Kaptur alerts colleagues of unfolding scandal
Brown says illegalities put presidential election in question
June 9, 2005
WASHINGTON - As the word spread Tuesday night that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation had lost $215 million in a high-risk investment, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur alerted her colleagues to the mounting concerns in her home state.
Miss Kaptur, during a statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night, said "there is a major political scandal that is unfolding in the state of Ohio."
"The governor of our state has permitted millions and millions of dollars of workers' money from the Ohio Worker's Compensation Fund to be invested in high-risk investments," Miss Kaptur said in a statement that was placed on the congressional record.
[...] Democrats such as Miss Kaptur and U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown of Lorain say the latest scandals mirror problems in Washington and even call into question the results of the 2004 presidential election.
[...] Mr. Brown said state government leaders have been "inept" and "incompetent" for a decade and the "depth of corruption in Ohio might set national records."
Mr. Brown called out Governor Taft, as well as GOP gubernatorial candidates Attorney General Jim Petro, State Auditor Betty Montgomery, and Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.
[...] "I've watched up close the arrogance of [Republican House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay," he said, "and I see the way Taft, and Blackwell, and Petro … and those folks run the state government."
[...] Democrats say there is still more ground to be covered in investigating problems in Ohio, including a look at the 2004 presidential campaign.
Mr. Noe, whose attorneys told authorities two weeks ago that $10 million to $12 million of the state's assets were missing from the coin fund, is facing multiple investigations, including a federal probe into whether he laundered money into President Bush's re-election campaign. The Republican contributor was considered a Bush "pioneer" because he raised at least $100,000 for Mr. Bush's campaign.
"I think the George Bush campaign raised a lot of illegal money in Ohio," Mr. Brown said. "That puts the election in some question. I know these people stop at nothing and I know their incompetence kept a significant number of people from getting to vote."
President Bush has returned $4,000 in campaign contributions from Mr. Noe, joining Mr. Taft and a host of Ohio Republicans who have returned Noe campaign cash.
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