Thursday, October 27, 2005

Did Noe Funnel Ohio Retirement Funds to Bush Campaign at Taft's Behest?

Cross-posted at dailykos.com

We know that Bob Taft and Tom Noe were very good golfing buddies. So good was their golfing friendship, that Mr. Taft was willing to risk going to jail for it.
Washington Post
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R) yesterday pleaded no contest to charges that he violated state ethics laws, becoming the first governor in the state's history convicted of a crime and providing powerful ammunition to Democrats seeking to break the Republican Party's dominance in a critical swing state[...]
Taft, who cooperated with investigators, issued a public apology after being convicted on four misdemeanor counts for failing to report 52 golf outings, dinners and other entertainment gifts. He was fined $4,000, the maximum. Taft, who by law cannot run again, said he will not resign[...]
Among the golf outings were two from Tom Noe...


About that Mr. Noe...


Toledo BladeA federal grand jury has indicted Tom Noe — the former Toledo-area coin dealer at the center of a state investment scandal — on three counts for allegedly laundering money into President Bush’s re-election campaign.

The three-count indictment says that beginning in October 2003, Mr. Noe contributed to President Bush’s election campaign “over and above the limits established by the Federal Election Campaign Act."

“He did so, according to the indictment, in order to fulfill his pledge to raise $50,000 for a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser held in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 2003,” Gregory White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced at an afternoon news conference

The two other counts were for conspiracy and filing false statements.


Where could all that money have come from? The two articles, together, certainly raise a possibility. Again, the Post

Among the golf outings were two from Tom Noe, a prominent Republican fundraiser and rare coin dealer who is at the heart of a larger scandal involving the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, which invested approximately $50 million in rare coins through Noe. Investigators later found $10 million to $13 million was missing, sending GOP officials scampering to escape the taint of association with Noe.


Certainly the amount of money missing is much larger than these indictments explain, but is it possible that at least one portion of the missing money $10 million was so diverted? Perhaps the rest of the money was funneled into similar schemes?

Was Taft behind this?

Is this how Bush "won" Ohio?

In Taft's defense, I will say that he looks too goofy and stupid to pull something like this off, but still...

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