A short post from the Columbus Dispatch (but it's too "— gate" to ignore):
The Ohio Ethics Commission and other authorities are investigating a dozen or more current or former public officials or employees in connection with coin dealer Thomas W. Noe, The Dispatch has learned.
The number of targets is larger than previously reported in the unfolding scandal involving a controversial state investment with Noe.
David Freel, executive director of the ethics commission, would say only that authorities would investigate any state and local official or employee for potential conflicts of interest; unlawful interests in public contracts; prohibited dealings between state agencies and boards; and ethics-disclosure problems.
Ethics-disclosure problems. Hmmm. Note that this includes some -erm- well-known names and odd responses to the investigation. For example, the Republicans offered to give the taxpayer's money to charity:
Democrats called for all contributions from Noe that are being surrendered by GOP candidates or committees to go into an escrow fund at the bureau, instead of to charity.
"These Republicans should donate their own money to charity, not the money rightfully meant for Ohio’s injured workers," state Democratic Party Chairman Dennis L. White said.
The Ohio Republican Party, Taft and most other major GOP officeholders announced this week they would give up their contributions from Noe since 1998, when he received his first $25 million from the bureau.
All five Supreme Court justices who received contributions from Noe also plan to surrender them, said Fred Mills, campaign treasurer for Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer. The justices received almost $24,000 since 1998, reports show. A plan for where the money goes will be announced Monday, Mills said.
The Bush-Cheney campaign and the Republican National Committee announced Thursday that they will donate $6,000 in "direct contributions" from Noe and his wife during the 2004 presidential election cycle to charity.
However, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is keeping the $10,000 he got last year from Noe for the California Recovery Team.
"Allegations about Mr. Noe became public a year after we accepted his contribution," said Marty Wilson, executive director of the fund, in a statement yesterday. "As he was an active Ohio Republican party fundraiser and donor, we had no reason at the time to question his contribution."
Ahnold always has to be different. Well, apparently he's never met a dollar he didn't like. More to come on this, I'm sure. It might even allow a Democrat to win a state-wide election in Ohio some day. And if anyone wants to try and defend Ahnold's judgement, guess how many days it'll take for his wife to change his mind.