite Indiana Congressman just cannot seem to stop getting his hands caught in the cookie jar as Rokita wrongly decrees he is legally allowed to steal the cookies. Just as the "laughbox" is activated for sitcoms, Hoosier voters are repeatedly fed words such "unsubstantiated", "de minimus" and 'we received a private and secret ethics opinion' overtime Rokita is caught blowing money like a drunkin' sailor to promote himself and support his campaigns while allegedly "working" at his so-called "duty station".  Last Friday Brian Slodysko reportedthat when Rokita was Indiana Secretary of State that the Indiana GOP had locked him out of their donor database back in 2009.

Slodysko reports:

Todd Rokita likely violated ethics laws as Indiana's secretary of state by repeatedly accessing a Republican donor database from his government office, prompting party officials to lock him out of the system until he angrily complained, three former GOP officials told The Associated Press. The alleged ethics flap over Rokita's use of the Indiana Republican Party's Salesforce database during work hours occurred in 2009, as he was wrapping up a second term as the state's chief elections official and angling for higher office. Indiana law prohibits state employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or acting in an official capacity. It also prohibits work on anything outside official duties while on the clock, or ordering others to do so, and from using state resources for political purposes. The former officials, who have direct knowledge of the situation, spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about it publicly. They did not report Rokita's activity to authorities at the time.

(While the above sources had not filed complaints, IR has learned complaints nonetheless had been filed against Rokita as far back as 2011 over the same issue and the Inspector General's Office still refuse to issue a response)

Rokita's campaign spokesman Nathan Brand said Thursday April 12th, 2018 that Rokita used the database to keep his personal rolodex, which Brand said was allowed under state ethics guidance the office received. However, Rokita's campaign could not produce documents outlining the guidance, and the office of current Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said it could not locate any such records. State party officials were alarmed when they discovered that a computer in Rokita's Statehouse office frequently logged in to the database containing detailed campaign information on activists and donors. They froze his access to the system but restored it after Rokita complained. 

Slodysko also reports that mailers from the Secretary of State's Office were sent out to some county republican chairmen about Rokita's "Rethinking Redistricting" which garned a great deal of attention during Rokita's successful run for Congress in 2010. Two legal experts interviewed by Slodysko did not believe that Rokita's use of state resources and employees was legal. David Orentlicher a lawyer and former Democratic state legislator from Indiana said: "Using your government staff (for political business) during their work day, while they are using government resources? This is well across the line and not a hard call." Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth said he believes that Rokita or his employees were "engaging in unlawful political activity, the unlawful use of state property, and ghost employment." "Indiana law strictly requires elected state officials to wall off their public duties from political activities," Groth said.

Since the Secretary of State has NO STATUTORY POWER to draw legislative and congressional district lines, one has to question why Rokita spend thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds on a Rethinking Redistricting websites, promotional materials and a professionally made video shown at political dinners around the state in 2010. The expenditures constituted a bald-faced effort by Rokita to promote himself as he was trying to secure future "public employment" as his term of Secretary of State was winding down. Other politicians could be prosecuted for theft for the same actions.

We are very impressed with Brian Slodysko's article and we encourage everyone to go read the entire article. Slodysko should have asked these officials why they did not report Todd Rokita to the authorities.  Our readers may recall that we blogged in February of last year about former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett's issues with misusing his office personnel and resources to try to get reelected to his job in 2012. In that post we also referred our readers to a post Gary Welsh over at Advance Indiana had made back in 2014 that discussed not only Bennett's problems but pointed out how Todd Rokita probably had very similar problems himself

The responses out of Rokita's camp sounds as if they have something to hide. The dearth of any substance in Rokita's attempt to defend themselves is nothing short of embarrassing. Here is what some others are saying about Rokita's response to AP's story:

As soon as this story hit the AP wire IR was immediately contacted by several of our sources stating that various government officials were aware or had been made aware of Mister Rokita's unethical, possibly criminal actions as far back as 2011 but that nothing was done about them. We find it impossible to believe that journalists in Indiana are only just now finding out about this. Here is just some of what we have heard about Rokita and the claim that his misusing his state office is a new revelation:

"The AP was informed that in March/April 2011 reports were made to the IG and to the Marion county prosecutor and no one cared" 

"AP was even given the name of the software platforms (campaign sales force and later backoffice) and the shared file the employees updated (for Todd Rokita) named “Lucy”

"Word around the water cooler was Curry’s chief deputy David Rimstidt back in 2011 was told by several people about Rokita’s indiscretions but did less than nothing."

Interestingly the late great Gary Welsh wrote here and here about Rimstidt on Advance Indiana in 2010. Rimstidt appears to be somewhat shady to many. 

“The Inspector General was asked back around 2011 if Rokita’s activities were not illegal nor unethical, that if they were in fact ethical and legal. You think they would have whipped the fantasy opinion out to show what they had sent to Rokita but they never got issued anything about Old Todd”

"Republican state committee people were up in arms when they found out he (Todd Rokita) was using campaign sales force and Rokita yelled at them when they turned off his account. He started using “backoffice” so the state party couldn’t monitor his use of office staff for this shit"

IR has been told by our sources that “Lucy” was the name of the shared file of the spreadsheet that Rokita would have his staff update names of donors, contact info, talking points for TR and the amounts of donations to other campaigns During his 2010 congressional run.These were spreadsheets he (Todd Rokita) used to keep information on whom to call for money when he was in the car. Our sources told INDY REPUBLICAN they haven’t the first clue where the "Lucy" file was kept. All that is known is that "Lucy" was accidentally found saved on the hard drive in the executive office in 2011. Many of our sources have been trying to find out why the file was called "Lucy" as one informant told us: "Kinda sticks in your head because you want to know “why did they call it Lucy?!”

If you feel a burning sensation in your wallet do not panic and hold on to it tight as it is only a warning that Rokita is near to feed his mammoth hunger for more ill-gotten money. Our sources also claim that Rokita received reimbursements and payments that he was not legally allowed to take:

"Rokita bragged in speeches around Indiana for eight years that he did not take a state car as Secretary of State, insinuating he was saving the taxpayers money.  What Rokita concealed from Hoosiers was that he was constantly receiving reimbursements for mileage from the State for use of his campaign car. Many in the State would argue it would have been better for Rokita to simply have his gas paid for using a state vehicle instead of mileage reimbursements."

"Rokita also received an extra paycheck and annual healthcare deposit by mistake from the State Auditor in January of 2011 as if he were Secretary of State while he was a congressman. Rokita of course refused to pay it back immediately unless he was first paid 11,000 for his “comp time” from when he was COS for Gilroy (even though the books had been closed for years for his time as COS for Gilroy). Executive Broadband employees do not get a check for past comp time after they vacate a particular position. Further, Rokita had previously denied other past executive broadband employees request for a cash reimbursement for comp time. Rumors were swirling about some “deal” he made to pay the money back in 2012 or 2013 before the board of accounts was starting to try to reconcile everything. For any other people, this would be theft."

INDY REPUBLICAN seriously doubts Todd Rokita got an ethics opinion on what he was doing with Salesforce. If he had received such an opinion publicly, Tony Bennett would have used it to defend himself. As our sources tell us “Rokita is only a master of using his staff for ghost employment. As Tony Bennett was slapped with ethics fines over the "red meat" list former Rokita staffer Cam Savage downloaded on public computers, many do not realize that Tony Bennett's action were naive child's play compared to the Rokita's."  All Hoosier taxpayers should challenge Rokita to produce his ethics opinion, whether issued publicly or privately, where the Inspector General made criminal ghost employment and theft of public resources suddenly legal just for him. 

IR would like to thank our sources for sharing with us their knowledge of Congressman Rokita, We genuinely appreciate, and understand the immense risks these brave people are taking by speaking to us, We want them to know that we are very grateful to them and encourage them to keep up the good fight. Here's to good old Todd getting his ass handed to him on a platter! With French-fried potatoes!

P.S. Not sure how accurate this is but Brian Slodysko tweeted yesterday that he found and interesting article on Wikipedia for the word "Rokita". All we can say is that if this Wikipedia entry is accurate it explains a great deal about Todd:

Ironic how ancient folklore even reveals Rokita to be a swamp creature, terrorizing hardworking Hoosier taxpayers all while he claims to be at his "duty station". If President Trump were still the host of the Apprentice, it would be funny to see the look on Rokita's face as Trump told him "You're Fired!"