The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Ohio Bureau of Workers' Comp:
Politicians and their friends feed at the trough

Jul 18, 2005

Hundreds of millions of dollars have disappeared from the Ohio Workers' Compensation fund in the past year.

Two-hundred fifteen million dollars were "lost" in a risky Bermuda hedge fund managed by a Pittsburgh-based investment company, MDL Capital Management.

Bureau of Workers' Compensation officials continued to pour tens of millions more dollars into the fund, even as the money was bleeding out the other end. And they continued to sing the praises of MDL and its president, Mark Lay. Lay himself gained more than two million dollars in fees from the fund.

On top of that, almost five million dollars have been lost from two American Express investment funds. Another 12 million dollars invested in two "rare coin funds" is missing. These funds were controlled by Tom Noe, a big fundraiser for Bush. Noe is under investigation, accused of funneling money to the campaign through illegal means.

Of course, Democrats in Ohio's legislature have been quick to make political hay out of the scandal, pointing out that all this money disappeared in a Republican-controlled bureau under a Republican governor. Several Republicans in the bureau have resigned or retired.

But have the Democrats cried out for all those responsible to be arrested for massive theft and fraud? Have they demanded that the money be replaced by any means necessary, to cover the needs of millions of Ohio workers?

Not on your life. They're joining the Republicans in state after state, suggesting that there is no money to pay for the services and programs the population needs.

Whether it's the Ohio Workers' Compensation Bureau, or politicians handing out huge tax breaks to corporations, or Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (a Democrat) taking vacations to the Bahamas on city money – all these politicians see government money as their own private slush fund, for them and their rich friends to swim around in.