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Kidd's 'wrong choice' led to Noe's downfall (Joe Kidd breaks his silence!)

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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:47 AM
Original message
Kidd's 'wrong choice' led to Noe's downfall (Joe Kidd breaks his silence!)
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 05:48 AM by LiberalHeart
Kidd's 'wrong choice' led to Noe's downfall
Political ties grew into campaign cash scheme

Photo Caption:

Joe Kidd, the former director of the Lucas County Board of Elections who is now rebuilding his life in Detroit, tipped off authorities to Tom Noe's illegal contributions to the Bush campaign.

By JAMES DREW
and MIKE WILKINSON
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

First of two parts

In the fall of 2003, President Bush was in a race to raise as much campaign cash as quickly as he could, but to do so he needed help across the country.

In Toledo, Tom Noe was the President's man.

So in late October, 2003, Noe and his wife, Bernadette, strode into Joe Kidd's office at the Lucas County Board of Elections and closed the door. Tom Noe and Mr. Kidd, the elections director, had talked about the deal on the phone. The Bush fund-raiser told Mr. Kidd to bring his checkbook to work.

Much more:
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061...
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just noticed something. The web version of the story....
...doesn't match the paper version. The paper version is quite a bit longer and ends by setting up the scene for the next installment. Maybe the Blade will see the problem and post the rest later.
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cmd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. Briefly
Tom Noe, accompanied by Bernadette, strongarms Joe Kidd into accepting cash and making a fake donation to the Bush campaign. Bernie supposedly didn't Noe what was happening. They both pull this scheme with many others.


(snip from the story)
Less than six months after the October, 2003, Bush fund-raiser in Columbus, Joe Kidd faced another difficult choice.
Ms. Noe had accused him of taking a $2,000 cash bribe from a consultant for Diebold, the voting-machine manufacturer he had secured for the county, and Lucas County prosecutors wanted to talk to him.


Joe Kidd, by this time, had had it with the Noe's and ratted on them. Strangely, Bernadette gets off while Tom gets charged. Can't wait for the next installment.
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'm wondering if she'll be charged eventually.
I don't know what the statute of limitations is on a case like that, but it looks like the Kidd interview could stir the pot as to her involvement. This is the woman who went on TV recently to tell the world how much she prays and stands by her man, but, golly gee, she didn't know a thing about their check book. Despite being a lawyer and a take-charge woman, her hubby (the business man she'd never question because he was successful) took care of all that -- and his bookkeeper, too.
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Earl from Ohio Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. NO- Tom made plea to keep her out
From day one, Tom has told prosecutors that he would plead out if they kept Bernadette out of it... which makes any meaningful and systemic investigation impossible, of course.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for sharing
interesting article
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cmd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. Part 2 up today
Connects Ney, Hastert, Rove.


The Noes recruited Mr. Kaczala, a popular Lucas County Republican, as a congressional candidate to boost turnout for President Bush's re-election efforts in northwest Ohio, Mr. Kidd said.

And they were in attendance at a successful May, 2004, fund-raiser in Washington for Mr. Kaczala. It drew dozens of donors and most of the Republican members of the House from Ohio. It was organized in part by Rep. Bob Ney, who has agreed to plead guilty to federal corruption charges. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois made a guest appearance.

"This was all a way for Tom and Bernadette to arrive on the national scene,'' said Mr. Kidd, who said Ms. Noe once showed him Karl Rove's phone number on the speed dial of her cell phone.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Wow! Part two is chock full of stuff...
This Kidd guy is an interesting person -- and he did a brave thing. But oh that Bernadette: she's like a character out of a movie. I know Tom's the one charged with the crimes, but she comes across as the powerhouse behind him.

That speed dial to Rove makes me want to find out if Rove had a speed dial to the Noes, too.

This story happened in Ohio, but it's clearly much more far-reaching than that.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. There's more to this story than just money laundering. Ms Noe, as Chair
of the Lucas County BOE, had direct influence on the '04 election. Read this from Blackwell's Investigation (He needed to investigate because he knew the Coingate Noe scandal was about to unfold (it was suppressed until after the election):

The ballots, once received from the printer, Dayton Legal Blank, Inc., were stored at the
warehouse in an unsecured environment. One employee advised that both the Director
and the Deputy Director were well aware of the fact that the ballot room was not large
enough to handle the large number of ballots required to be put under double lock and
key, and they were equally aware that the overflow was being stored in an unsecured
location on the third floor.

-snip

Hence, over one-half of the ballots printed and used in the 2004 general election in Lucas County
were stored in an open space on the third floor of the county warehouse with no secumeasures in place.

PAGE 4

5
Finally, a note-worthy incident relating to security occurred on November 2, 2004, the
day of the general election. At approximately 7:00 p.m., aforementioned Secretary of
State representative, Richard Weghorst, arrived at the warehouse to observe ballot
distribution. Also present at that time were Mr. Temple, a couple of Democratic seasonal
employees, a couple of Republican seasonal employees and Mr. Robert Diekmann of
Diebold Elections Systems, Inc. Soon, two groups of partisan volunteers totaling
approximately twelve people arrived at the warehouse. Since their purpose for being
there was not immediately known, nor requested, they were asked to leave the premises.
Their refusal to leave prompted Mr. Weghorst to place a telephone call for emergency
assistance. Upon arrival of the authorities, the police escorted the partisan volunteers
away from the building where the ballot materials were maintained. Later, it was learned
that these volunteers had been instructed to go to the warehouse at the request of two
Board members, Ms. Ross and Ms. Noe.

PAGES 5-6

The official canvass went well the first few days. Then, on Saturday, November 20,
2004, the Swanton 3 poll book turned up missing. Fulltime Board employee, Marjorie
Simmons-Davenport, and her partner, Ida Hartford, a seasonal employee, were auditing
the Swanton 3 poll book. At some point around the noon hour, they suspended their
work, cleaned up their work area and went to lunch. As was the practice of the Lucas
County Board of Elections, they left the Swanton 3 poll book on the desk where they
were working. When they returned from lunch, they realized the poll book was missing.
They began to ask other employees if they knew where it was and notified the Director
and Deputy Director. Once Ms. Hicks-Hudson and Ms. Kelly were made aware of the
missing poll book, the entire staff was asked to help locate it. No one found the poll book
that day, nor has it since been located. The Board should have conducted an
investigation into this missing poll book.

PAGE 16


Finally, R.C. 149.351 (A) states, in relevant part:

All records are the property of the public office concerned
and shall not be removed, destroyed, mutilated, transferred,
or otherwise damaged or disposed of, in whole or in part,
except as provided by law or under the rules adopted by the
records commissions provided for under sections 149.38 to
149.42 of the Revised Code...

Although some of the details of the following incident are sketchy, the results of the
incident are not. Sometime in late September or early October, an employee of the Ohio
Republican Party contacted Mr. Thurber in regard to a public records request. The
person wanted to inspect and have copies made of all recently returned voter
confirmation postcards. Two or three days after contacting Mr. Thurber, representatives
of the Ohio Republican Party arrived in Toledo. The facts are somewhat muddied as to
exactly when they first appeared at the Board of Elections and with whom they talked in
regard to making arrangements for the requested inspection. However, it seems as though
Ms. Noe, Mr. Thurber, Ms. Hicks-Hudson and Ms. Kelly were aware of the request and
were all somehow involved in negotiations concerning how best to accommodate it. At
some point, as arrangements were being made, a representative from the Ohio Republican
Party offered to furnish volunteers to assist with the copying of the postcards. The offer
was accepted. Apparently, it was collectively decided by Ms. Noe, Ms. Hicks-Hudson
and Ms. Kelly that the Ohio Republican Party volunteers would be allowed behind the
counter at the Board office and that they would be stationed at a copier for whatever
period of time necessary to make the desired copies. In fact, it was related to us that the
partisan volunteers were asked by someone at the Board of Elections to make two copies
of the returned voter confirmation postcards, one for themselves and one for the Board of
Elections. There is some debate among the witnesses interviewed as to whether or not a
Board employee was assigned the duty of supervising these volunteers, or at least
keeping them under observation. It appears no one can confirm that any employee was
given this responsibility.

The first day the Ohio Republican Party volunteers were in the office went well. They
stood at the copier, made their copies and were as unobtrusive as possible given their
presence in a cramped office. The second day, however, was a different story. On the
second day, there were three Ohio Republican Party volunteers present in the office
making the copies. Then, as all seemed to be going well, Ms. Jennifer Bernath, the
Democratic booth official, saw the Ohio Republican Party volunteers peeling off the
yellow return stickers applied to the postcards by the post office. Ms. Bernath quickly
informed Ms. Patrice Webster, Ms. Kellys executive assistant, what she had observed.
Ms. Webster suggested to Ms. Bernath that she inform Ms. Hicks-Hudson. At this time,
however, Ms. Hicks-Hudson and Ms. Kelly were both out of the office. They were at the
warehouse checking ballots. Ms. Webster then called Ms. Hicks-Hudson and Ms. Kelly
at the warehouse and informed them what Ms. Bernath had observed. At the same time,
Ms. Lykowski instructed the Ohio Republican Party volunteers to immediately stop what
they were doing. Within thirty minutes, Ms. Hicks-Hudson and Ms. Kelly were back in
the Board office. Upon their arrival, Ms. Hicks-Hudson told the Ohio Republican Party
volunteers to leave.

The Lucas County Board of Elections committed a series of egregious blunders that
ultimately resulted in the apparent violation of at least two laws. First, they allowed
individuals who were not employees of the Lucas County Board of Elections and who
were therefore not responsible for the offices public records to make copies of said
records, arguably a violation of R.C. 149.43 (B)(1). Second, their apparent violation of
R.C. 149.43 (B)(1) resulted in them becoming unwitting participants in the destruction,
mutilation and damage of public records belonging to the Board of Elections, arguably a
violation of R.C. 149.351 (A).

PAGES 18-19


http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/electionsvoter/lucas/Luc...
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