BG - Charitable Money for Poor Used for Anti-Hospital Political Propaganda

This is a storage area for FACTS that have been found during the two year fight with City Hall for Public Documents. These are being posted for reference and historical purposes only. We encourage any conversations about these documents n "Lakewood General Discussion." Here you will find the Highlight the lie, with the document proven the lie.

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Dan Alaimo
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BG - Charitable Money for Poor Used for Anti-Hospital Political Propaganda

Postby Dan Alaimo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:29 pm

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By Brian Essi

(Moderator's note: Lakewood Attorney Brian Essi is meticulously researching the back-room deals that resulted in the closing of Lakewood Hospital. He has written extensively about it for the Lakewood Observer where this article first appeared. He concludes that this is an example of "bad government." Citizens will have their chance to vote on the ordinance which authorized the deal in a referendum on the November ballot. An "against" vote is to nullify the ordinance that passed last December. A "for" vote supports it.
To clarify: The byline at the top of this article defaults to the person who entered the copy. In this case, Brian Essi is the author of the article, while Dan Alaimo entered the story, provided some editing as well as the summary information at the top. - D.A.)


Key points:
• Build Lakewood, a political action committee comprised of Lakewood insiders and some elected officials, obtained 98% of its donations from the Lakewood Hospital Association.
• Of the $51,077 donated to the Insiders PAC, $50,000 was donated by LHA
• The PAC was formed to defeat a ballot issue last year that would have given Lakewood voters the right to approve or reject a City Council decision to close Lakewood Hospital and prevent charitable money and property from being given away parties for less than fair value.
• The public’s charitable money was used by the PAC to hire a public relations company to do mass mailings to Lakewood residents that contained many false and misleading statements and propaganda.


Key quotes:
• "We (Build Lakewood) are not the political or marketing arm of anyone." — Jay Carson, Build Lakewood’s attorney and the PAC’s deputy treasurer
• Mayor Summers first testified under oath in a pending taxpayer lawsuit that LHA did not fund the political campaign, but later changed his sworn testimony.


Clarification:
• This year’s referendum on the ordinance closing Lakewood Hospital is Issue 64 — vote “against” to overturn the ordinance; vote “for” to allow it to stand. By coincidence, last year’s charter amendment referenced in this article also was Issue 64. The two initiatives are very different.


According to public filings, last year, Build Lakewood, a political action committee comprised of Lakewood insiders and some elected officials, obtained 98% of its donations from the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) and has now been rebranded as Lakewood Voters For Progress (the Insiders PAC).

The Insiders PAC was formed to defeat a ballot issue last year that would have given Lakewood voters the right to approve or reject a City Council decision to close Lakewood Hospital and prevent charitable money and property from being given away to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) and other private parties for less than fair value.

Of the $51,077 donated to the Insiders PAC, $50,000 was given by LHA. Mayor Michael Summers, Former Council President Mary Louise Madigan, Councilmen Tom Bullock and John Litten were all insider trustees of LHA when the charitable money was diverted to the PAC.

There were only 16 individuals who made donations to the Insiders PAC --- three of the 16 donors were elected leaders — Tom Bullock, School Board Member Linda Beebe, and Councilwoman Cindy Marx. Bullock also loaned money from his own campaign as seed money for the Insiders PAC. Many of the other handful of donors to the PAC are known friends and supporters of Summers and Bullock, including CCF trustee, Tom Gable.

The same month that LHA funded the PAC, Build Lakewood’s attorney and PAC deputy treasurer, Jay Carson (now the Chairman of the rebranded PAC), claimed at a City Council meeting last fall: "We (Build Lakewood) are not the political or marketing arm of anyone." Summers, Bullock, Madigan and Marx were all in attendance. This year, Summers first testified under oath in a pending taxpayer lawsuit that LHA did not fund the political campaign, but later changed his sworn testimony.

The public’s charitable money was used by the PAC to hire a public relations company to do mass mailings to Lakewood residents that contained many false and misleading statements and propaganda. For example, the false PAC mailings said that passage of Issue 64 would “Kill Jobs.” Since the hospital has closed, nearly a 1,000 jobs have been lost and more job losses and business closings are predicted.

LHA was a public charity whose mission was to provide hospital services for all citizens of Lakewood. All of LHA’s assets and charitable money were owned by the City of Lakewood. So Summers, Bullock, Madigan and John Litten (elected to City Council last fall) used their positions on a public charity to allow charitable money to be used in a campaign waged by a small handful of people aligned with those political leaders.

Issue 64 was narrowly defeated last November (48.8%/6,421 to 52.2%/7,017) and the same elected leaders who supported and continue to support the Insiders PAC propaganda are claiming the defeat of that issue was a mandate of the voters to close the hospital and give public property to CCF for free.

Taking money designated for the poor and using it for dishonest political purposes is reprehensible.

It is also very bad government.


“It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.”
―Robert H. Jackson, former U.S. Attorney General and Supreme Court justice

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