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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

OH-Gov: Beyond Coingate

Posted by DavidNYC

Pounder at Kos gives us the latest update on the nearly insane Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation scandal. Known around most parts as "Coingate," it's gone way, way beyond coins now:

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation admitted today that it lost $215 million in a high-risk fund that few people knew about.

The bureau had invested $355 million with a Pittsburgh investment firm, MDL Capital Management, beginning in 1998.

But last year, after diverting $225 million into a fund that works like a hedge fund, the fund lost $215 million. Although the bureau has known about the loss since last year, Gov. Bob Taft was notified about it today.

Wow. I think this bolsters my speculation of a few days ago, namely that it is a certainty that other similar state funds (pension, workers comp, what have you) around the country are being mismanaged if not looted. The only reasons the Ohio scandal was brought to light was because of the highly unusual investment vehicle in question (coins), and the diligent work of the Toledo Blade. (Nice to have a tiny bit of my faith in the media restored for once.) But I have no doubt that other funds need investigating, too. Local media outlets would do well to focus their energies on hometown funds - mismanagement of public money is always an attention-grabbing story.

Pounder also informs us that a Coingate protest is being organized to coincide with Bush's visit to Columbus on Thursday:

President Bush is coming to town - and refusing to give back all of Tom Noe's dirty campaign money! Help tell Ohioans that the days of 'pay-to-play' politics are over!

When: Thursday, June 9th - 9AM to 11AM
Where: 740 East 17th Avenue across from the Ohio Expo Center (If this location is blocked due to security, please go to the secondary location: The McDonald's at the corner of Clara Ave and E. 17th Ave) - Columbus, OH
Why: A counter event (protest) to President Bush's visit. There will be lots of pre-made signs to wave at the site.

Sounds like fun!

Posted at 09:53 PM in Ohio | Technorati


Wow -- what can I say? And to think I just started a job that offers a state pension fund instead of social security. Is any of this $215 million going to Republican campaigns.

I also just read about the near-deadly attack on a whistleblower at Los Alamos. It seems we are moving into a government of entrenched corruption and I suspect the worst stink is coming from the fish's head.

Three years ago, a colleague said that George Bush would go down in history as the "most corrupt president this Century." Several weeks later, I was talking to this same colleague and assumed he was a Democrat. Turns out he was an active Republican ...

With the deep level of cynicism and the "Scandal of the day" mentlaity of the media, it seems most of our population has come to accept this behavior. Its time for Democrats, like Elliot Spitzer, to become the "clean government" party. I wonder how it is possible to mobilize people, such as the Progressive movement once did. We really need to provide an alternative.

Posted by: mcittone [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 12:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment