Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

John Snow, Bob Taft golf pals? The national tentacles grow

As we noted yesterday, Gov. Bob Taft has hired a criminal defense attorney and has admitted he filed deficient financial information. Much of the missing financial information has to do with unreported golf outings. Much of the initial interest about the outings focused on the alleged presence of Tom Noe, ace GOP fundraiser and one of the ringmasters behind the Coingate circus.

Late yesterday, however, much of the buzz in Columbus was over who else Taft golfed with. This morning, the Toledo Blade ran an intriguing story that claims that at least one of Taft's golf buddies was current U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow at a period when Snow was still with the CSX Corp.

From the Blade:
The Blade learned yesterday that in October, 2001, Mr. Taft golfed with John Snow, the chairman and chief executive officer of CSX Corp. who became secretary of the treasury in February, 2003, and Neal Zimmers, a lobbyist for the transportation company. Mr. Snow is a native Toledoan.

The group golfed in the Columbus suburb of Dublin at Muirfield Village Golf Club, owned by Jack Nicklaus. Gary Sease, a CSX spokesman, told The Blade it was unclear who paid for the outing.

Mr. Taft yesterday wouldn’t talk about whether his failure to disclose golf outings on his annual ethics statements involved Mr. Noe, Mr. Snow, or others; how many outings he failed to disclose, and how many years of free golf are involved.

The governor also would not say whether the state and federal investigations of Mr. Noe uncovered the golf outings that he told the Ethics Commission about on June 14. He said he had failed to disclose those outings on his ethics statements.

“There’s a lot I’d like to tell you today, but I just can’t because I want to respect the Ethics Commission process."
Were the get-togethers with Snow about politics or business, or both?

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