COLUMBUS Â 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. NoeÂs $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.
In related news, it looks like a reporter close to the Republican party knew about the dirty dealings prior to the 2004 election, but decided to sit on the story.
According to several knowledgeable sources, The Blade's chief political columnist, Fritz Wenzel, was told of potential campaign violations by Tom Noe, chair of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign for Lucas County, as early as January 2004. But according to Blade editors, Wenzel never gave the paper the all-important tip in early 2004.
We are still waiting to find out how much was funneled into the Republican party, but either way, it has sunk the GOP Govenors career for good.