Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

Noe confirmed as Taft's golf pal

The Columbus Dispatch this morning confirms that there is a link between the unreported golf outings and Tom Noe, the infamous Republican fundraiser who was behind the Coingate scandal:
One of Taft's playing partners on a least one occasion was scandal-tarred Toledo coin dealer Thomas W. Noe, a well-placed source said on condition of anonymity. The men playhed at Toledo's storied Inverness Club, the source said.

But it was unclear whether Taft as required to disclose to the Ohio Ethics Commission any golf he played with Noe. If th governor paid his own way, he would not be required to report it.

Taft's office refused to confirm that Noe and the governor played golf together at Inverness, where Noe is a member, but Taft did 'fess up to a number of previously undisclosed outings with still-to-be-named golf partners.

The admission will prompt an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission, which could refer charges to the Frankin County prosecutor. If Taft knowlingly filed a false financial-disclosure statement, he could face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
The Plain Dealer reports this morning that although Taft issued a public statement about not reporting the outings only yesterday, he informed the Ethics Commission a week ago.

In a new development, the Dispatch also suggests that there may be several other politicians facing problems over "unreported golf outings:"
David Freel, executive director of the Ethics Commission said he could not comment directly on Taft's situation. But he said "a number " of other public officials or their representatives have inquired about amending their financial-disclosure forms.
It's worth noting that Taft has had a history of demanding that his subordinates resign when they've been caught accepting free golf outings and other gifts from questionable sources.

Believe us - Taft's bags are packed.

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