comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Ohio Coin-gate and the GOP candidates for Governor
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Ohio Coin-gate and the GOP candidates for Governor

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

I really do love reading the Toledo Blade every day. Today, the paper has FOUR, yes FOUR, major political stories examining the role "Coin-gate" will play in next year's race for Governor. Of course, as we learned in 2004, Ohio politics affect national politics. The GOP players involved in Coin-gate, like Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, had major roles in the Bush/Cheney campaign. So, this is a long post, but political junkies, there's a lot of good stuff.

The Overview
"Noe fallout taints early candidates to succeed Taft; Democrats take aim at GOP trio"

The main article gives the overview of the scandal and how the GOP leaders are involved:

Tom Noe has outraged and angered the governor of Ohio, caused the President to return his campaign contributions, and his $50 million state-coin funds are in disarray.

But the Maumee coin dealer's biggest political victims might be Attorney General Jim Petro, Auditor Betty Montgomery, and Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell - who are competing to become Ohio's next governor.

The three Republican officeholders running for governor have all received campaign cash from Mr. Noe and have been criticized for their slow reaction to the growing coin scandal.

Now they find themselves on the defensive, quickly distancing themselves from the prominent Republican campaign fund-raiser, who is facing multiple investigations, including a probe into whether Mr. Noe violated campaign-finance laws by laundering money into the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. All of the candidates say they have known Mr. Noe for years and they returned thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from him and his wife, Bernadette, last week.
That piece alone was a good read...but it gets better. In separate articles, The Blade examines each of the three GOP candidates for Governor (Blackwell, Montgomery and Petro) and their relationship to Noe and the scandal.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell
Blackwell had few concerns at first:
In fact, Mr. Blackwell told The Blade on April 5 that "most people" wouldn't find it "unreasonable" that the state had invested in rare coins with Tom Noe, who has said through his attorneys that at least $10 million of the state's assets are missing.

"When you run a fund the size of $18 billion and you're looking at $50 million, beyond what one's disposition might be, is that an irresponsible amount of risk? Most people would say no," Mr. Blackwell said on April 5 - two days after The Blade's initial report on the coin investment.
State Auditor Betty Montgomery
Montgomery insists she didn't delay action on audit:
it took 43 days after The Blade's first story for Ms. Montgomery to announce that her office would do a special audit of the rare-coin investment.

Democrats have charged that Ms. Montgomery, a former Wood County prosecutor and state senator, didn't act sooner because she has known Mr. Noe for several years and has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from him and his wife, Bernadette. She relinquished $8,150 in contributions last week.
Attorney General Jim Petro
Petro saw no 'sense of illegality' at first in coin scandal:
Attorney General Jim Petro waited more than a month to begin taking legal action after learning that two state-owned coins worth $300,000 were reportedly stolen from the suburban Denver office of Tom Noe's rare-coin venture with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

But Mr. Petro, who first read about the bureau's $50 million investment with Mr. Noe in The Blade on April 3, is adamant he took appropriate measures to protect the bureau's assets as soon as there were questions of wrongdoing.

"The first story simply said he was an influential guy in the Republican Party and he had a contract with BWC," Mr. Petro told The Blade last week. "I might have looked at it that it's not the world's greatest investment from my perspective, but that's not a cause of action."

A "breach" of contract, "possible misappropriation," or "misdeed" - would be necessary to begin legal proceedings, but there "was not any sense of illegality at that point," he said.
What a great way to spend a Sunday...reading about squirming, nasty Ohio Republicans wrapped up in the biggest scandal to hit that state in decades. And, they are all involved.

blog comments powered by Disqus