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Ohio House Speaker rents luxury condo from prominent GOP donor

Published: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 4:51 PM


            Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has been staying in a luxury condo owned by GOP donor Ginni Ragan since 2014, paying a nightly rate that he says is fair market rent.
            Laura A. Bischoff
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has been staying in a luxury condo owned by GOP donor Ginni Ragan since 2014, paying a nightly rate that he says is fair market rent.(Laura A. Bischoff)

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger rents a 2,237-square-foot luxury condo in downtown Columbus owned by Ginni Ragan, an heiress who has contributed more than $1.5 million to Ohio Republicans’ campaigns since 2010.

Rosenberger says he pays a nightly rate that Ragan and her attorneys calculated to be the fair market rent, but he declined to disclose the rate or provide documentation of his payments.

State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, also stayed at the condo for a time but has since moved out, saying he couldn’t afford the rent.

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“I don’t want to open my personal checkbook to say here’s all my checks,” Rosenberger told the Dayton Daily News. “I’m told I don’t have to do it.”

Rosenberger and Smith received a legal opinion from Joint Legislative Ethics Committee Director Tony W. Bledsoe in March 2014, the same month Ragan bought the condo for $660,000.