10/11/2005

Daily Kos: Toledo Blade: Noe moved Coin Cash into GOP

Toledo Blade: Noe moved Coin Cash into GOP
by madhaus [Subscribe]
Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 10:38:01 PM CDT

(From the diaries -- kos)

Yesterday's Toledo Blade had the story putting all the money movement together: Tom Noe moved money into his own personal bank account and subsequently made donations to Republicans, both in Ohio and for Bush's presidential campaign. The Blade has been in the lead with these stories on the Culture of Corruption, Ohio Division, Coingate series.

Interestingly enough, Salon has a story showing one of the Blade's reporter's had the corrupt Noe story back in 2004, and sat on it. Why? Well, it looks like he's a Republican operative.

Join me inside for more.

* madhaus's diary :: ::
*

Reporter Fritz Wenzel was a long-time associate of both Tom and Bernadette Noe, who were both involved in Ohio Republican politics. Wenzel worked for the Oregon Republicans before joining the Blade and received the tip on Noe in January, 2004. The tip came from Board of Elections chair Joe Kidd, who also went to the country prosecutor.

Longtime Kos readers will remember the closeness of the 2004 election in Ohio. What they may not know is that Wenzel later left the Blade in May, 2005 to work for Jean Schmidt's Congressional campaign (who later defeated Paul Hackett by an even narrower margin).

Is this sudden departure connected to release of the first Coingate story in April, 2005, done without any of Wenzel's help?

Wenzel denies sitting on the story:

Wenzel declined to be interviewed for this story. He responded with this general statement issued through attorney Mark Berling, who formerly sat on the Lucas County Republicans' executive committee: "When a source conveyed an allegation about Tom Noe's possible involvement with campaign finance irregularities in the spring of 2004, I promptly informed Blade editors about what I had been told."

But Blade editors deny that Wenzel ever informed them about the allegations. The Blade's special projects editor, Dave Murray, who was Wenzel's assigning editor at the time, says Wenzel would have come to him with any such information about Noe. But, Murray says, "he never came to me, and, as far as I know, he never came to other Blade editors." Speaking for the other Blade editors, assistant editor LuAnn Sharp says no one recollects Wenzel turning over any such information.

Check out Sunday's Blade story, which puts a nice ribbon on the whole money-laundering question:

COLUMBUS -- Tom Noe often transferred tens of thousands of dollars from the Ohio rare-coin funds he managed to his personal business before bankrolling Republican candidates and causes with contributions and loans.

A Blade examination of the accounting records from Mr. Noe's $50 million rare-coin venture shows a pattern of large sums of money moving from the coin funds to his personal business, Vintage Coins and Collectibles, in the days and weeks before the coin dealer and his wife, Bernadette, made contributions to Republican candidates ranging from President Bush to U.S. Sen. George Voinovich and Gov. Bob Taft down to Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala.

Mr. Noe typically listed the payments from the coin funds to Vintage Coins as "profit distributions" or "coin purchases."

Daily Kos: Toledo Blade: Noe moved Coin Cash into GOP

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