RE: Ohio governor, scion of nation's oldest Repug dynasty, is arrested while in office
Ohio coin scandal beginning to rock the GOP
by Jerome Armstrong
The growing Republican scandal surrounding the Ohio's loss in rare-coin investments controlled by Tom Noe, a prominent Toledo-area GOP fund-raiser and coin dealer, just got a lot bigger. The missing amount is now $13M, and all of Noe's property was just confiscated. The Toledo Blade has an overview, complete with historical precedents; as does the NY Times, and the AP the skinny.
Noe got the GOP machine in Ohio to give him $55M of Ohio's Bureau of Workers Compensation funds for investment, which he used to deal in his hobby, rare coins. No other state invests in rare coins, only Ohio. This was clearly a case of rewarding a Republican donor, with access to state funds, which Noe stole from:
First, The Blade disclosed that two coins worth $300,000 had been lost in 2003. Then state officials acknowledged that another 119 coins worth $93,000 were missing. Earlier this week, Mr. Noe's lawyers told state officials that he had also used state funds to invest in artwork and collectibles, such as autographs and cards. And on Thursday Mr. Noe's lawyers said that as much as $13 million in assets are missing.
The Republican Governor Bob Taft says "I am outraged, I am angered, I am saddened, and I am sickened." Well, he's not too outraged, angered, or sickened, 'cause he's keeping the money that Noe gave Taft. This is a bandwagon the Democrats in the state can all jump on. Every Republican that took money from Noe, now realizes that money was stolen from Ohio's Bureau of Workers Compensation funds.
The director of Ohio's workers compensation bureau is resigning, and says that Taft didn't know. And neither did the Republicans running to be Taft's successor, Montgomery, Blackwell, or Petro, right? But they all took Noe's money. Watch, as one of them crumbles, returns the stolen dough (the Democrats are calling for Republicans to donate it to the Worker's Comp fund), and the others will immediately follow. Blackwell (who also in hypocritical fashion took Noe money) is already going after Montgomery & Petro for being too close to Noe to lead the investigation.
Noe, a Bush Pioneer, is also under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI for violating campaign-finance laws in an October, 2003, fund-raiser in Columbus that generated $1.4 million for the Bush campaign. Noe supposedly handed out his own cash to individuals in order to donate more than the $2K maximum to Bush.
Ohio is ripe for a complete overhaul in '06. Toledo City Councilman Frank Szollosi is asking on his blog:
And who will investigate?
It should not be those five GOP State Supreme Court Justices who took money from Tom Noe, at least they have the good judgment to recuse themselves.
It should not be Governor Bob Taft, Auditor Betty Montgomery, nor Attorney General Jim Petro - they have all taken money from Tom Noe, and have let Noe get away with everything since the Capital Coin Fund got established in 1998. These elected officials should not only be held accountable by voters in Ohio, but by an independent special prosecutor.
Where did that money go? Did Noe spend it on the Bush campaign? Who should investigate?
...A news reporter asked me if this was just a political witchhunt and I replied, "Show me the money." It's public money that's gone and plenty of Noe political contributions to everyone from George W. Bush down to our own GOP County Commissioner Maggie Thurber suggest where it went.
Noe stole straight out of Ohio's Bureau of Workers Compensation, and turned around to give the money to Republican politicians.
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