The most massive corruption in the history of any state ever took place in Ohio over the last few years– from billions of tax payer dollars diverted for partisan purposes to a presidential election hijacked. No checks? No balance? Nothing?
Glad you asked. In fact, the man to ask is our special guest today — one of the few people shining a light into the dark, dark recesses of Republican one-party control in Ohio — State Senator Marc Dann. Marc is running for Attorney General of Ohio and he was kind enough to agree to come spend an hour with us this afternoon. I hope he's a fast typer.
Ironically, while Marc was trying to uncover the scandals rocking Ohio, one of the people doing her best to deny them and cover them up — not to mention perpetrate and plan them — Betty Montgomery, was the State Auditor and is now the GOP nominee for Attorney General. She isn't held in very high regard outside of Republican crime circles (where she's adored, of course). I asked Marc to put ole Betty's role in perspective so non-Ohioans would see where she fits in.
"If there's a posterchild for Republican corruption in state government, it's Betty Montgomery. She has been in positions over the last 12 years, first as Attorney General and then as Auditor, and when they set this corrupt investment system up at Workmen's Comp, she was their lawyer!"
You know me; I pressed him a little. He doesn't want to get all wild so he asked me, rhetorically:
"Do I have a video tape of her conspiring first with Voinovich and then with Taft to set up a fundrasining annuity for Republican officeholders? No, but her failure — and the failure of Petro, the failure of Taft, the failure of Blackwell– to assert their independent, constitutional duties to stop the exchange of campaign contributions for investment management and stockbrokerage fees…Look, Ohio was treated as though we were a $20 million customer instead of a $20 billion client — charging us six or seven cents a share instead of three or four cents a share, resulting in a loss to Ohio of a billion dollars in premiums paid for by small businesses to compensate injured workers…And her defense? This is what she says: 'My record will reflect I'm guilty of doing nothing.'"
Taxpayers don't pay public officials to do nothing while a major heist is going on, especially if the hoisters are all in business with the public watchdogs. While Marc was working in the State Senate to end the one-party state's outrageously corrupt practices, Montgomery, Blackwell, Petro, Taft and the rest of the crew were calling him partisan and denying everything.
Jail sentences have already started being handed out and Tom Noe, a Republican county chairman and major GOP rainmaker already has one conviction and is on trial for even more serious crimes now. Polls show Taft to be the most hated governor in the history of America in any state. And the GOP's current candidate for governor, the corrupt Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, can't get out of the high twenties in his re-election bid. (He has other plans for winning that don't include voters.)
Sitting in the State Senate and watching his state absolutely drowning in the most unspeakable — and systemic — corruption, Marc knew he had to take action.
"I felt like I've been watching a car accident in progress but it was in state government. The brazenness with which these guys have used our tax dollars to raise money for their campaigns has just been horrifying, especially in a state where they've allowed tuition to go up by 68% over the last 6 years. We should be lowering barriers to higher education. And meanwhile we haven't made any investments in law enforcement technology, DNA testing, etc."
Marc is a firm believer in accountability. He seems to relish the fact that the statute of limitations on most election crimes is 6 years. That means he can convene a Grand Jury and have the first real look at what Blackwell, Ashinkoff, Noe, Ney, Taft and the rest of the Republicrooks did to make sure BushCheney retained the White House.
"Under a recently-passed bill in Ohio, the next Attorney General will have the authority to seek indictments of anybody who violates Ohio election law including the Secretary of State, local election boards and precinct judges and anyone who intentionally deprives Ohioans of the right to vote."
You think Marc Dann is the kind of Attorney General you'd like to see clean up the Columbus Culture of Corruption? You should visit his web site and consider volunteering for his campaign between now and next Tuesday. And if you want to donate, here is his ActBlue page.