Toledo Blade Investigates Rep. Oxley

Well it had to happen. After Enron and Worldcom and the other multibillion dollar busts brought on by deregulation and greed, it seems that the focus is moving onto the people in govt. who let it happen.

One person is Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Findlay) who is chair of the House committee that helped Enron and others steal billions from investors and customers.

The Toledo Blade is doing a three day series on Oxley and how much of a tool he really is. (pun intended..)

The Price of Power Politics

BLADE INVESTIGATION
DAY ONE: Resistance to business regulation paved way for accounting scandals
Oxley rejected calls for safeguards before major corporations collapsed

By DAVE MURRAY and JOE MAHR
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

WASHINGTON – Arthur Levitt knew there was a problem – one that could drain the savings of millions of Americans.

The government’s top Wall Street watchdog had cut his teeth as a stockbroker in New York – a place where executives always tried to make their profits look big, and where accountants tried to keep them honest.

But by the 1990s, the lines were blurring. Accountants were now making more money on corporate consulting than on corporate auditing.

As chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Levitt saw a clear conflict of interest, and in 2000 he decided to try to stop the practice.

He didn’t get far.

Standing in his way was the accounting industry and some of its best friends in Congress – including Mike Oxley, chairman of a subcommittee that oversaw the SEC. The industry showered Mr. Oxley and other congressmen with campaign cash. They beat back Mr. Levitt’s attempts at reform.

A year later Enron would become a household name – the first in a series of dramatic corporate collapses caused by the failure of accountants, executives, and bankers.

As investors lost billions, reformers demanded changes.

Mr. Levitt had been right.

Click Here for the full series!

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

A Second Chance

This is a bit off topic but is a personal thing I would like to share:

As a senior at Findlay High, I played on the football team. Rather I was on the team but had no talent to play in a game. I was on the team only because I was a senior and the school had a ‘no cuts’ policy. As long as they had equipment for you, you were on the team.

One of my teammates that year was Jon Wauford. I believe he was a sophomore or Junior that year. He played running back and was on defense.

Jon turned out to be very good and in our 6 and 4 season he was the reason we even had a running game.

When he graduated he got a scholarship to Miami of Ohio and was a good player there as well.

After a few years I didn’t hear anything about him until last November when all the sports news shows led with a story about the end of the Miami and Marshall game. It seems a coach had decked a Marshall fan at the end of the game after Marshall had upset the Redhawks. That coach was Jon Wauford.

In high school he was a tall lanky kid who knew how to run. The story and resulting pictures plastered on newspapers showed a large angry man being arrested and led away in cuffs.

During the winter he was forced to resign from Miami and I didn’t hear anything more about him until tonight when I came across the following article in the DeMoines Iowa Register.

I’m glad he is still coaching and the incident last year didn’t ruin his life:

Keeler: No, this ain’t Ohio, but it’s a new life

By SEAN KEELER
Register Sports Columnist

11/21/2003

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. They must have told him that 10 times as he lay facedown on the cold turf at Marshall University Stadium, hands cuffed behind his back, a cop leaning hard on each shoulder.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. At first he tried to explain what had happened, that he didn’t see the man, that he was trying to protect his players, but the West Virginia troopers would have none of it.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. That’s all they would say. And they trussed him up as if he were trying to sneak a street sign back across the state line.

He was helped back to his feet and – click! – that’s where America came in. There was the photo of Jon Wauford, a hulking man in the cherry red Miami of Ohio polo shirt being led off the field in handcuffs, a policeman on each arm. It led “SportsCenter” the night of Nov. 12, 2002. The picture was beamed across the Internet, pasted onto sports pages, faxed to talk radio hosts. He was infamous.

So it was inevitable. Two months ago, one of Wauford’s students at Clinton High School raised his hand and asked his teacher if the barrel-chested man in that photograph was the same man at the front of the room. And Mr. Wauford nodded.

For rest of article click here

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

Reason behind this Blog

Some may wonder why I started this Blog.

Well, it is because I got pissed at the antics of two people who were elected to serve the residents of Hancock County, my home county.

I should be up-front and tell you I don’t live there now, but my family still lives there and I read the Findlay Courier on a regular basis. Findlay is the county city.

The two representatives are State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon and State Rep. Mike Gilb, R-Findlay.

Their public statements concerning the proposed Ohio state budget just smacked of the hypocritical public policy that has infected the nation since 2000.

After an article in the Courier concerning Rep. Glib, I had to write a letter to the editor to complain. I was lucky that it was published. The version I sent them is below. When it was published they edited it a bit from the original. Unfortunately published letters aren’t posted on their website:

[Letter to the Editor of the Findlay Courier – sent 6/10/2003 and published 6/13/2003]

Dear Editor,

I am writing to complement The Courier’s coverage of the on going debate over the upcoming State budget from a Hancock county perspective including the article on State Rep. Mike Gilb published on June 9th.

It is telling how the two people elected to represent Hancock county in Columbus, State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon and State Rep. Mike Gilb, R-Findlay, are so obsessed with cutting taxes that they refuse to see the revenue problems all local governments are having in these economically slow times and instead base their position on irrational political motives.

Wachtman and Glib want to see education and Medicaid cut. They both failed to stand up for local governments when it looked like their state funding was going to be cut. In fact Wachtman said on April 8th that he supported making some cuts in local government funds.

Both have repeatedly said that government spending is out of control when the opposite is true. The state has already cut the budget in the current fiscal year as well as cutting taxes for at least the past 4 years and revenues have been off since 2001. Where have Wachtman and Glib been for the past 4 years?

Even Hancock county, consistently one of the better local economies in the state, almost had to severely cut its Sheriff’s department and has trouble replacing old bridges and if there are further cuts in state funds as well as a continued soft economy it might get worse. Not to mention the proposed cuts in funds for libraries and parks that will hit the average people hard.

If it is getting difficult here imagine what it is like in the rest of the state. I am sure Wachtman and Glib haven’t.

They sure have ignored the 81% of Ohio businesses who pay $2000 and less in corporate income taxes each year. The current budget bill does nothing to resolve that revenue problem.

Hancock county needs rational representation.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

Findlay makes the big time!

Findlay makes the big time!

A story published in the Courier, on July 3rd, concerning a preacher asking for a sign from God being struck by lightening, in the village of Forest, was picked up by the Associated Press. It was then picked up and published today on the website of BBC News in England. The page also included a link to the Courier website.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3044178.stm

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”