During a Politico Live presentation on Thursday, September 20, 2018, Democrat Governor’s nominee Richard Cordray stated that he commuted every week between his home in Central Ohio and Washington, D.C. during his tenure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Cordray specifically noted that he made the 500 mile commute approximately 320 times over a six year period.
The Ohio Star made multiple requests of the CFPB, the Cordray campaign, and the Ohio Democrat Party to learn who paid for the cost of Cordray’s commuting from Ohio to Washington, D.C.
Neither the CFPB, the Cordray campaign, nor the Ohio Democrat Party has responded to those requests.
However, according to the Ohio Ethics Commission Report filed by Richard Cordray, the CFPB did pay $7,831.86 on his behalf for travel in 2017. This amount was broken into 46 separate transactions.
According to his own statement to Politico on September 20, Cordray commuted from Ohio to Washington, D.C. about 54 times a year for the six years he headed the CFPB (320 times total over those six years).
Cordray headed the CFPB for ten and a half months in 2017, from January 1, 2017 until his resignation on November 24, 2017. Forty-six separate transactions for which he was reimbursed during that ten month and 24 day period is consistent with his 54 commutes per year over the six year period he served as head of the CFPB.
No one who has the answer as to the purpose of these expense reimbursements–perhaps they were for travel Cordray undertook while conducting CFPB business rather than for his personal commute-is responding to inquiries from The Ohio Star.
But voters of Ohio deserve an answer to this question before they go to the polls on November 6 to choose between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine as the next governor of Ohio.
If these 2017 expense reimbursements were, in fact, to pay for Cordray’s commute from Ohio to Washington, D.C., then perhaps Cordray followed the same pattern in the five other years he headed the CFPB, which would suggest a total federal reimbursement to him of about $40,000 over the entire six year period.
Incidently, this long distance commute wasn’t available to any other employee of the CFPB. In fact, the most the agency offered is a $230 per month maximum subsidy that employees could apply to their costs of mass transit in the Washington, D.C. area.
One criticism that has been made of Cordray is that during his tenure as head of the CFPB he wasted taxpayer money.
According to a Daily Caller News Foundation report, 449 CFPB employees get at least $100,000 per year and 228 CFPB employees are paid more than $200,000.
Then, there is the big, expensive building renovation.
Originally, the building repair was expected to cost $55 million. But that cost soon spiraled out of control amid pricey upgrades.
The final cost estimate came in at a whopping $216 million. Even worse, employees were repeatedly exposed to noxious fumes and rampaging rodents during construction.
Then there was the nearly $44 million spent on advertising firm GMMB.
GMMB was the media firm for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and has been recently retained by Richard Cordray’s 2018 campaign for Ohio Governor.
And let’s not forget about all of the other travel and the cover-ups.
The last budget proposed by Richard Cordray called for spending just under $20 million for employee travel.
Additionally, an exclusive report published earlier this year by the Daily Caller News Foundation found that former Director Richard Cordray and other top officials used private electronic devices to communicate via email and text. Cordray’s explanation for this? Sometimes peoples batteries run down.
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