August 17, 2005
Dim-Bulb Governor Charged With Crimes
Ohio Governor Bob Taft has finally made history for something other than signing into law the largest tax increases ever. As of today, Taft becomes the first Ohio governor charged with a crime.
Prosecutors in Columbus announced that Taft will be criminally charged with four ethics violations. Taft has admitted that he failed to report dozens (oops!) of golf outings as gifts. Just who paid for these golf outings is currently something of a mystery.
Taft has repeatedly implied that these omissions were just honest mistakes. That's believeable if we're talking about a few golf outings.
But dozens? Please.
It's obvious that he was hiding something more sensitive than just a golf outing. And a report from a NBC local affiliate touches on it:
Earlier that year , Taft golfed with Tom Noe, a prominent GOP contributor and former chairman of the Ohio Board of Regents and member of the Ohio Turnpike Commission. It was Noe's handling of a $50 million investment of state money in rare coins that sparked the state's ongoing investment and ethics scandal.
Fifteen state and federal investigative teams and three grand juries are examining a variety of alleged wrongdoing, including investment losses at the state insurance fund for injured workers topping $300 million. Noe has said $13 million is missing from the state investment, and Attorney General Jim Petro has accused him of stealing at least $4 million. Brian Hicks, Taft's former chief of staff, was convicted last month of failing to report vacation stays at Noe's home in 2002 and 2003...
Taft's failure to report the golf outings contradicts his own experience and statements as governor.
It's obvious that Workers Comp scandal, perhaps the most massive fraud in Ohio history, and the golf outing ethics brouhaha are one and the same scandal.
I've been told that the governor refuses to resign because he fears it would smear his family's good name. That's especially funny considering that Bob Taft is the Fredo Corleone of the Taft Family.
Little did Taft's golfing pals know that when he yelled "FORE!" on the golf course, he was really announcing his I.Q.
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