Friday, May 11, 2007

"pretty much aboveboard"

Ohio Republicans may be tired of the Toledo Blade, which has done a lot to cover the GOP's ongoing scandals in that state, including "Coingate." The latest Blade revelation, which Al Kamen notes today, is about Ohio Congressman Paul Gillmor. Gillmor bought a million-dollar house in the suburbs of Columbus, on an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. OK -- Gillmore, the 28th-richest member of the House, can certainly afford that. And it is legal, if stupid, to waste money on golf, too.

Turns out the house isn't in his district, but that's legal too. Although didn't the Ohio GOP threaten to try to stop Ted Strickland from running for Governor last fall based on some absurd problem that Strickland actually lived in a different house than his campaign said? But both houses were in Ohio, which seems to be relevant for running for Governor of that state...

But back to Gillmor. Funny thing about this legally purchased house, which isn't in his Congressional district (he has a condo in Tiffin but is rarely seen there, apparently) but that's legal too, is that the house is NOT in Gillmor's name. In fact, it is in the name of some company called Zenith Holding & Trading Corp., a subsidiary of a big Ohio lobbying firm, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. VSPS has a PAC, too, which over the past 10 years has kicked in $6,500 to Gillmor's campaigns.

Gillmor, when asked, said this was transparent because the Toledo Blade was able to trace ownership to him. Well, "transparent" might be if the house were actually in Gillmor's name. Gillmor also said this was all "pretty much aboveboard", which certainly meets or even exceeds Republican ethical standards.

What would the GOP and the right-wing noise machine do with this info if it were about a Democrat? I'm just asking, is all.


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