But it causes me more questions! One article says "consultants continued to be paid", but in the "big picture", the payments were pretty paltry over a period of time...hardly a lucrative "scheme" for the trouble it seems to be causing...
Then...no question that it's "politically sensitive", as another article states, and that Federal investigator/possible prosecutor Scott is a top-notch guy, but I'm really curious about his "win-loss" record...not about him, but about the "targets" of his investigations...any "political party pattern" to those who were successfully prosecuted vs. those who were exonerated?
Lastly...I haven't read the Dispatch for years, but I have a real problem with one-paper towns whose editors write things like "While we do not prejudge the outcome, we continue to believe that one-party rule promotes an atmosphere of arrogance and entitlement in which kickbacks and other such activities tend to thrive."...these same "editors" are writing the headlines, assigning the news reporters, and editing the "wire" stories that make it to print...the PD is the same way, and I'd just say, "caveat emptor", my FReeper friend!! < sigh >
GOP fund-raiser dropped by Tiberi
Probe may interfere with fall campaign, congressman says
Friday, May 28, 2004
Robert Ruth and Jon Craig
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Problems continued to mount yesterday for Kyle S. Sisk, once one of Ohios most influential political fundraisers, as another Republican officeholder fired him in the midst of a federal investigation into possible campaign-spending irregularities.
U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, a Republican from Columbus, announced he has canceled Sisks contract with the congressmans re-election campaign.
Sisk, who has raised money for a variety of GOP candidates, is a key figure in the federal probe of consultants and campaign activities of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a Republican from Glenford.
Tiberis campaign paid Sisks consulting business $92,487 during the 2001-02 campaign cycle, according to Federal Elections Commission reports. Tiberi said he had used Sisk as a fund-raiser since 1999.
"He and his associates have done a wonderful job," Tiberi said. "I have never experienced any problems."
He said he fears, however, that Sisks legal difficulties will interfere with Sisks ability to focus on this years election.
On Tuesday, state Sen. David Goodman, a Bexley Republican, fired Sisk as his fund-raiser for the campaign for Franklin County commissioner.
In contrast, Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett has refused to follow suit, saying decisions about firing consultants to the House Republican Campaign Committee should be left to Householder.
Since 1999, Sisk & Associates has been paid more than $170,000 in consulting fees and expenses from the Republican Partys State Candidate Fund, according to finance reports.
A spokesman for the state party said this week that such a dismissal "would be premature" until the federal probe is near completion.
Sisk, whose business records have been subpoenaed by federal agents, has hired Sam B. Weiner, one of central Ohios top criminal-defense attorneys.
Sisk did not return phone messages from The Dispatch.
In a related development, Dennis L. White, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the allegations extend far beyond a handful of Householder aides.
"These vendors were groomed in politics by the Ohio Republican Party and continue to work regularly for Republicans at the state and local level," he said. "The Republican Party created this monster, and it is time for the GOP to cage it."
White called on all of the states GOP leaders to insist that Republican candidates suspend all business with these vendors rather than merely scold Householder for his close connections.
Meanwhile, Jason Mauk, a spokesman for the state GOP, acknowledged that Bennett has been hired to perform consulting work for Thomas B. Whatmans national clients through Strategic Public Partners, a Whatmanowned business.
Whatman, former executive director of the state GOP party, is treasurer of Informed Citizens of Ohio, a group that financed campaign ads in 2002 for the Ohio Supreme Court races.
Mauk said Bennett has never done work for Informed Citizens.
Federal investigators have served subpoenas for Informed Citizens expenses as well as the business records of Sisk, Whatman and two other Republican campaign consultants, Steven Weaver and Sam Van Voorhis.
Brett T. Buerck, who once served as chief of staff for Householder, a press secretary for the state GOP and spokesman for Gov. Bob Tafts 1998 campaign, has not been served with a subpoena. However, federal investigators also are looking at his activities.
Householder and the consultants were accused in an anonymous March 2 letter of participating in a scheme to siphon off money from Republican campaigns for kickbacks. The alleged conspirators are potentially guilty of numerous crimes, the ninepage letter alleged, including bribery, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion.
The letter was sent to federal and state officials and has resulted in FBI and IRS investigations.
Householder has denied any wrongdoing. Most of the others mentioned in the letter have been unavailable for comment.