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July 31, 2005

Jean Schmidt and Tom "Coingate" Noe

This morning Republican congressional hopeful Jean Schmidt told the CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program that she had never met Tom Noe, the Republican activist who stole millions from the state of Ohio in the "Coingate" scandal.

Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project explains:

In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. [Emphasis added.]

Schmidt's assertions are preposterous. As an Ohio state legislator, Schmidt chaired the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period Tom Noe was a member of the Ohio Board of Regents.

Official state documents dated March 21, 2002 show that Jean Schmidt had met with the Ohio Board of Regents the day before. Noe attended the March 21 meeting of the Ohio Board of Regents when the following report was delivered on the Jean Schmidt's involvement with the Board:

Yesterday, the Inter-University Council Presidents and the Ohio Board of Regents had a retreat and the focus was on how we communicate the higher education message to legislators, business entities and influencers. We invited Rep. Jean Schmidt to our committee meeting for the purpose of gaining her perspective on how the Legislature sees higher education and the initiatives in which we are interested. [...] There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with her thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

Additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

Never heard of the guy, eh? How stupid does Jean Schmidt think we are? Typical Republican hubris.


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» OH-02: Schmidt Credibility on Corruption from Swing State Project
The analysis of the the Jean Schmidt/Tom Noe scandal is pretty simple, when a politician claims never even to have heard of the man at the center of the biggest scandal in the history of Ohio, people are going to question her credibility. As Scott McCl... [Read More]

» OH-02: Schmidt Credibility on Corruption from Swing State Project
The analysis of the the Jean Schmidt/Tom Noe scandal is pretty simple, when a politician claims never even to have heard of the man at the center of the biggest scandal in the history of Ohio, people are going to question her credibility. As Scott McCl... [Read More]


It ain't hubris if they get away with it.

According to Steve Gilliard, Noe was not merely a member of the Board of Regents, he was its Chairman, making her lie even more blatant.

Davis, you and Steve are absolutely correct. The Ohio Board of Regents doesn't update its webpage very systematically. They've still got the group photograph of Noe as the leader of the board, even though the caption notes that he resigned in May, 2005.>Check this out... if you click on Noe's picture you get this>bio:

Thomas W. Noe, of Maumee, Ohio, resigned from the Board of Regents on May 10, 2005. Regent Noe is President of Vintage Coins & Collectibles located in Maumee , Ohio . A native of Bowling Green, Ohio, Regent Noe has been a full-time coin dealer since 1973. He is a member of numismatic professional organizations and was appointed to the federal Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee in 2003. He is a member of the Toledo and Maumee Chambers of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Toledo.

In addition, Regent Noe is a former member of the Bishop's Education Council for the Diocese of Toledo, the board of directors of Capital Bank, N.A., and of the board of trustees of Bowling Green State University, Lourdes College, The Catholic University of America, the St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation and the Central City Ministry of Toledo. He also served as Chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party from 1992-1995 and on the Lucas County Board of Elections from 1993-2003.

Regent Noe was appointed to the Ohio Board of Regents in 1995 to complete a vacated term, and reappointed for a full term in 1999.

The only problem I have with the official documents suggesting a direct connection between Schmidt and Noe is that neither, as I read and search them, is a smoking gun. Schmidt is not named specifically in the second (just "members of the subcommittee") and the first does not name the members of the regents' committee who were present during Schmidt's tesgtimony (now I see how that typo happens). Noe (and Schmidt) can claim he wasn't actually present in either situation, and unless there's a roll call archived somewhere, Schmidt may be able to uphold her claim that they've never been in the same room together. "Gotcha" seems a little premature.

And as a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, I'm pretty bummed to learn that Schmidt is also an alum. Makes one almost as ashamed as having gone to Harvard.

Is this the "keep your eye on the ball, or it will kill you" candidate?

I find it tough to believe that the GOP with their current control of the cosmos couldn't find a more suitable candidate... or maybe this was just a case of her being the last person to the meeting.

mojo sends

Schmidt claims she's never heard of Noe. She's clearly lying about that. Those documents don't absolutely prove they've been in the same room together. Though they certainly suggest that the two have worked together relatively closely.

But you'd have to be crazy to believe her when she says she's never heard of the guy.

I don't know--I'd hate to be held to the standard that I know and should remember anyone if we have both been to the same meeting. I attend meetings as part of my job fairly regularly--there are hundreds people who have attended a meeting that I also attended, at which we both spoke, whom I would not be able to remember at all if someone asked "Do you know So-and-So."

A meeting where there are hundreds is really a confernce...but are we here to split hairs?

Of course we are!!!

As for Schmidt, I'll bet her underware is starting to feel toasty 'bout now.

Mudkitty--I love hair-splitting, so I'll clarify. I didn't mean I'd been at one meeting with hundreds of people, but that over my career I've been in many meetings of 10-20 people, and that the cumulative total of people with whom I've been in meetings, but don't remember, is certainly in the hundreds.

"It ain't hubris if they get away with it."

Agree, and I'm amazed over and over by the fact that people don't know when documents are public.

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