Thursday, June 01, 2006

Two Trials Highlight Republican Culture of Corruption in Ohio

Look up the word corruption in the thesaurus and you know what one word will always show up?


It seems the two words have become synonymous with each other in the past year as there has been scandal after scandal within the Grand Old Party.

Two such scandals come to us from the great state of Ohio.

The release below highlights the latest developments in these scandals:

Today, developments in two federal courtrooms separated by more than 470 miles are shining new light on the Republican culture of corruption that has plagued Ohio.

In Washington, Neil Volz, former chief of staff for scandal- plagued Republican Congressman Bob Ney, testified yesterday about Congressman Ney's involvement with criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Volz gave incriminating testimony about Congressman Ney providing legislative favors to Abramoff's lobbying team, filing false statements about the cost and the purpose of trips he took with Abramoff, and advising Abramoff and his associates on how to get legislation passed. (Washington Post, 5/31/06)

Meanwhile, in Toledo, scandal-plagued coin dealer and Bush-Cheney fundraiser Tom Noe is expected to plead guilty to federal criminal charges that he illegally funneled more than $45,000 to the Bush- Cheney campaign in order to achieve the elite "pioneer" fundraising status. Noe allegedly gave thousands of dollars to two dozen people so they could then contribute it to the Bush-Cheney campaign. Months later, the campaign still has not returned the fraudulent contributions. (Toledo Blade, 5/31/06)

"From a Republican Congressman who sold his votes to corrupt lobbyists, to a President who refuses to return Tom Noe's tainted campaign contributions, the time has come to end the Republican culture of corruption that has plagued Columbus and Washington," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "When Ohioans head to the polls in November, they will have a clear choice between more of the same Republican culture of corruption and strong Democratic leaders like Ted Strickland, Sherrod Brown and Zack Space who are offering real ethics reform that will provide Ohio a government as good as its people."

John Boehner and the Republicans continue to insist that their party does not have a corruption problem. They also insist of providing no real reform to ethics in our nation's capitol.

It is time that we have real ethics reform in Washington, even if the Republicans don't want it.

It is crucial that confidence is restored in our government and that transparency is always there.

I am confident that the newly elected Democratic Congress take on the role as reformers starting next January.