Just in from the Toledo-Blade. One of the top GOP moneymen for Bush/Cheney in Ohio, and for Republicans nationwide, Thomas Noe joins the ignominious ranks in the ever-swelling Republican "Culture of Corruption".
Apparently, Republicans are seemingly unable to "win" elections without cheating... Go figure. [emphasis added]
A federal grand jury has indicted Tom Noe, the former Maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into President Bush's reelection campaign, Mr. Noe's attorney told The Blade today.
Gregory A. White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, will hold a news conference in Toledo to announce “a major public corruption indictment.”
The U.S. Attorney's office announced in April that it was investigating Mr. Noe for possible violations of federal campaign finance laws. Sources have told The Blade that authorities believe Mr. Noe gave money to several people who then contributed to the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Keep your eyes on this one, since Noe had connections to all the major Republican players, from the indicted Ohio Governor Taft, to Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell, to Schwarzenegger in California to Bush/Cheney etc. Let's see if they all start singing soon...This is gonna get ugly.
We'd also suggest you keep your eyes on Noe's wife, Bernadette, who --- as BRAD BLOG reported previously --- appears to be tied into this scheme vis a vis her her dual role as chairman of the Lucas County, OH Republican Party and the Lucas County Board of Elections. It appears that Ms. Noe was one of the key players in the Ohio Republican Party's proven gaming and/or theft of the 2004 Presidential Election in the state via her Board of Election's "gross failures" to secure ballots, voting machines and the manipulation of the Green/Liberatarian-requested recount which followed the election.
UPDATE: The Blade updates its own story after the Press Conference...A three-count indictment for Noe...
“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 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.
Local law-enforcement sources said investigators are looking at contributions made by people from the Toledo area to the Bush campaign at the fund-raiser, at which the campaign raised $1.4 million.
FURTHER UPDATE: AP picks up the story (headline: "Major Republican Donor Indicted in Ohio"), and adds some background...
The coin dealer contributed more than $105,000 to Republicans, including Bush and Gov. Bob Taft, during the last campaign.
An investigation into Noe's coin investments led to the governor's conviction in August on charges he failed to report golf outings and other gifts.
FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE: The DNC posts a helpful little rap-sheet on Noe and his dirty dealing with Bush and the RNC. Released along with this statement from Communications Director, Karen Finney: