July 14, 2005

2nd Congressional District (OH) GOP Primary Post-Mortem: Enquirer Reports on McEwen Financial Disclosure

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 am

The Cincinnati Enquirer, in its “Inside Washington” section Monday, reported that Bob McEwen DID file his required financial disclosure form, and that, in an outrage BizzyBlog expected before the election, it didn’t arrive until the day after the election (bolds are mine):

Bob McEwen earns more out of office
By Malia Rulon
Enquirer staff writer

WASHINGTON – If it’s any consolation, Republican Bob McEwen – who lost in the primary last month for a congressional seat – didn’t really need the money.

McEwen’s six-page, handwritten personal financial disclosure form came into the House Clerk’s office June 15 – one day after the Ohio 2nd District primary election. By then, McEwen had already lost to Jean Schmidt.

McEwen and other candidates running to replace Rob Portman, who resigned to become the U.S. trade representative, were required to file personal financial disclosure forms. The forms list assets and liabilities in broad ranges, providing a glimpse into personal wealth.

Although it’s not clear if the report was late, it clearly was too late for voters to see before casting their ballots.

Last year, McEwen – a former congressman – made $72,000 from speaking engagements, $38,000 from consulting, and between $100,000 and $1 million from his company, McEwen Enterprises, which sells motivational CDs and DVDs. Total: $210,000 to $1.1 million.

That amount does not include any money McEwen may have earned as a partner in Advantage Associates, a Washington lobbying firm. It also doesn’t include money earned from, or the value of, two blind trusts.

Still, a glance at the last form McEwen filed as a congressman shows that private life is more lucrative than being a lawmaker. In 1991, McEwen earned $27,000 for speeches and a $102,000 salary. Lawmakers now make about $162,000, but paid speeches are no longer allowed.

So what about the motivational tapes? The Enquirer tried to order a set June 3, but was told in a June 21 e-mail that the tapes were temporarily unavailable: “We, unfortunately, have been in Ohio for weeks and won’t return to Va. for about another 2 weeks. Can you wait that long?”

Following up on the bolded points:

  • To be fair to McEwen, the deadline for his financial-disclosure filing was, according to election law, 15 days after May 31, making his June 15 submission legal. To be fair to the GOP voters of the 2nd District, which Bob McEwen clearly wasn’t, he ethically owed his potential constituents a full disclosure of his situation before the primary vote on June 14 and he didn’t provide it. It’s a disgrace that the law doesn’t require it before primary day, and it’s a disgrace that McEwen didn’t care to provide it anyway.
  • One of these days when I have unlimited time (ha), I’ll have to look at a blank version of the financial disclosure form and figure out how you can get away with NOT disclosing income earned as a lobbyist. For what it’s worth, the Washington Post reported on June 22 that “best-connected aides” earn about $300,000 annually as lobbyists. One would assume that a 12-year former congressman in McEwen’s position “earns” a great deal more.
  • My understanding (HT to Project Logic) is that McEwen’s Anderson Township condo is for sale, and that he has indeed moved backed to Virginia. Given how well he is doing, one can’t blame him. CORRECTED–See this post.

We’re left to wonder what Bob McEwen’s true motivations were for running, and who he really was going to represent if he had been elected. Thank goodness we don’t need answers.

We also will never know how Paul Hackett might have exploited the legal but ethically challenged timing of McEwen’s financial disclosure, or its content. It’s pretty clear that there would have been a lot for the Hackett folks to work with.

UPDATE: I would like to think that the various regulatory and law-enforcement people looking into Amway/Quixtar are paying attention to the full implications of this from above: “(McEwen earned) between $100,000 and $1 million from his company, McEwen Enterprises, which sells motivational CDs and DVDs.” Especially if the actual figure is close to $1 mil.

UPDATE 2: I would have expected to find this out sooner than 72 hours after publication in the Google alert I have set up for “McEwen”–a very disapointing performance indeed for the Googlemeisters.

UPDATE 3, July 18: (HT Large Bill) The rumor mill (scroll down a bit) says that McEwen may want to try to take out Mike DeWine in the 2006 Senatorial Primary. Must resist snarky comment, must resist snarky comment, must……



  1. [...] yBlog on Bouncing Bob’s Earnings Report
    Posted by Editor under Republican 

    Bob McEwen Eternal Nemesis BizzyBlog has a post up on the release of his earnings report. We can only hope that M [...]

    Pingback by Ohio 2nd » BizzyBlog on Bouncing Bob’s Earnings Report — July 14, 2005 @ 10:17 am

  2. Dodged a Bullet in OH 2nd

    Our good friend Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog has the latest in the Bob McEwen disaster.

    Trackback by Weapons of Mass Discussion — July 14, 2005 @ 12:38 pm

  3. McEwen’s Primary Finances

    Bob McEwen finally released his last campaign’s financial information, which has caused everyone’s favorite Bizzy Blogger to once again comment on the Candidate Formerly Known as Congressman.

    Trackback by Project Logic — July 14, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

  4. Do you think he’s selling Amway tapes? (shudder)

    Comment by Dave — July 14, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

  5. Dave, the ones sold to the public ARE the Amway tapes, with the parts that blatantly promote Amway-Quixtar scrubbbed out. The ones made for Amway-Quixtar folks have a lot of the cheerleading kept in, but not all. Some Amway speechmakers have been known to go off the deep end on spousal relationships, conservatives vs. libs, and on race relations. That stuff always gets scrubbed.

    Shudder indeed.

    Comment by TBlumer — July 14, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

  6. Hello: A friend sent me a link to your site and asked me what I thought. Well, I don’t know what to think. Seems like your after Mr. McEwen and Amway for some evil deed they must have done. I only read the one article. I have a job and family and not much time to read sensless articles. So, whats the beef with these two?

    Comment by Bob Williams — August 6, 2005 @ 3:26 pm

  7. Thanks for your interest.

    Actually, I should have provided a link to my AQ-related pieces on McEwen before the primary. I provided links here at the end so you can decide whether to look further. I can understand why you “sensibly” wouldn’t.

    To save you time, the big picture is:

    - AQ could be the pyramid scheme to end all pyramid schemes, and is under some level of investigation for being so.

    - The essence of that claim is that it is nearly impossible to make a go of it as a distributor (or “Independent Business Owner”-IBO) of Amway products, especially because you are, I am told, “encouraged” to continually buy motivational tapes and attend pep rallies on your own dime (I am told that if you don’t, you’re not a team player and can’t make progress). The chosen few who are in control of the tape-pep rally side of the business allegedly make all the money, and huge amounts of it.

    - Bob and Liz are AQ distributors and didn’t disclose that to voters in a heavily P&G district (P&G was victimized for 10+ years by AQ people accusing the company of supporting Satanism), thanks to a loophole in the election laws that prevented him from having to report until the day after the primary.

    - Bob gets paid $10,000 per speech, according to the speakers’ bureau he is listed at, and it appears that he doesn’t make more than a few, if any, speeches anywhere else besides for AQ. He may also get a cut of the sales of recordings of his pep rally speeches to AQ IBOs.

    - So, assuming the pyramid-scheme premise is true (and again, it’s under investigation), it would seem that he is either being paid outsized amounts of money as a dupe to lend credibility to a corrupt organization, OR he is in on the top part of the pyramid (probably the former).

    - I never had a chance to dig as deep as I wanted to, and since he lost and other people are doing the digging, I’m not in the mood to.

    All of the above, plus the fact that he hadn’t lived in the district for 12 years, his involvement in the House Bank Scandal in the early 1990s that originally caused him to lose office, his lobbying efforts in Washington that he would not discuss, and the strange and IMO unethical outsider endorsements of James Dobson and others (when the major GOP candidates here were all strong on traditional values), were the reasons I opposed McEwen’s candidacy here. I am relieved that he did not get out of the primary (he finished a reasonably close 2nd). There were plenty of locals with varying degrees of acceptability, and one of them is now our Congresswoman (Jean Schmidt-that’s a whole different story).

    More than you “sensibly” want to read is here (believe me, I sympathize):

    The Amway-Quixtar (AQ) Business

    The McEwens and Amway Quixtar (AQ)

    Comment by TBlumer — August 6, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

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