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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 10:23 AM
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Coingate and Bush connections
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Article published Sunday, July 10, 2005

OHIO POLITICS

Ex-state aides use old ties to make, raise cash
Lobbyists steered funds to Bush while they enriched themselves


By JAMES DREW
and STEVE EDER
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

...snip

Bush connections

Mr. Hicks' relationship with the Bush administration dates to its earliest days - during the Florida recount after the 2000 election. Mr. Hicks and other aides, who learned about elections law while working in Ohio's secretary of state's office under Mr. Taft in the 1990s, headed to Florida to help with the recount.


Mr. Hicks remained in close contact with the Bush administration, regularly receiving e-mails from David Rachelson, the White House's former associate political director in Ohio, about administration appearances in Ohio. The same e-mails were often sent to Ms. Carroll and Mr. Whatman.

On Feb. 27, 2003, White House aide Collister "Coddy" Johnson sent them an e-mail about a conference call on the 2004 election cycle.

A month later, Mr. Johnson forwarded them an analysis from a University of Maryland professor that showed counties in Ohio where the Bush campaign in 2004 could pick up more votes than in 2000.

The analysis found that Lucas County was among the counties where the Bush campaign could pick up the most votes in the 2004 election.

Mr. Noe was chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in northwest Ohio. Mr. Bush received 87,160 votes in Lucas County last year - 13,818 more than in 2000.

Mr. Noe cited turnout efforts throughout northwest Ohio as a major factor for Mr. Bush carrying Ohio over John Kerry.

On June 2, 2003, David Payne, who is director of appointments to boards and commissions for Mr. Taft, wrote an e-mail to Ms. Carroll: "Brian said that I should work with you to schedule a time for me to sit down with him to discuss Bush/Taft chairs."

On July 15, 2003, Mr. Taft announced that Mr. Hicks would resign as chief of staff at the end of the month.

A week after the announcement, Mr. Hicks - still serving on the governor's staff - was in Washington to visit Ohio congressmen, U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, and Ken Mehlman, who was Mr. Bush's campaign manager in the 2004 race.

Earlier in 2003, an Ohio political strategy session with Mr. Mehlman, Mr. Johnson, and possibly Karl Rove, the architect of Mr. Bush's campaigns, was on the agenda for Ms. Carroll and Mr. Noe after the White House's celebration of Ohio State University's national championship football team.


More: http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050710/NEWS24/507100451
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