Left: Tom Noe, courtesy of the Ohio Board of Regents
The announcement yesterday of the grand jury indictments of Thomas W. Noe in the money laundering investigation of President Bush's re-election campaign came as no surprise; this is just the first in what will likely be several criminal cases against the former Maumee coin dealer.
Thursday's indictment involves an October 2003 fundraiser that President Bush held at a downtown Columbus hotel; that fundraiser brought in $1.4 million to the reelection coffers.
A troubling aspect of the case, however, are the 24 alleged "conduits" used by Noe to launder money. These people have been promised immunity in exchange for their testimony in the Noe investigation.
I believe that citizens have a right to know who these people are, and that immunity from prosecution does not equate to immunity from public scrutiny. Tom and Bernadette Noe built a political empire with money earmarked for injured Ohio workers, and these 24 "conduits" - in their own small way - are part of the systemic rot in the widespread corruption that is modern Ohio politics.
Note to any knowledgeable insiders - there are plenty of sources in Toledo who would publish this information. If you share my beliefs about the public's right to know, feel free to contact me.
Addendum: To the anonymous emailer who called me a "Democratic operative," be advised that I belong to no political parties or PACs. In addition, I frequently write about corruption when it occurs in politicians with a "D" after their name, such as the Prince of Sleaze, Bob McCloskey.