Wednesday, October 11, 2006

If all politics is local...

then the Republicans are in big trouble. Let me introduce you to Ohio's very own axis of evil. In honor of his embezzlement trial which began Tuesday, I present Exhibit A - Tom Noe. Noe has already been convicted of money laundering for illegally funnelling money into Bush's campaign. Now Noe is at the center of "Coingate" and is accused of taking more than $2.2 million from the rare coin funds he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. His trial is expected to last six weeks, which means it most likely won't be over come Nov. 7th.

Ohio is also privileged to call Congressman Bob Ney one of our own. Mr. Ney isn't running for re-election due to his "going to prison" thing. Ney admitted improperly accepting some $170,000 worth of trips, meals, sports tickets and casino chips from every Republican's friend, Jack Abramoff.

And then there's Ken Blackwell. Yes, that Ken Blackwell: The man who oversaw the fiasco known as Ohio's 2004 election, and is now running for governor. This is the same Blackwell described in Woodward's new book as being called a nut by none other than our esteemed chief, George W. Bush. No doubt, our President looked deeply into Blackwell's eyes before making his assessment.

I would, of course, be remiss if I did not give honorable mention to Governor Bob Taft, who pleaded no contest to accepting golf outings and other gifts. Four former Taft aides also pleaded no contest to similar charges. Honorable mention also goes to House Majority Leader John Boehner, who appears to be putting as much distance possible between himself and Foleygate.

Theologian Justo Gonzalez once said that in the particular, one can find the universal. The Republicans want to focus on local politics this election cycle. But here in Ohio, local politics are a case study of the culture of corruption that is Republican party politics.