More Republican Graft Emerges
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 09:59:02 AM EST
The list of Republicans enriching themselves through public service just grew by two this week as additional members of the Taft administration in Ohio have been charged with failing to disclose direct cash payments from an indicted GOP insider. James Drew and Steve Eder have the story for The Toledo Blade.
Franklin County prosecutors today filed misdemeanor charges against two former senior aides to Governors Bob Taft and George Voinovich.
H. Douglas Talbott and Douglas Moormann were charged after becoming embroiled in scandal because of their ties to Tom Noe.
Mr. Talbott was charged with two counts of violating state ethics law for failing to disclose a $39,000 payment he received from Tom Noe in September, 2002, which Mr. Talbott said was a loan to help buy a vacation home in Lakeside, Ohio. He left the governor's office in May, 2000, to become a lobbyist.
Mr. Moormann was charged with one misdemeanor for failing to disclose a $5,000 loan he received from Mr. Noe in 2004 after he had left the governor's office, said Lara Baker, chief legal counsel in the Columbus prosecutor's division.
Republicans like to say that all of these scandals -- from allegations of Tim Noe's embezzlement to Jack Abramoff's bribery to Tom DeLay's money laundering to Randy "Duke" Cunningham's sale of Congressional acts to Ernie Fletcher's improper hiring techniques to David Safavian's unlawful activities -- are unconnected and that, further, scandals affecting individual members of a party are not likely to affect other members of that party.
First off, the contention that these scandals are not connected is unfounded, as the folks at TPM Cafe have been detailing for some time. The second contention -- that a scandal involving one member of a party might not affect the electoral strength of another member of the party -- perhaps contains an iota of truth. But while this might be true to an extent, there comes a point at which the cumulative affect of all of these scanals begins to hit both the party as a whole and the individual members of the party. The GOP is coming dangerously close to this point, and the continual flow of new stories of Republican graft isn't doing much to dispell the notion that the GOP and its members are corrupt.