Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tom Noe the Tip of the Iceberg

Over the next four days the award-winning Toledo Blade, my old home-town paper, is going to rip the covers off the rest of the vile crew who "won" Ohio for the Shrub; the Repug anti-government loonies who backed Bush so they could milk the taxpayers for every possible dime while at the same time piously claiming that government should be "drowned in a bathtub." Sure, but only after it's totally and completely broke. A taste of what's to come:

They were executives, lobbyists, evangelical Christians, political veterans and rookies, and a rare-coin dealer from Maumee. They bankrolled a president.

Thirty Ohioans collected at least $4.1 million for George W. Bush's re-election campaign last year - exceeding Sen. John Kerry's entire take from the state. They raised $2.4 million more for the Republcan National Committee.

They are Ohio's "Pioneers" and "Rangers," President Bush's most prolific fund-raisers. Most Ohio voters have never heard of them, but the White House knows them well.

They have sat on crucial policy committees and won choice appointments. In the last five years, their firms have conducted more than a billion dollars of business with the state and the federal government.

One was Tom Noe.

Prepare to meet the rest.

And we do.

On April 24, 2003, the President announced his economic agenda at the Timken Co.'s research facility in Canton, Ohio.

"The greatest strength of the American economy is found right here, right in this room, found in the pride and skill of the American work force," the President said. "Here at Timken, last year, productivity rose 10 percent, which means that America can compete with any nation in the world because we got the finest workers in the world."

W.R. "Tim" Timken, Jr., who inherited the manufacturer's chairmanship in 1975, hosted Ohio fund-raisers for the President.

A Ranger in 2004, he became the U.S. Ambassador to Germany last month.

Even though Mr. Bush praised Timken Co. as an example of a thriving American business, the company had relied on government handouts worth $259 million since 2001.

In a 2003 claim to the federal government, Timken requested subsidies because France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, and even Romania "dumped" ball bearings on the American market. Timken reported damage in excess of $63 billion.

The U.S. government paid Timken $109 million in 2003, almost three times the company's profits.

Timken was the primary recipient of a 2000 federal anti-dumping and subsidy law, according to a September report by the Government Accountability Office.

The law was proposed by U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula (R., Navarre) in 1999. Timken is headquartered in his district.

Two weeks later, Ohio's Mike DeWine presented the legislation to the U.S. Senate. Mr. Regula and Mr. DeWine have received $30,700 and $46,750 respectively in contributions since 1989 from Timken employees and members of the Timken family.

Why do we call what we have now "capitalism?" In fact it's a form of socialism that profits only the wealthy.

This is going to be another award-winning series from The Blade. Check it out!

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