April 12, 2019

One Year Ago: Robin Vos Traveling Companion Cliff Rosenberger Resigned Amid FBI Corruption Investigation

Pair Shared Interests in Travel and Transactional Politics

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MADISON, Wis. — Today marks an ignominious one year anniversary for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos – it was on this date in 2018 that his frequent traveling companion, Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, abruptly resigned from office. Rosenberger’s departure came amid an FBI investigation into his conduct in office, including scrutiny of a European junket underwritten by the payday loan industry that included Vos and industry lobbyists.

“Robin Vos and Cliff Rosenberger shared similar interests like travel and transactional politics,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “It remains to be seen if they will meet similar fates.”

According to a recent report in Dayton Daily News regarding Rosenberger’s 2018 resignation:

“A federal search warrant and subpoena issued to the Ohio House on May 22 and released to the public in August showed that federal authorities have been trying to build a public corruption case against Rosenberger and three payday lending industry representatives. The search and seizure warrant detailed documents federal investigators believe contain evidence of extortion and bribery.”

A London junket Vos and Rosenberger took, underwritten by the payday loan industry, was cited as being under scrutiny by the FBI. Additional media reports detailed the lavish accommodations provided on their summer 2017 trip and also revealed a previously unreported stop in Iceland for the pair. After the special interest funded portion of the trip Vos and Rosenberger were off to Italy, where the former Ohio lawmaker was the best man for Vos’s third wedding.

Vos has maintained he has not been involved in the investigation of his former contemporary. However, he has used his legislative leadership positions to try to advance the business interests of the predatory payday loan industry. In 2011 as co-chair of the powerful Joint Committee on Finance he authored a rollback of regulations on the industry and in 2015 as Assembly Speaker shepherded a measure through the legislature that would have allowed payday lenders, including those who sponsored his travel, to dramatically expand their services in Wisconsin.

For more information about the schemes and scandals of Assembly Speaker Vos, including his special interest funded world travels, One Wisconsin Now has unveiled a new website, MeetBossVos.com.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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