July 29, 2005

Coingate Conflict of Interest

The Toledo Blade has the story about the lead investigator:

COLUMBUS — U.S. Attorney Gregory White, a leader in a multiagency task force investigating powerful Republicans in Ohio, asked for help from Gov. Bob Taft’s office to get the federal post he now holds, records released by Mr. Taft’s office yesterday show.

Mr. White asked the governor to call President Bush on his behalf in August, 2002. A week later, top Bush aide Karl Rove was given the phone numbers of Brian Hicks, the governor’s former chief of staff.

In February, 2003, after Mr. White was named interim U.S. attorney, Mr. Hicks sent a congratulatory e-mail to Mr. White.

...On Aug. 21, 2002, Mr. White requested, through Mr. Hicks, that the governor call President Bush and touted his help as a local leader in the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. In the e-mail, Mr. White expressed frustration with an interview for the post that had gone poorly.

“I wonder what it is that went so badly. This is very frustrating to me,” Mr. White wrote. “I believe that my record speaks for itself, and I doubt there are too many county chairs for the Bush Campaign that worked harder.” ...

A picture of another Republican who thinks they deserve employment charity for clan loyalty, from within a party that doesn't seem to believe in employment security for anyone else. And like many Republicans these days, though unlike these 5 Ohio judges, the term 'conflict of interest' seems to hold no meaning to him.

Of course, from the reporting on this case so far, the fundraising ties between Coingate and Ohio politics (hat tip Atrios) sound to be far reaching enough that plenty of the state's Republicans would have to step aside. Even if they weren't personally involved, many of them have received contributions or favors from those responsible.

Looking ahead, the grassroots are working to bring a change to Ohio politics by supporting Gulf War veteran Paul Hackett for Congress with unprecedented online seed money for his campaign. I doubt there's much to be done about the current crop of right bastards in office now, but interested parties might want to get to work voting them out.

Posted by natasha at July 29, 2005 10:44 AM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |