Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Monday, October 23

Atty Gen: Montgomery (R) Ties to Noe Confirmed by Video

The Toledo Blade broke the story yesterday that the wife of former Republican fundraiser and power broker Tom Noe (he is presently on trial in state court in Toledo in connection with the Bureau of Workers Compensation/Coingate scandal) has in her possession a videotape from Noe's 50th birthday "roast" in 2004 that would be very embarrassing to several prominent Republican officials if made public. Ms. Noe's attorney showed parts of the videotape to former Ohio Democratic Party official Brian Rothenberg at the attorney's office in Columbus on September 27th, and Ms. Noe and her attorney met with ODP Chair Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) to discuss the videotape last May.

At the May meeting, Ms. Noe expressed disappointment with attorney general candidate Auditor Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg), who Ms. Noe said had been close to her husband but now acts as if she hardly knew him. Rothenberg reported that the videotape shows Montgomery telling childhood stories about Noe (including one about getting into trouble with the nuns in school) and talked about Noe's sister having been her sorority sister and friend in college. Rothernberg also said that Montgomery and Noe engaged in "genial banter."

Montgomery's opponent State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) has issued a press release linking this videotape to video of the swearing-in ceremony for Justice Judith Lanziger in January 2005, over which Noe presided as master of ceremonies and acknowledged a beaming Montgomery as "another old friend from northwest Ohio." Dann points out that Noe has contributed to Montgomery's campaigns and takes credit for getting her elected as attorney general, but for the last year and a half Montgomery has been denying that she and Noe were anything more than political or professional acquaintances. Dann asks, "how credible and trustworthy is someone who turns their back on a friend and supporter who played an important role in her political success because she is afraid that the truth may cost her votes?"

The videotape of the birthday roast also includes Republican Senator George Voinovich calling Noe his "consigliere" for northwest Ohio, and saying "you know what that means." For more details, and to sign a petition calling on Montgomery and Voinovich to come clean about the matter, visit the website of Rothenberg's new organization, ProgressOhio.org.

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