If Ohio Republicans were worried after Paul Hackett gave them a scare in what should have been an extraordinarily safe congressional district, the news coming out of Columbus today won't be making them feel any better. The state's Republican governor, Bob Taft, will be indicted today for failing to report golf outings and possibly other favors he has received while in office.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the four misdemeanor charges against Taft arise out of an investigation into the dealings of Thomas W. Noe, a coin dealer and prominent Republican campaign contributor Taft appointed to the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Turnpike Commission. Noe, who served as chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in northwest Ohio, is under investigation for losing as much as $13 million in rare coin investments in funds he controls for the state, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
According to the Canton Repository, Taft will be charged with failing to report golf outings and other gifts on financial disclosure forms as required by Ohio law. Taft has said that any failure to make required disclosures was inadvertent. The governor declined to say Wednesday whether he is considering resignation. But even before news of the charges was released, Taft wasn't winning any popularity contests in the state: In a recent poll, only 17 percent of Ohioans said they approved of the job their governor was doing.