James Drew and Steve Eder with contributions from Mike Wilkinson, Christopher D. Kirkpatrick, Jim Tankersley, and Joshua Boak of The Blade report that the Ohio business leaders and lobbyists who contributed at least $4.1 million to President Bush's re-election campaign last year collected more than $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars for their companies and clients. The payback also featured choice appointments from state and federal officials, including an ambassadorship to Germany and a seat on the Ohio State University board of trustees. "The fund-raisers included Tom Noe, a former Toledo-area rare-coin dealer who is facing multiple investigations into the state's failed $50 million investment in rare-coin funds. " An analysis of a state expenditure database shows that the state of Ohio paid about $800 million to the companies and lobbying clients of Ohio's 30 Pioneers and Rangers during the last six years.
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