And more on Brunner’s take-over of Cuyahoga County…

2004 Election Illegalities Rock Ohio’s Hocking Co.
Monday, 2 April 2007, 2:12 pm
Article: Bob Fitrakis
More Potential 2004 Election Illegalities Rock Ohio’s Hocking County As Cleveland Braces For A Legal Firestorm
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
March 30, 2007
As the third of four members of the Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County Board of Elections resigns under pressure from Ohio’s new Secretary of State, additional potential illegalities in Hocking County have resurfaced with new weight against a GOP executive director already under serious fire.

The four members of the Cuyahoga BOE have been asked to resign by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat elected in November, 2006. Brunner has issued a stinging five-point complaint, much of which derives from the report done by U.S. Congressman John Conyers in the wake of the 2004 presidential election, and on reporting done at and research by grassroots election protection activists.
The two Democratic members of the board have already resigned. On March 27, Sally D. Florkiewicz, a Republican, became the third to depart the board. Her departure leaves just Robert Bennett, the BOE chair, clinging to his position. Bennett also chairs the Ohio Republican Party, and has long been one of the state’s most powerful politicians, with close ties to the White House. Many believe Bennett was the key point person, along with then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, in the theft of Ohio’s 2004 presidential election. Karl Rove is widely believed to have personally persuaded Bennett to stay on at the Cleveland-area BOE through the election.

Bennett’s position mirrors that of Tom Noe, former chair of the Lucas County (Toledo) BOE, once known as northern Ohio’s “Mr. Republican.” Like Bennett, Noe had close personal ties to George W. Bush and Ohio Governor Robert Taft. Taft, who left office earlier this year after his public approval ratings sank as low as 7%, pleaded no contest to four misdemeanors involving favors taken from Noe. Noe has since been convicted of a wide range of crimes ranging from illegal campaign contributions to the mishandling of state funds. He is now in prison.

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