Friday, July 22, 2005



After giving his close friend and campaign contributor, Ohio GOP kingmaker Tom Noe, several months to destroy evidence, convert valuables bought with stolen money into untraceable assets, and cover his trail, Ohio's crooked Attorney General, Jim Petro, has finally gotten around to accusing Noe of stealing millions of dollars from the Ohio Workmen's Compensation Fund. Petro, who is almost laughably trying to succeed Ohio's hated not-yet-indicted-Governor Bob Taft, accused his former partner-in-crime of using a "Ponzi scheme" to defraud the state.

The one party state of Ohio (all statewide officials and both U.S. Senators are Republicans) is notorious for allowing favored GOP campaign contributors illegal access to taxpayer funds. Noe's scurrilous Coingate scandal-- which includes the loss of approximately $13 million dollars, split between Noe and GOP officials including Attorney General Petro-- pales in comparison to the $215 million dollar loss of the "investment" the GOP Establishment made with Workmen's Compensation money in another crooked Republican firm, MDL Capital Management in Pittsburgh, PA.

When The Toledo Blade and Cleveland Plain Dealer started publishing stories about this corruption, Petro, Taft, Betty Montgomery (the State Auditor) and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who used stolen funds to finance GOP dirty tricks to steal Ohio's electoral votes for the BushCheney campaign (of which he was Ohio chairman), all attacked the newspapers viciously and fought like cornered beasts to protect Noe. As more and more evidence mounted, Taft and his criminal administration never stopped-- not to this day-- trying to derail investigations and protect the criminals (ie- themselves). Now that Petro is trying to run for governor he's making a lame attempt to separate himself from Noe and is trying to make it appear that he is vigorously prosecuting him; he isn't.

According to Petro (who was the State Auditor when Noe started stealing), the theft began on March 31, 1998, the day Ohio's corrupt then-Governor/now-Senator George Voinovich gave his pal Noe, a powerful Republican County Chairman and major campaign contributor, the first of two $25 million payments from the workers' compensation bureau. Today, Petro ingenuously revealed that "On Day One, Tom Noe took $1.375 million and put it in his personal or his business account," and immediately began using state money for his personal use. For some bizarre reason (an oversight?) Attorney General Petro fails to mention the connection between all the stolen millions and the contributions to state GOP officials' campaigns-- and to the BushCheney campaign, of at least $100,000, but probably much more, as well as to California's money-grubbing crook of a governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The week after Noe got his hands on the Workmen's Compensation Fund money, some of it started flowing back into Republican officials' campaigns. He and his wife, Bernadette, another crook, handed over $4,500 to then-Secretary of State Bob Taft's campaign for governor. Even if Petro is hoping to cover it up, the Toledo Blade points out that "In the three months after the $1.375 million transfer of state funds, Mr. Noe made thousands of dollars in political contributions, including an additional $2,500 to Mr. Taft, $2,000 to then-Gov. George Voinovich's Senate campaign, and $500 to Mr. Petro's campaign for re-election to the state auditor post he held before becoming attorney general." Over the next 6 years the money never stopped flowing into GOP coffers. And when Secretary of State Ken Blackwell needed ready money to subvert Ohio's 2004 election and hand the presidency over to George Bush, he turned to Bush "Pioneer" Tom Noe for the cash. But when the Toledo Blade asked Petro to admit that stolen state money was used to finance the Republican Party he demurred. "I don't see that," the sleaze-ball piece of shit Attorney General lied. "I mean, clearly, Tom Noe personally contributed to campaigns and the source of his funds could very well be public money." The reporter managed to keep a straight face while Petro, whose career is probably over and who will in all likelihood be spending a good deal of time in prison, danced on. Even if Petro couldn't bring himself to admit Noe used the stolen funds to finance the GOP, he did manage to admit that Noe used public money to acquire millions of dollars worth of homes, cars, and boats, many of which he has sold for large profits while Taft, Blackwell, Montgomery and, of course, the sleazy Petro, defended him and accused the newspapers of making it all up. The Federal Government, the State government and The Lucas County government are all pursuing criminal probes into Noe's looting of the Workmen's Compensation Fund and his illegal donations to Bush, Taft, Petro, Blackwell, et al.

Meanwhile Noe is hiding out and incommunicado in one of the million dollar plus homes he bought with stolen funds in Key West, Florida, no doubt under the protection of that state's highly corrupt governor (name starts with a "B"). Ohio House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, points out that Petro waited way too long after everyone in the state knew Noe had been stealing state funds and kicking a percentage back to the GOP. "Had the attorney general actually started to take action on April 4 after reading the first article-- rather than initially pooh-poohing any thought that Tom Noe could be a crook-- we could have secured what already had been sold, and that includes a $1 million house" Noe was able to sell.

Now that the Feds are investigating, the foot-dragging Attorney General is warning that more bad news is coming (and he ought to know!!) "We think that as we go through ... more and more of the transaction records, March 31, 1998, until May 24, (2005) I think we're going to find more instances where assets could have been converted or abused in one way or another," said Petro, who has now given up at least some of his cut of the stolen funds. Now he talks about ponzi schemes and "a pattern of corruption." And, like I said, he ought to know. Petro went on to list millions of dollars of personal assets acquired by Noe with the stolen funds but he avoids talking about the money that was kicked back to the GOP officials, like himself, who made the funds accessible to Noe and watched as he systematically looted the fund for over 6 years. The furthest he'll go, when pressed, is to say there will be "some measure of suspicion" about Ohio GOP officials and their role in Mr. Noe's investment and, of course, he now wouldn't dare rule out the possibility that bureau employees and members of the governor's staff could be investigated (since everyone in the state of Ohio knows that is already happening).

The Ohio GOP spin machine has switched gears. They now no longer talk about Noe as though he were a state hero being framed by evil Democrats, which is what Taft and Petro and Blackwell and the entire powerful Party apparatus were doing while Noe was selling whatever he could and getting the cash out of the state and while he was destroying whatever evidence he could. Now they're trying to shift all blame onto Noe (remember Bush talking about his biggest campaign contributor, the even more corrupt Enron chief Ken Lay, who he used to call Kennyboy and now professes to barely remember?) and take the favored role of all Republicans: victims. "How could that evil horrible Tom Noe do this to us? Oh we've been so wronged!" Yesterday one of them, a Jason Mauk, oozed out from under his rock and assumed his official capacity as a spokesman for the Ohio GOP to try to blame... the Democrats!!! "it is unfortunate Democrats continue to politicize this issue while Republicans are providing the leadership necessary to address it," hissed the vile, barely human Mauk. "Attorney General Petro is providing outstanding leadership in getting to the bottom of these concerns as quickly as possible and we are extremely satisfied by the progress that is being made by all of our Republican elected officials," Mr. Mauk lied. The inner circle of the GOP may say they are extremely satisfied but no one else in the state of Ohio is. And with many of the very people who were the recipients of Noe's stolen funds running for re-election or for higher office (like Petro, Blackwell, Montgomery, as well as Senator DeWine and several Republican Congressman, including one of Tom DeLay's chief henchmen, said to be one of the most corrupt men on Capitol Hill, Robert Ney), there are likely to be some major changes in Ohio's political makeup in the next several years.

If the Democrats want to politicize it they could easily use a play on "Noe and Ney" as an effective slogan.


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Christopher King said...

I posted your blog on WSJ law blog like this, as they noted Petro fired Milberg, Weiss:

That's pot calling kettle. Petro has his own issues to deal with, including a lackadaisical approach to prosecuting his buddy Tommy Noe:

Columbus, Ohio politics are scary indeed:

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CalPatty Press Reporter:

It's almost nice to see some place else besides West Virginia having the same kind of problems.We have developed quit a list of wrongdoers in this state.

In fact we have a county in West Virginia that is so Crooked that we all call it Crooked County and it's a name that really stuck.

Sad really that y'all have Crooked County Crooks in Ohio too!

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone can help me, I would really appreciate it. I have been involved with a very crooked system here in Minneapolis Minnesota. It involves drug dealing in foster homes, licensed by an agency and Hennepin County. I have reported this activity to the police, county to the DHS, and then the Board of Social Work, and no one is interested. They are retailiating against me by revoking my foster care license...I reported that the head of a foster care licensing agency is licensing homes that are dealing drugs, and that about 1/2 of the people who work at the agency are the customers. There are children being placed in these homes. The latest is that the Board of Social work dismissed my complaint because the say that there is no evidence, and they never contacted the witnesses. I am fighting the whole system, and cannot believe that it is this corrupt. I called Govenor Pawlenty's office where the representative got angry at me because I told him the story...he said that the next step would be the FBI, but I don't think that they can help either. All of these agencies depend on the foster kids, and their sick parents, for their jobs...without the sick in the society, where would all of these social workers work? Please help if you can...I probably need an attorney, but have been told by several that these agencies have immunity and they will not take my case.


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