Friday, November 18, 2005


Jean Schmidt: Loon and liar


Congress's newest and wackiest Buckeye is out to prove that she will say anything, even if it means making things up including her own college days.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Ney gets another Dem challenger

It's Dover law director Zack Space:
His positions include: Establishing a reasonable time frame for the transition of American presence in Iraq away from an occupying force; modifying current free trade agreements to impose restrictions on countries that play by different rules than the U.S.; the eventual implementation of a policy guaranteeing adequate health care for every American; and improved border control to reduce the free flow of millions of illegal immigrants.
We don't know anything about Space and while we intend to remain agnostic through the primaries, we present this for balance purposes since we had already mentioned Joe Sulzer's intention to run.


New labor/jobs/workplace rights database

Did you know 210 companies in Ohio have been accused of violating workers' rights under the National Labor Relations Act since 2,000

This, and information about Ohio companies that have workplace safety and health problems, outsourcing issues or foreign-trade-related layoffs can be found at the AFL-CIO's Job Tracker website.

Some of the numbers are a little inflated because different locations of the same company are listed separately in some cases, but overall this is a pretty handy source.


Missing Noe contributors [Updated]

Some folks have emailed us questioning why we think there are more "conduits" involved than the 13 named in recent stories about the recent DOJ affidavit. At least one commentor has also objected to us mentioning some of the people in our speculative list of conduits.

First, we want to emphasize, again, that this list is only our best guess, but there was some logic behind it that we believe still applies.

It is important to begin by referencing two facts. The affidavit, drawn up in April, refers to $31,100 in allegedly illegal contributions. However, the more recent indictment upped the amount:
Tom Noe, whose failed rare-coin deal with the state has triggered multiple investigations and rocked Ohio’s Republican leadership, was charged yesterday with illegally funneling $45,400 to President Bush’s re-election campaign.
In other words, there is appoximately $14,300 in conduit mischief that is still unaccounted for. That equates to roughly 7 or 8 other conduits yet to be identified.

Let's add another piece to the puzzle. Both the Dispatch and the Blade reporters indicated that 24 people were involved with the scheme. At least 16 people have been linked to the $31,100 (13 primary conduits plus 3 spouses - Denise Swy, Joe Perz and Corrine Mann). Again, this mathematical exercise leaves about 8 missing names.

[Update #1 - actually, we just remembered that the indictment, itself, mentions the existence of 24 conduits.]

The defense that only 13 are involved because only 13 were named in the affidavit or have been called before the grand jury doesn't hold. There is no requirement for all 24 to be brought in. We've been led to believe that the conduits who testified were the ones necessary for prosecutor Greg White to make his case about Noe and possibly others.

We'd also like to note a small matter where we'd take issue with some of the reporting on the conduits. This is probably just simply a little bit of sloppy work, but most reporters have implied - if not actually reported - that each conduit made contributions of approximately $2,000. But, in the situation involving Phillip and Denise Swy, the database indicates they each only gave $1,000.

Again the math suggests that could mean 22 people gave about $2,000 each and two people gave about $1,000 each. If, on the other hand, reporters are confident that 23 people gave $2,000, then we are really talking about 25 conduits. Thus, our list included 25 names.

[Update #2 - at the risk of belaboring the above point, let us add a little bit more. As has been acknowledged, Noe apparently thought he could disguise some of the transactions by shaving some of them to be less than $2,000 per person. Had he made each exactly $2,000 then the total he was trying to launder was $48,000 or enough for 24 $2,000 donors. But, as we noted, if two people only gave $1,000 each then the number of conduits must be 25. Then, again, the prosecutor has a better research staff than we do, plus they know many things we don't, so for the time being, we will defer to their claim of 24 conduits.]

Now who the remaining 8 are is somewhat of a guessing game - but within a finite universe. A simple check of the contributions database during the period only produces a very limited number of other donors in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. A very limited number.

We are more than willing to scratch names off our list but we are only going to give serious consideration to proposals that contain replacement names. Remember, the total still has to add up to 24 or 25.


Corporate whiners and political enablers

The DDN's Leigh Allen has 'em nailed:
Wow! Ohio's new laws cutting business taxes and protecting companies from lawsuits and generally making corporations more important than people must be worth it — already they've brought the state near the top in the U.S. in business expansion and creation!!!!

Oh, whoops. Hold it. Ohio made it to that point of desirability before wallowing ever deeper into corporate welfare.

Hmmm. Makes you wonder why all those fine elected folks in Columbus keep kissing corporate keisters, doesn't it?
These issues have been raised on an research level by our home-grown Policy Matters Ohio and the DC-based Economic Policy Institute.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Conduits check list

A couple of weeks ago we published our own guess at who is on the prosecutors list of conduits and "super" conduits that helped Tom Noe launder his campaign contributions. We listed 25.

According to Blade reporters who obtained a copy of a affidavit by federal investigators, we seem to be on the money so far. This story confirms the following conduits:
Mann, Perz and Swy also had family members who gave similar donations. Press reports from a while back indicated they had a list of 24 conduits, so 11 names are still missing and we are sticking to our original list for now. In addition, we still think there actually may be 25 conduits based on the donations amounts.

It seems we were wrong about one of the "super" conduits. We had guess that the two were Susan Metzger and Tim LaPoint, but this affidavit indicates that one of them was Restivo.


Okay - we're back

That was a nasty experience. The flu? Yes, that was bad but not as bad as Nov. 8.

We'll have more on that in the future as we get back into circulation and start gathering the opinions of a few others, and get a chance to digest our own thoughts.

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