Thursday, October 27, 2005

Noe Indicted

From the Toledo Blade:

A 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.

“The indictment also alleges that Noe wrote several checks in the amounts slightly less than the maximum allowable amount so as to avoid suspension. All together, Noe allegedly contributed $45,400 of his own money through 24 conduit” donors.

The indictment alleges Mr. Noe’s actions caused false statements to the Federal Elections Commission and defrauded the United States and that he directed his conduit donors to fill out the false statements.

Mr. Noe faces the maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. The conspiracy and false statement counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and the campaign finance violation carries a mandatory fine of between $136,200 and $454,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said the Bush campaign had no part in Noe’s alleged misdeeds.

This indictment has no connection whatsoever with the Bush administration or the current investigation over the Plame leak. It has no connection with the indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) for money laundering in Texas. It has no connection with Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist-cum-racketeer of Washington, D.C. and his activities on behalf of the GOP and several other highly-connected Republican figures such as Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.

On the other hand, the Lucas County GOP and the state party are in deep shit over this, and the state attorney general is looking to see if it goes up as high as the governor’s office. Gov. Bob Taft has already pled guilty to several charges of failure to report gifts received from campaign contributors, so his life is about to get a lot more interesting.

Like I said, there’s no connection between Tom Noe, the Bush administration, Tom DeLay, and Jack Abramoff other than the fact that they are all Republicans. With the exception of the Plame leak, these scandals all involve money and funny accounting. What I can’t figure out is why the Republicans can’t have a scandal involving sex like the Democrats?

I guess it all depends on what turns you on. And sometimes a cigar is just a smoke.