Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
Regular BRAD BLOG readers will know that Thomas Noe has been in big trouble for a long time. As reported previously on these pages, the former head of the Lucas County, OH GOP and a "Pioneer" level (responsible for more than $100,000 in contributions) fundraiser for Bush/Cheney '04, pled guilty to three charges including funnelling more than $45,000 in illegal contributions to the Bush/Cheney re-election effort in Ohio. Noe's wife, Bernadette, was the head of the Lucas County board of elections and was forced to step down after "irregularities" were found in their management of the 2004 election. Some of those points are discussed in Bobby Kennedy's Rolling Stone article on the gaming of the 2004 election.
Today we got the first meaningful indication of how much time Tom Noe is going to spend in prison. The Toledo Blade has very good coverage, and more than I can quote here. So hurrry on over and get yourself some of this: Noe gets 27 months in federal prison for illegal Bush contributions
U.S. District Court Judge David Katz also ordered Noe to pay $136,200 in fines for sending more than $45,000 into a 2003 Bush fund-raiser by using two dozen friends and associates — including several current and former local Republican elected officials — in violation of federal election laws.
Noe, 52, remains free on bond until the conclusion of his trial next month on 48 felony counts in state court related to allegations that he stole millions from a $50 million rare-coin fund that he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Noe, a former Maumee rare-coin dealer whose large donations made him a powerful political figure, apologized in court for the scheme to give friends money to donate to Bush to fulfill his promise to generate $50,000 for a presidential fund-raiser.
Noe said he arranged the scheme because “in 2003 I was pressured by Bush-Cheney officials to become a Pioneer,” a name the campaign gives to people who raise $100,000.
It's an incredible tale in the American-dream mold: rags-to-riches-to-prison!
And Mike Wilkinson has done a fine job on the story so I really want you to read it all.
Two years ago he was attending parties at the White House and had the ear of Ohio's governor. A college dropout, Noe was appointed to head the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Turnpike Commission; he served on a key committee of the U.S. Mint, and he helped plan and implement the strategy that helped President Bush win Ohio and the nation.
Now he faces time behind bars — and possibly an even longer term if he is convicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. His trial on the state charges begins Oct. 10.