Sunday, November 13, 2005


Bush. Republican Criminals. Stolen Election in Ohio. Hard... To... Track... All... The... Crimes......

Federal investigators identify local figures as ‘conduits’

Affidavit: Noe gave funds to Shultz, Thurber, Owen

Federal investigators pored through Tom Noe’s garbage and his bank records before identifying three public officials and 10 others as the people who Mr. Noe used to funnel money into President Bush’s re-election campaign, according to a record obtained by The Blade yesterday.

An affidavit filed in April with the U.S. District Court in Toledo shows that Betty Shultz, a Toledo city councilman; Maggie Thurber, a Lucas County commissioner, and Donna Owens, a member of the Ohio Industrial Commission, took checks from Mr. Noe before writing their own to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Ms. Owens is a former mayor of Toledo who served as state commerce director under Gov. George Voinovich.

The affidavit is the first evidence from federal investigators about who was involved in the money-laundering case.

It also reveals, for the first time, that prosecutors believed that Mr. Noe’s wife, Bernadette, was involved.

In laying out its evidence, the FBI felt there was “probable cause to believe that” Mr. and Mrs. Noe had “conspired” to violate federal campaign-finance laws.

In one instance, Mrs. Noe was present when Mr. Noe exchanged checks for the fund-raiser, according to the FBI’s affidavit.

All but one of the people identified in the affidavit testified before the federal grand jury that returned a three-count indictment against Mr. Noe late last month. He is charged with violating federal campaign-finance laws that could result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of nearly $1 million.

Mrs. Noe was not indicted, and no one has indicated she will be. At the time of the donations, she was chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, a post her husband had held.

The U.S. Justice Department has said the Noe case is the largest campaign money-laundering scheme prosecuted since new campaign-finance laws were enacted by Congress in 2002.

The donations, allegedly given to attend an Oct. 30, 2003, fund-raiser in Columbus that generated $1.4 million for the Bush-Cheney campaign, helped propel Mr. Noe to the status of a Bush “Pioneer,” or someone who helped raise at least $100,000 for the campaign........

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