Republican Party

And the pre-Fitzmas indictments just keep coming

So now we can add Tom Noe to the growing list of power Republicans being indicted, which includes already Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff and will soon, one hopes, include Irvin L. Libby, Karl Rove, and, getting greedy, Stephen Hadley and "the" Dick Cheney.

Don't remember Tom Noe? He's one of the stars of Ohio's Coingate! E&P gives us a quick refresher on Coingate:

In the Coingate scandal, Noe came under investigation after millions of dollars from an investment by the state's Bureau of Workers Compensation was reported missing. The investment was part of a portfolio of investments controlled by BWC as a hedge fund to protect its investment in stocks.

Coin dealers and two national groups that track state investments said they know of no other state that has invested in rare coins, autographs, or other collectibles.

Editor & Publisher has the news, broken by the Toledo Blade:

The Toledo Blade, which was first onto the so-called “Coingate” scandal in Ohio, broke another related story this afternoon, reporting that a federal grand jury has indicted the central figure in the coin scandal --Tom Noe, the former Maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into President Bush's reelection campaign--on three counts.

E&P goes on to quote the prosecutor who nailed Noe:

"The three-count indictment says that beginning in October 2003, Mr. Noe contributed to President Bush’s election campaign 'over and above the limits established by the Federal Election Campaign Act.'

“He did so, according to the indictment, in order to fulfill his pledge to raise $50,000 for a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser held in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 2003, Gregory White, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced at an afternoon news conference. The two other counts were for conspiracy and filing false statements.

"Mr. Noe faces the maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. The conspiracy and false statement counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and the campaign finance violation carries a mandatory fine of between $136,200 and $454,000.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said the Bush campaign had no part in Noe’s alleged misdeeds."

Oh, I'm sure the Bush campaign had absolutely no idea such lawlessness was going on! I mean, that would mean they'd be criminalizing politics! And election politics at that!

After the prosecutor's done wiping the floor with Noe, he's got more trouble in store:

State officials have said they plan to sue Noe and seek criminal charges for alleged theft and fraud.

You know, if I were Noe, I might start really thinking hard about doing jail time for Little George. Is Little George really worth half-a-mil in fines and spending 15 years in even a white collar prison?