Monday, July 18, 2005

More probes....

No, this is not some sci-fi post about aliens, but thanks to Steve, the wonderful founder of Distance, this article was brought to my attention.

Seems like my little corner of Ohio is not the only one involved in donations to campaign issues. (Still waiting for the grand jury ruling on the Tom Noe campaign donations to President Bush).

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Prosecutors are investigating a $10,000 check that a Republican political consultant who works for a voting-machine company handed to the director of the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The consultant, Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, visited elections director Matthew Damschroder in early 2004 on the same day that the county was opening bids for voter-registration software, Damschroder said.

"I'm here to give you $10,000," Damschroder recalled Gallina saying. "Who do I make it payable to?"

"Well, you're certainly not going to make it out to me," Damschroder said he told Gallina, who represents Diebold Election Systems. "But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a donation."

Gallina wrote the check and Damschroder said he mailed it to the county party.
Diebold didn't get the software contract, and Damschroder said he never recommended the company.

But Damschroder said he should not have taken the check.

"The crux of the issue is whether there was an attempt to bribe an official to influence the board," said Michael Colley, a Republican member of the election board.

What makes this even more interesting is there are some claims that Ken Blackwell who is running for governor had some involvement in this.

How did this come to light?

Damschroder told prosecutors of Gallina's visit after his testimony was sought in a civil suit filed by one of Diebold's competitors, Election Systems and Software. ES&S charges that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell improperly favored Diebold in selecting electronic voting machines for use statewide.

Blackwell's spokesperson has denied any improper action, yet I don't think this will be the last time we hear about this. Will be interesting to see what the end result of the civil suit is.


Me4Prez said...

I find it hard to belive that Blackweel could be involved in some type of less than honorable deal. he has been a pillar of ethics

Lisa Renee said...

I know, me4, it's obviously some type of misunderstanding...