'Thirty Ohioans who raised a combined $4.1 million for President Bush’s re-election campaign have received more than $1.2 billion in public funds for their companies and clients, a newspaper reported.'
'Since Bush took office in 2001, the federal government has given those companies more than $447 million in subsidies, contracts and other payments, according to records analyzed by The Blade. Ohio has awarded them about $800 million in the last six years, the paper reported yesterday.'
'Business leaders and lobbyists who raised money for Bush were called “Pioneers” if they raised at least $100,000 and “Rangers” if they raised $200,000; some also were given political appointments.'
'One of the fundraisers, coin dealer Tom Noe, was charged Thursday with illegally funneling $45,400 in contributions to Bush’s re-election bid. Noe has denied wrongdoing in his fundraising and in his handling of a state investment fund, which prompted an investigation that led to Gov. Bob Taft’s conviction on ethics charges.'
>>>And from the Toledo Blade: http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051031/NEWS24/510310319
'But now scandal is threatening the GOP machine - and money is at its roots.'
'A Bush Pioneer, former Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe, was indicted last week on charges that included laundering money to Mr. Bush's re-election campaign.'
'The scandal surrounding Mr. Noe led to criminal ethics convictions for Mr. Taft, now the governor, and two of his top aides.'
'Some Republicans question the party's direction and the business dealings of its chairman, though others predict the GOP will weather next year's statewide elections with its hold on state government intact.'
Scooter Libby is expected to make his first court appearance this Thursday, November 3rd.