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July 11, 2005

A closer look at Coingate

By Daniel Tokaji performs a postmortem on Ohio's "Coingate" scandal and how the sordid saga of Republican donor and operative Tom Noe exposes the flaws in our campaign finance system. Here are a few juicy excerpts from the article.

For over a decade, the Republican Party has enjoyed a virtual lock on statewide offices in the State of Ohio. Now, however, the state GOP finds itself mired in a scandal that threatens to embroil not only Governor Bob Taft, but also such prominent out-of-state politicians as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and even President Bush.<br><br>Noe was given authority to invest $50 million in the State of Ohio's funds in rare coins and other collectibles such as baseball cards.

As if that weren't enough...

But in April, the Toledo Blade reported that two of the state's investments, gold coins valued at $300,000, had been lost in the mail. And Noe's own lawyers have since acknowledged that up to $12 million in assets from the state's investment fund can't be accounted for. [...]

What did raise eyebrows, finally, was that some of those coins and funds turned up missing. As noted above, two coins, valued at $300,000, were "lost in the mail." Meanwhile, another $850,000 in state funds had been written off.

(This isn't the first time that Noe's coins have been lost or stolen. As described in this Sixth Circuit opinion, Noe claimed to his insurer that over $200,000 in cash and currency was stolen from the back seat of his Oldsmobile in 1996 while it was parked in his driveway.)


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I would like to note for the record that this whole story has come to light through the good graces of the MSM, particularly the good folks at the Toledo Blade who have upheld the highest traditions of their trade in breaking an editorial foot off in the Ohio Statge GOP's collective ass...

mojo sends

Agreed. I hope the reporters at the Toledo Blade will get a Pulitzer for their work on this story. I have no idea whether that's realistic or not. Any predictions?

Van, this whole story has been all but ignored by the entire MSM except the Toledo Blade. The WaPo, NYT, LAT, and broadcast media have barely touched the story.

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