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Big GOP donor is target of federal probe
Columbus Dispatch ^ | April 28, 2005 | Mark Niquette and Jon Craig

Posted on 04/28/2005 4:19:04 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg

Federal authorities confirmed yesterday that they are investigating prominent Republican donor Thomas W. Noe, who was President Bush’s re-election chairman in northwestern Ohio and has given tens of thousands to GOP candidates.

U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White in Cleveland said the investigation of Noe, of Maumee, is related to campaign contributions. He declined to elaborate.

"We are publicly acknowledging there is an investigation," White said. "It is ongoing."

He said the investigation has been proceeding "for several months" but that there’s no date for completing it.

Sources said a federal search warrant of Noe’s River Road home was executed last night.

When Noe declined to explain the origin of at least $25,000 that ended up with the Bush campaign, the search warrant was executed, one source said.

The source said a dozen other public officials or associates from Lucas County were being questioned regarding $2,000 checks they gave to the Bush campaign in 2003-04.

All of the contributions reportedly originated in the same bank account but were divvied up to circumvent a $2,000 federal limit on individual contributors.

Noe, who is chairman of the Ohio Turnpike Commission and a member of the Ohio Board of Regents, couldn’t be reached last night. His attorney, John Richardson, told the Associated Press that Noe is aware of the investigation but that no specific allegations have been made.

Noe’s wife, Bernadette, hung up when reached on her cell phone.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert T. Bennett said he was unaware of the investigation but that, to his knowledge, no one has requested any information from his office.

Thomas Noe, the Lucas County Republican Party chairman from 1992-95, became one of 30 "pioneers" or "rangers" from Ohio for his role in raising more than $100,000 for the Bush campaign in 2004.

Noe also was campaign chairman last year for Judith Lanzinger, who won a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. He has given more than $76,000 in political contributions to various Ohio justices, statewide officeholders and legislative leaders since 1990, state records show.

Noe’s wife also is a frequent contributor to Republican Party candidates. She resigned as Lucas County GOP chairwoman in February and recently resigned from the county Board of Elections under pressure from Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.

She gave more than $32,500 to statewide candidates since 1994, records show.

On the federal campaign level, the Noes have given more than $21,000 in contributions during the past two years to U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich; U.S. Reps. Deborah Pryce, David Hobson and Paul E. Gillmor; and other congressional candidates, according to Federal Elections Commission reports.

The Noes also gave $5,000 apiece to the CARE political action committee and Ohio’s 17 Star PAC.

Employees of Noe’s businesses also have made contributions. For example, Timothy H. La Pointe, an employee of Noe’s Vintage Coins business, gave the Bush campaign $2,000 in 2003, according to finance reports. His wife, Linda, a state Department of Commerce employee, also gave $2,000 in 2003.

A man answering the phone at the La Pointes’ home in Maumee hung up on a reporter last night.

Other Toledo-area residents who gave $2,000 to Bush on Oct. 30, 2003, include Vintage Coins executive Susan Metzger, of Maumee; Sally A. Perz, a former state legislator who was appointed chairwoman of the Lucas County Republican Party on April 6, 2004; her husband, Joseph Perz, of Toledo; Toledo City Council member Betty K. Shultz; and Allison M. Perz of Toledo.

Noe has been entangled in a controversy related to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation investing $50 million in rare coins through Noe’s coin business since 1997.

The bureau has said the investment has returned $13 million in profits with returns of 50 percent, with Noe’s Capital Coin keeping 20 percent or $2.6 million, bureau spokesman Jeremy Jackson said.

But Democrats and others have questioned the investment. State Inspector General Thomas P. Charles is investigating.

Gov. Bob Taft defended Noe this month when asked about the state’s investment in rare coins through Noe’s business.

"He’s making money for the state. What’s the problem?" Taft said in an interview published by The Blade of Toledo.

Taft also denied any preferential treatment was given to Noe because of his contributions to Republicans.

Mark Rickel, a spokesman for Taft, said the governor’s office has not been notified about the federal investigation. He declined to comment until more details were available.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: bwc; campaignfinance; coingate; coins; contributions; donors; federalprobe; gwb2004; noe; ohio; probe; republican; toledo; tomnoe
This appears to be unrelated to the recent stories about the coins the state invested.

This appears to be about checks and money written to the Bush campaign.

1 posted on 04/28/2005 4:19:05 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg
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To: Columbus Dawg

Do I sense an intensifying of the effort to dirty up the Bush presidency, or am I being too sensitive. Sen. Hillary! on the issue of donors who do bad things: "Obviously, we regret that their enthusiasm causes them to do things that we do not condone, as you can see with the President's experiences." That would be the royal "we."

2 posted on 04/28/2005 4:32:42 AM PDT by Bahbah (Something wicked this way comes)
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To: Bahbah

The media outlets out of Toledo seem to have more comments.

3 posted on 04/28/2005 4:46:03 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg (Unfortunate to live in that blue spot in central Ohio)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Noe faces federal probe for Bush contributions 2003 fund-raising activities draw interest

I see the Toledo Blade headline goes right to the "heart" of it. LOL. Watch for more of this over the coming months.

4 posted on 04/28/2005 4:50:17 AM PDT by Bahbah (Something wicked this way comes)
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To: Columbus Dawg

and that c*** *****r George Soros roams free.

5 posted on 04/28/2005 5:11:44 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An Armed Society is a Polite Society" Heinlein)
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To: Columbus Dawg
Noe's coin fund that the State has invested in is one of the State's better investments. It's making good money, and Noe's business is getting a reasonable cut of the profits. I don't see anything wrong there.

The campaign contribution investigation is a bit more troubling, but I'm skeptical of the very, very liberal newspapers in Ohio, so I'll reserve judgment on the issue for now.
6 posted on 04/28/2005 6:41:51 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: untrained skeptic

I agree with your points.
I saw where the coin investments made an 18% gain. Pretty impressive.
Judging from these articles within the past month from the Toledo Blade, I honestly think someone has a vendetta against Mr. Noe.
After reading this morning's article in the Blade (much more detailed than the Dispatch's), it is clear there were rumors of this investigation. Some of the potential other players, like the Lucas County GOP chair and the Auditor, sound like they are in the clear.
It is wise to reserve judgment and let the investigation do it's work.

7 posted on 04/28/2005 10:06:29 AM PDT by Columbus Dawg (Unfortunate to live in that blue spot in central Ohio)
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To: Columbus Dawg
have you followed recent developments? this is very serious. officials were swarming all over his place this week. i am pretty disappointed with noe's behavior, at this point, and all of us are fearing the worst since noe cannot be located personally.

as of today, according to that unmatchable TOLEDO BLADE, 20% of the coin collection is missing, as is noe. it's all over the web how the repub party in ohio is going to pay for this in the long term.

having met mr. noe, while i was unimpressed with his inflated sense of self, we are all shocked at the latest developments, which include not just the fed case, but the state case of a missing 7 million dollars.

it just doesn't look good right now.

8 posted on 05/29/2005 7:20:50 AM PDT by wildwood
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To: wildwood

Noe's problems will be the tip of the iceberg for the Republican Party.
We still haven't gone through Larry Householder's problems yet.
Then we got Bob Taft. Nothing criminal, just inept.

9 posted on 05/29/2005 12:31:19 PM PDT by Columbus Dawg (Columbus: Where our mayor is not offended by rape, and our football players cause trouble.)
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To: Vaquero
I saw Soros two weeks ago. He's completely in his own world.
10 posted on 05/29/2005 12:34:26 PM PDT by Vision (When Hillary Says She's Going To Put The Military On Our Borders...She Becomes Our Next President)
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To: Columbus Dawg
geez, i can't stand taft either.

i am in a dilemma as far as support of the next candidate. as a teacher in a public high school, i find it appalling that the financial situation of the educational community continues to go school system is considered "affluent," which is NOT an accurate description, and yet ALWAYS state officials want to raid tiny systems like ours to feed the monsters of toledo, cleveland, etc., which are controlled by the teachers' unions.

in addition, my husband is in the field of developmental disabilities....those folks can go forgotten also. it's such a mess.

restructuring of these institutions is necessary but no one wants to step up to the plate to do it with both compassion and practicality (kinda like the FEDERAL government).

what do you think of blackwell? he kinda scares me, but i need to do a little research on him.

11 posted on 05/30/2005 5:02:40 AM PDT by wildwood
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To: wildwood

I like Ken Blackwell. I think he is pushing a debate within the Ohio Republican Party as to where it wants to go. It is something that is desperately needed because the party is kinda stuck at a crossroads. He was the only statewide official who came out against Taft's tax hikes. He is not afraid to speak up.
I do think that Jim Petro and Betty Montgomery have done very good jobs as statewide officeholders. They both have cracked down on corruption throughout the state. There are many examples in the Mahoning Valley area, Jesse Oddi in Franklin County, etc.
The schools are a mess in this state. I live in the Columbus School District and I am sure you have heard about it. The reason that nothing has been done is because if something is done, many legislators probably would be losing their job.

12 posted on 05/30/2005 2:49:26 PM PDT by Columbus Dawg (Columbus: Where our mayor is not offended by rape, and our football players cause trouble.)
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To: Columbus Dawg; doug from upland
[ This appears to be unrelated to the recent stories about the coins the state invested. This appears to be about checks and money written to the Bush campaign. ]

Nope.. its related to Hillary being questioned for REAL campaign donation violations. Well documented by Doug from Upland.. on free republic..

Its what we call, a ruse..

13 posted on 05/30/2005 3:14:08 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe

This is peanuts compared to what the witch did.

14 posted on 05/30/2005 6:03:00 PM PDT by doug from upland (MOCKING DEMOCRATS 24/7 ---
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To: doug from upland
This is peanuts compared to what the witch did.

True but you know she "can't recall."

15 posted on 05/30/2005 7:43:34 PM PDT by lonestar (Me, too!--Weinie)
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