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Fritz Wenzel (of T.Blade + Coingate fame) Now Working for Zogby

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-07-06 07:06 PM
Original message
Fritz Wenzel (of T.Blade + Coingate fame) Now Working for Zogby
Weird...He allegedly suppresses Coingate story prior to the '04 Election in Ohio and is now working for Zogby. What's up with this?

Saving Ohio

Did a reporter with GOP ties suppress a story that could have cost Bush the White House?

By Bill Frogameni

Pages 1 2

October 6, 2005 | In April 2005, the Blade newspaper of Toledo, Ohio, began publishing a remarkable series of articles about a well-connected Republican donor, Tom Noe, chair of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign for Lucas County, which encompasses Toledo. The Blade, which had won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting in 2004, discovered that Noe, a Toledo coin dealer, was investing $50 million for the state through the novel practice of coin speculation: buying and selling rare coins to turn a profit. Noe, the Blade revealed, could not account for $10 million to $13 million in the fund.

The paper also divulged that Noe had been placed under federal investigation for allegedly laundering money -- perhaps state money -- to the Bush campaign. The Blade's initial reports on Noe started a chain reaction of related scandals for Ohio's dominant Republicans. Recently, Gov. Bob Taft pleaded no contest to accepting several gifts from influence peddlers -- including Noe -- without reporting them, as law requires. Noe is currently the subject of 13 investigations.

In November 2004, Lucas County was among the most hotly contested areas in the most hotly contested state. Kerry won the county by 45,000 votes, but George W. Bush went on to win Ohio by less than 120,000 votes, which swung the election for him.

But Bush's reelection may have been made possible by a Blade reporter with close ties to the Republican Party who reportedly knew about Noe's potential campaign violations in early 2004 but suppressed the story.

According to several knowledgeable sources, the Blade's chief political columnist, Fritz Wenzel, was told of Noe's potential campaign violations as early as January 2004. But according to Blade editors, Wenzel never gave the paper the all-important tip in early 2004.


Zogby International spokesman Fritz Wenzel said that was the case in July when Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Glenn Coin wrote a story about Vice President Cheneys visit to Utica for a fundraiser for Meier. Wenzel was quoted extensively in the article.
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-07-06 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why did Zogby hire him?
Sheer idiocy. How awful.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-07-06 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. He was also an Advisor to Jean Schmidt:
July 31, 2005

Schmidt Advisor Connected to Noe: It's Even More Money Than Reported


Atrios is linking to a report about a Toledo Blade editor connected to Ohio Coingate figure Tom Noe who Ohio Republican Congressional candidate Jeannette Schmidt is reported to have paid $60,000 in consulting fees the week he retired from The Blade. But that's not all of the money this guy's received from Schmidt. And there are some questions that should be asked.

First, what we're talking about, the original report from Editor and Publisher:

The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, is on top of the news- paper world, thanks to its "Coingate" reports (see p. 34). But while the paper is rightly thumping its chest with each new revelation, it's also coming under some scrutiny not for what it has printed, but for what it may not have. Rumors swirl around a veteran Blade scribe, former political reporter Fritz Wenzel. Nothing at all is proven, but it's worth recalling the dangers even if it's just in public perception of jumping from political campaigning to political reporting and back again.

Wenzel, a longtime GOP campaign worker in Oregon, spent 10 years on the Blade politics beat before returning to the world of political consulting in May, virtually the day after he left the paper. One of the key contacts he made along the way was the man now at the center of the Coingate accusations, Tom Noe, a major Republican fund-raiser who attended the wedding of Wenzel's son, P.J., a state GOP employee. Noe's wife, Bernadette, even praised Wenzel during a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner this spring. "It was obvious that was a Republican, he never hid the fact," Dennis Lang, interim chair of the Lucas County Republican Central Committee, told me last month. "But his work stayed in neutral ground."


So, there's lots to suggest that Wenzel was in a business and political client/consultant relationship with Schmidt well before he wrote his last column for the Toledo Blade. That's a serious problem for the credibility of the Blade. But it's also something The Blade, if it has contractual restrictions on the outside work that can be done by its reporters and editors, should look in to regarding Fritz Wenzel, because it's hard to believe he wasn't working for Schmidt until after he left his job with the newspaper.

He is a Republican Operative, what is he doing as a spokeman for Zogby?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-07-06 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R You'll never know how much I appreciate this. Coingate...
Edited on Thu Sep-07-06 10:13 PM by autorank
The Matrix of all scandal, the mack daddy, the ayatollah of rock and rollah!!!

This guy does get around. Zogby has some real 'splainin to do.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-07-06 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Hi Auto!
Edited on Thu Sep-07-06 10:30 PM by mod mom
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-12-06 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. Polls for hire
I guess the GOP had to buy out one of the few remaining reliable pollsters.

BTW, Toledo Blade has also been softpedaling the Coingate Trial and trying to gin up a faux scandal against Dems.

Rove has spent a lot of time in Toledo during the last few months. What a shame to see one of the last great newspapers fall to GOP influence.
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