Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Day Tax Party , Tax Day Tea Party FOX Faux News Day.

Tea Day Tax Party , Tax Day Tea Party FOX  Faux News Day.



Homeland Security Warns Of Growing Right-Wing Extremism


If You Have The Stomach For It Use This Link To Keep Up With Today’s Tepid Tea News.


Be sure to check out NetRight Nation throughout the day today with news on all of the Tea Parties that are happening across the country.  Don't forget to check out the Tea Party page where every blog post is aggregated on Tea Parties.  Here are today's top stories on NetRight Nation and other relevant information:


Veterans Upset That Tea Baggers Plan To Hold Their Anti-Obama Protest At A Veterans Memorial

Veterans Upset That Tea Baggers Plan To Hold Their Anti-Obama Protest At A Veterans Memorial In Kansas

Tomorrow, conservatives around the country will be holding Tax Day tea parties. Although “tea” technically stands for “taxed enough already,” Fox News’s Glenn Beck — one of the main promoters of the event — has insisted they’re about spending, not taxes. Previous tea parties have attracted protesters who called for impeaching Obama while slurring the President’s name as “Obama Bin Lyin.”

Nevertheless, tea party organizers continue to insist that tomorrow’s events will be bipartisan. (Even though so far, no Democratic elected official has agreed to participate, compared to at least 38 GOP lawmakers.) 
However, a group of veterans in Kansas isn’t buying the spin, as Kansas Jackass points out.

Tomorrow, tea baggers in Pittsburg, KS, plan to hold their protest at the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial Amphitheater.
 Speaking at that event will be Rep. Lynne Jenkins (R-KS). Veterans are expressing concerns at having a partisan event on this “hallowed ground“:

– “It’s everybody’s right to have a protest, 
but our complaint is that it’s at the Veterans Memorial. Most people think of the Veterans Memorial as a sacred place. It’s a place to reflect, to remember why we’re here today and the people who have sacrificed for that.” [Bob Torbett, director of the American Legion Riders and a member of the Kansas Patriot Guard]

I’m not so sure the Veterans Memorial is the appropriate place for a tax protest.” [Charles Heath, Commander of American Legion Post 64]

This is something that really upset me. The Veterans Memorial, as far as I’m concerned, is hallowed ground. To have a partisan, political ‘tea party’ there really offends my sensibilities.” [Bob Torbett, veteran of the Korean War]

When asked for comment, Jenkins’s spokesperson said that while the congresswoman has the “utmost respect” for veterans, “What’s going on in Washington now, with spending and taxes, affects everyone – from veterans to small businesses and single moms and working families. The congresswoman feels it’s important to talk about these issues.”

John Minton, head of the Crawford County Republican Party, defended the tea baggers, saying that they were probably having their protest at the amphitheater because it was one of the few places in the country that “could accommodate a large crowd.”

ontd_political: Veterans Upset That Tea Baggers Plan To Hold Their ...
By Milton Hong 
And on what grounds exactly do they want to impeach Obama? Because ... they disagree with him? That's ... not how democracy works. I feel like all this shit has just shown how very very little the everyday conservative actually knows or ...
ONTD: Politics -


Bullshit! (Ed.)


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An American Revolution

By Robert Romano

“I was tired of seeing all the irresponsible spending going on with the 'stimulus' and the omnibus, and from back in last September going forward under both Presidents, under all the Congressmen and Senators. They're spending money that we don't have.”—Toby Marie Walker, Waco, TX, on why she joined the tea party movement.

The tea party movement sweeping the nation today is a genuine American revolution amid growing alarm over the insolvency of banks, creditors, the financial system, and the public treasury at large. And like the rebellion for liberty of some 233 years ago, this one promises to reweave the very political fiber of the nation.

“I am angry at the politicians because they betrayed us, and the Constitution,” says Tanya Bachand of New Haven, Connecticut. “They punish the producers, and praise the takers. Not one of them stands up for those of us who toil away everyday to pay to take care of those who can't or won't do for themselves.”

Fox & Friends' Carlson failed to disclose tea party organizer's GOP ties
During an interview with Atlanta tea party organizers Jenny Beth and Lee Martin on 
Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson did not point out that Jenny Beth Martin has been a paid Republican consultant. Read More

In reporting on tea parties, CNN, MSNBC hosts target Fox News
In reporting on the tea party protests, MSNBC and CNN hosts have targeted Fox News for criticism over its aggressive promotion of the upcoming events. 
Read More


Homeland Security Warns Of Growing Right-Wing Extremism

If you think the conservative "Tea Party" movement is daunting, take a look at a new report issued by the Department of Homeland Security that says right-wing extremism is on the rise throughout the country.

In the report (a full copy of which is below), officials warn that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country's first black president to recruit new members to their cause.

In the intelligence assessment issued to law enforcement last week, Homeland Security officials said there was no specific information about an attack from right-wing extremists in the works.

The agency warns that an extended economic downturn with real estate foreclosures, unemployment and an inability to obtain credit could foster an environment for extremists to recruit new members who may not have been supportive of these causes in the past.

In November, law enforcement officials were seeing more threats and unusual interest against then- President-elect Barack Obama than ever before.

Think Progress notes some key take-aways from the report:

Anti-immigration: “Rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.”

Recruiting returning vets: “Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

Gun-related violence: “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms...may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.”

The report is getting a lot of push back from angry conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin:

By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear. As the two spokespeople I talked with on the phone today made clear: They both pinpointed the recent "economic downturn" and the "general state of the economy" for stoking "rightwing extremism." One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report -- which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified "resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity" is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and...the historical presidential election.

Moe Lane from asks "Are you a Rightwing Extremist, too?":

Why? Well, it's a document that discusses the potential threats that we can expect from "rightwing extremists" (no hyphen, for some reason) in the coming months; there's the usual stuff about guns, illegal immigration, and disgruntled war veterans, plus the new wrinkle of our having elected an African-American President. The report concludes, unsurprisingly, that we have to worry more about "lone wolves and small terrorist cells" than anything else.


Janet Napolitano:  The Police Foce Against YOU:  A report from DHS, which was exposed by the Washington Times, indicates that conservative and libertarian activists are in trouble.  This report could not have come out at a better time.  One day before hundreds of Tea Parties are to take place, conservative and libertarian activists have been labeled as a threat by the Department of Homeland Security.

Read The Whole Report Here:

During the April 14 edition of Fox News' Your World, guest host David Asman repeatedly criticized the Obama administration over the conclusion by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis that "rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat." Asman stated that he thought the report "was insulting, what it was implying about veterans because it focuses attention on a very small minority of people within the veteran community" and that he was "wondering if all this isn't just a desire on part of the administration to shut up its critics, wherever they are." But at no point during the segment did Asman note that as evidence for its conclusion, the DHS cited a 2008 FBI report -- authored during the Bush administration -- that stated, in the words of the DHS, that "some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups."

In the July 2008 report, titled "White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11," the FBI's Counterterrorism Division found with "[h]igh confidence" that "[m]ilitary experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement as the result of recruitment campaigns by extremist groups and self-recruitment by veterans sympathetic to white supremacist causes." The FBI further found with "moderate confidence":

Timothy McVeigh, the Radical Right and Glenn Beck

Just like Pat Robertson brought anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in to the "mainstream" of the conservative movement and the Republican party, Glenn Beck is conveying the language and ideas of radical right conspiracy theories that helped inspire Timothy McVeigh and bringing them through basic cable in to the hearts and minds of viewers across the country. Does Beck realize that he's now channeling the inspirations of Timothy McVeigh? Maybe, maybe not. But to invoke an old conservative concept, ideas have consequences. And right now, Glenn Beck is peddling the rhetoric and ideas of the violent radical right that helped inspire the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history.

FreedomWorks' Long History Of Teabagging


By Brian Beutler - April 14, 2009, 1:40PM We haven't written much about the Tea Party Movement, because it's always seemed fairly blown out of proportion. ...


Message to Ben Stein: You're Wrong About Tea Parties, Taxes, Other ...

Seeking Alpha -Ben Stein wrote a piece on Sunday called, “When a Cure Fights Itself”. Mr. Stein is always worth reading. The link to his article is here. ...

freedomworks: Pay No Attention To...Us...Behind The Curtain


In Other News 

Chamber of Commerce Admits They Accept Bailout Money to Fund Anti ...
By Adam Green 
Lawrence Lessig and Joe Trippi to reform congressional elections and special-interest influence on Congress. Adam formerly served as Director of Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for ... PEEK -


The American Spectator : Fighting Frankenstein
By Matthew Vadum 
I just read an article in Politico on the agenda of, which explains their new agenda, now that the most liberal politician in our history has been elected President. Got me thinking of what it would look like if the "right" ...
The American Spectator and AmSpecBlog -


Noam Chomsky on the Global Economic Crisis, Healthcare, US Foreign Policy and Resistance to American Empire

Democracy Now!

Chill the Champagne : The Bush Six to Be Indicted

By Scott Horton

April 14, 2009 "Daily Beast" -- Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo.

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge.

The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.” The case arises in the context of a pending proceeding before the court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards formerly held at Guantánamo. A group of human-rights lawyers originally filed a criminal complaint asking the court to look at the possibility of charges against the six American lawyers. Baltasar Garzón Real, the investigating judge, accepted the complaint and referred it to Spanish prosecutors for a view as to whether they would accept the case and press it forward. “The evidence provided was more than sufficient to justify a more comprehensive investigation,” one of the lawyers associated with the prosecution stated.

But prosecutors will also ask that Judge Garzón, an internationally known figure due to his management of the case against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and other high-profile cases, step aside. The case originally came to Garzón because he presided over efforts to bring terrorism charges against the five Spaniards previously held at Guantánamo. Spanish prosecutors consider it “awkward” for the same judge to have both the case against former U.S. officials based on the possible torture of the five Spaniards at Guantánamo and the case against those very same Spaniards. A source close to the prosecution also noted that there was concern about the reaction to the case in some parts of the U.S. media, where it had been viewed, incorrectly, as a sort of personal frolic of Judge Garzón. Instead, the prosecutors will ask Garzón to transfer the case to Judge Ismail Moreno, who is currently handling an investigation into kidnapping charges surrounding the CIA’s use of facilities as a safe harbor in connection with the seizure of Khalid el-Masri, a German greengrocer who was seized and held at various CIA blacksites for about half a year as a result of mistaken identity. The decision on the transfer will be up to Judge Garzón in the first instance, and he is expected to make a quick ruling. If he denies the request, it may be appealed.


Spain Bush Officials Indictment: Obama "Collecting Information," Spain Leaves Door Open

by Ralph Lopez

Harper's Magazine's Scott Horton has reported that although the decision to commence prosecution of six former Bush administration officials for torture was delayed until a meeting between Obama and Spanish leaders was over, the Obama administration has been keeping close tabs:,-Spain-Leaves-Door-Open


Kevin Coughlin threatens suit on Scene Magazine over sex story, Scene fires reporter

Scene reporter James Renner was fired today over a story he’d been pursuing on Republican State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Coughlin.  I received this email from James Renner today, and reprint it with his permission.   After the email is the story Scene Magazine killed in response to Coughlin’s lawyers sending lawsuit threats.  

Hi there. My name is James Renner and up until this morning, I was a staff writer for Cleveland Scene. I was fired this morning because I wrote an email to the CEO of the media conglomerate that now owns Scene, Matt Haggerty, in which I warned him that spiking stories because they are afraid of being sued is a good way to destroy a newspaper.

Since last November, I have been working on a story about state senator Kevin Coughlin, who is now running for governor. When Coughlin learned of the story, he threatened several of my sources–some with violence–and then had his lawyer send Scene’s management a number of letters threatening lawsuits. In February, I took part in a conference call during which I was asked to confirm an affair. I confirmed the affair but the story was still spiked.

As Scene has had a long history of publishing similar stories, I believe this story was spiked solely because Coughlin threatened to sue. I was told we “cannot afford a lawsuit right now”. 

I certainly hope it is not because Coughlin is a Republican, because we recently published cover stories on democrats including Marc Dann and Bill Mason, which were just as hard-hitting.

I want to be clear that Scene’s editor Frank Lewis and Publisher Matt Fabyan tried very hard over the past few days to save my job. This was not their decision. Haggerty was unrelenting. “It’s a bell that cannot be unrung” he said. It’s a shame we did not know Times Shamrock lacked courage before Fabyan brought them in on the merger. I fear for the future of that paper. Once people realize all they have to do is threaten a lawsuit in order to get them to spike a story, I wonder what there will be left to write about. Certainly, investigative journalism, to a large extent, is dead there.

I intend to file a wrongful termination lawsuit soon. In the meantime, I’m open to talking about this. Feel free to contact me.

I am attaching the story on Coughlin which Scene spiked. I feel it’s important that people better understand the character of a man who wants to lead Ohio. Feel free to use it as you desire.


The Real Kevin Coughlin

The Article Scene Spiked

By James Renner


State Senator Kevin Coughlin is the father of two adorable girls whom he showcases on his campaign website and literature. He sits on the board of directors at a camp for seriously ill children, and is a past “Advocate of the Year” for the American Cancer Society. He looks like a Scoutmaster, with his thick hair and ready smile, the type of guy you trust innately. This is the Kevin Coughlin many voters know, a handsome young conservative. This image has served him well through more than 12 years in public office — he’s never lost a race — and in January, he announced his intention to run for governor in 2010.

But some paint a much different picture of Coughlin — that of a behind-the-scenes schemer and hypocrite.

In February, two detectives visited the Summit County Board of Elections as part of an investigation into Coughlin. At issue is whether Coughlin illegally altered petitions that were circulated when his faction of the county Republican party tried to orchestrate a coup against longtime boss Alex Arshinkoff. Coughlin’s vague denials at a board hearing in January failed to put the matter to rest, and criminal charges are not out of the question.

Another accusation, not involving allegations of criminal behavior but potentially more damaging to his reputation, involves an extramarital affair. Sources say that during the summer of 2004, perhaps longer, he carried on a relationship with a younger woman. At the time she was a 24-year-old employee of the University of Akron, an attractive brunette who had worked on Coughlin’s campaign for State Senate. He was the 34-year-old, married, handsome rising star of the Summit County GOP — smart and ambitious, but also prone to blowing off campaign appointments to spend time with his girlfriend.

Five years later, as he attempts to lead his “New Republicans” away from the pack, this affair is coming back to haunt him. Coughlin claims that anonymous tips that Scene has investigated have come from Arshinkoff’s camp. Arshinkoff declined to comment about his rival.

Coughlin’s political career began in 1996 when, as a first-time candidate at the age 26, he won a four-way Republican primary for the Cuyahoga Falls’ state representative seat being vacated by long-time incumbent Democrat Wayne Jones. Though he had little more than a masters in Public Administration under his belt, Coughlin had timing on his side; nationally, Republicans were ascendant, thanks to Newt Gingrich, and Coughlin’s name was recognized in Summit County, thanks to Stow Mayor Donald Coughlin (who’s actually not related and pronounces it differently). Defying the odds, Coughlin won.

In Columbus, one of his first moves was to close loopholes that helped some men avoid domestic violence charges, which won him immediate bipartisan support from constituents. But before long he would become known for more predictably conservative positions, a hard-nosed political style and a penchant for secrecy.

When he fought to maintain the Republican hold on the 46th District seat in 1998, Coughlin refused to sign an ethics pledge that others had embraced; he disagreed with requests to provide campaign finance statements on the Internet. In 1999, he joined 50-some other members of the House in voting to exempt themselves from a new public records law that required all candidates for state office to submit campaign finance reports electronically.

That same year he sponsored House Bill 305, which would have allowed patients to be treated by physical therapists without first getting a prescription. When reporters learned that his wife was a practicing physical therapist, he attacked the media for making a big deal out of the appearance of impropriety.

He was elected to the State Senate in 2001. In ’03, a Plain Dealer editorial scolded him for chairing a Senate committee that met in secret to discuss plans to bring slot machines to Ohio.

Over time, Coughlin showed a greater willingness to brandish his status as an elected official to get his way. In 2005, he wrote a letter to Time Warner Cable suggesting the company send money to a campaign that was fighting an elections-reform effort. At the time, Coughlin also sat on the Senate committee that wrote regulatory policy for Time Warner Cable.

When school officials kicked his campaigners out of a Cuyahoga Falls high school football game in 2006, Coughlin shot off an obliquely threatening e-mail to the school board: “As a matter of policy, it is unwise to target a member of the legislature for such an action,” he warned. “I take little offense to it, but a legislator of lesser temperament may have carried that with him when considering policies impacting the Falls schools.”

He used the legislature as a weapon against Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart, too. After Robart supported Alex Arshinkoff during Coughlin’s very public battle to unseat the GOP boss in 2007, Coughlin tried to pass a bill that would make it impossible for Robart to create a mayor’s court in his town.

There are two Kevin Coughlins, some say: The ambitious, idealistic reformer who went to Columbus and the jaded, selfish man who came back.

“At first, he was good, he was fun to hang out with,” says one former staffer. “But then he changed.”

“Kevin and I have had a long relationship,” says former state representative Jim Trakas. “He’s hardworking. Motivated. He tries hard to be a good, effective legislator, but … Kevin is a complex guy. He’s burned a lot of bridges over the years. He’ll have a tough time getting the support he needs now, to run for governor.”

In 2004, Coughlin voted for a same-sex marriage ban that also prohibited domestic partners from receiving state benefits through their lover’s employer. But allegations about his own behavior call into question his commitment to the sanctity of matrimony.

In October, Scene received an anonymous e-mail claiming Coughlin had an affair with a campaign worker. “This individual consistently portrays himself in the public as the arbiter of family values,” the e-mailer wrote. The tipster stopped short of naming the alleged mistress, but identified her former roommate and the roommate’s parents.

The roommate confirms the affair. The roommate says that Coughlin and Andrea Wlaszyn met when she was an undergraduate student at the University of Akron and Coughlin was her instructor.

By the summer of 2004, Coughlin was spending a lot of time at Wlaszyn’s apartment at the Village Green complex in Akron, says the roommate. Sometimes, Coughlin and Wlaszyn disappeared into a bedroom; the roommate could hear them having loud sex. Wlaszyn also allegedly shared hotel rooms with Coughlin on trips to Columbus, too. Other times, he sprung for a room at the Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton, says the roommate.

At least two neighbors at Village Green noticed Coughlin’s SUV, with personalized plates, parked in the apartment’s lot for hours at a time. Some recognized him.

 “He was clearly out of his element,” says Nate Longstreth, who lived with his girlfriend in the apartment that faced Paramour’s. “I saw him walk in one time wearing this pastel polo shirt and khakis. He came alone. [Wlaszyn] let him in. Later, I asked [the roommate] what was going on and she told me, ‘Yeah, that’s Kevin Coughlin. He’s banging my roommate.’ I told the roommate to go public with it, but she didn’t want to hurt her friend.”

When Coughlin learned of Scene’s investigation in October 2008, he immediately threatened to sue. “This is based, I presume, on the same rumors that Alex Arshinkoff has spread down here for four years,” he said in a voice mail for Scene publisher Matt Fabyan. “He’s been peddling this story ever since he hit on me.” He also sent this reporter an e-mail from his private account, pleading his case: “In the immortal words of Paul Newman, why would I go out for hamburger, when I have filet mignon at home?”

The next day, Scene received an e-mail from Ron Kopp of the Akron law firm Roetzel & Andress. “The allegation is false and would be defamatory if published,” the letter stated. “If you have contacted any alleged paramour, the Senator is confident that that person would deny any unseemly relationship — since none existed.”

On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, Coughlin’s “New Republicans” met at a hotel in Fairlawn to discuss their agenda for the future of Summit County politics. It was there that I got the opportunity to speak directly to Coughlin about the affair.

“I don’t have any extra-marital affair going on,” Coughlin said, using the present tense to address a question about 2004. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. This is bizarre.”

Coughlin admitted to speaking with Wlaszyn’s roommate, though, after she had talked to me. He wouldn’t say what the conversation had been about.

When asked why his SUV may have been parked outside the apartment at odd hours, Coughlin said, “If you’re talking about the apartments over on West Market, I’ve had a staffer that lived there before and I’ve done drop-offs and pick-ups for the Bush campaign back in ’04. That’s the only time I’ve ever been there.” Some of the drop-offs may have been quite late at night, he added. “Well, during the campaign, I might have dropped someone off there at 1 a.m. but generally, no, I’ve never gone in there.

“You can poke around all you want,” he said finally. “There’s no paramour out there, there’s nothing tawdry. I have nothing to hide. I have a good strong marriage and that’s not going to change.”

At the end of the meeting, several Republicans took this reporter’s card. The next day, someone sent more information about Wlaszyn, via Facebook. She lives in an apartment complex in Brimfield.

On January 23, she answered her door in a white bathrobe, her hair dry, her face made-up. She was instantly recognizable from the picture the University of Akron had published in an in-house publication, but when asked, she denied being herself: “No, I’m sorry, I don’t know when she’ll be back.” When I said I knew who she was, she said, “Now is not a good time for me.”

Asked about the affair, she would only say, “There’s nothing to talk about. There’s nothing to discuss.” When asked if Coughlin was inside, she shut the door.

I then parked on the street and waited. About 10 minutes later, she drove out of the complex, talking animatedly on her cell phone. I followed, and she drove to the Brimfield Police Department.

The report she filed verified her identity. The report states that she told the police chief that she had felt “threatened” because the reporter was “asking her personal questions that she did not feel comfortable answering.”

After she left, I entered the police station to give my version. Chief David Blough told me that no laws had been broken, but asked that I not follow the woman back to the apartment. I didn’t, and have not been back since.

Another letter from Coughlin’s attorney arrived shortly after this. Coughlin’s version of events, which could only have been relayed by Wlaszyn, gives a more salacious account of the episode in Brimfield: “The police held the reporter and told him not to set foot in her condo community or follow her again or he would be arrested.” Not true.

The lawyer warned that a lawsuit was probably going to be filed even if Scene did not publish a story, adding, “Prompt cessation of the harassing conduct may cause us to reassess.”

Coughlin’s campaign finance reports show that Paramour was paid for consulting work on his Senate campaign, in 2002. Even though he had two other full-time staffers, Mike Chadsey and Jeff Lehner, she was the only one paid directly by his campaign — $6,000.

Chadsey sometimes met Paramour and Coughlin at the Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton on days that Ohio State’s football team played at home. They each drove separately to the hotel but then traveled together to Columbus and back to the Sheraton. Records show that Coughlin paid for Ohio State football season tickets with money from his campaign fund. When Wlaszyn damaged her car, Coughlin paid for the repairs with campaign money, too —a legitimate expense, he says, claiming the damage occurred while she was dropping of campaign literature. But he refuses to provide receipts.

At the same time, Coughlin was expensing hotel rooms at the Sheraton for “staff accommodations.” A staffer who worked on his campaign says all staff was local and nobody needed a room. “I’ve been afraid of getting a call like this,” he said. “I think it’s slimy, what he did. I think it’s crazy a married adult man would be so open around town with a young woman.”

There were times when their relationship impacted his ability to campaign, the staffer said. During a day set aside to campaign in Copley, Coughlin instead spent the afternoon at Wolfcreek Winery with Wlaszyn. When asked where he’d been, he told a fellow political candidate that he’d been “canoodling” with her.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” says one former state representative. “And with Kevin, there’s so much smoke, there must be a towering inferno somewhere inside.”

Wlaszyn may not have been the only one. Former Coughlin staffers say that he let a legislative aide named Whitney Page go after his wife became jealous of their close relationship. Coughlin denies this. And according to two fellow state representatives who spoke on background, Coughlin once got into a public shouting match with Representative Ray Miller outside a committee room at the statehouse over their mutual attraction for Christina Cooney, a Democratic Caucus staffer.

Scene obtained Coughlin’s phone records through the State Senate. The documents show that in 2004, Coughlin frequently called both his wife and Wlaszyn’s cell phone before leaving the office at the end of the work day. For example, on December 8, 2004, at 4:57 p.m., Coughlin called home twice, then Wlaszyn’s cell phone five times, then home again for seven minutes, then four more calls to Wlaszyn’s cell.

After she was first contacted by Scene, the roommate informed Coughlin that she had been interviewed and what she had said. She would not elaborate on what they’d discussed, but noted, “I’m afraid of what might happen to me if you write about this.” She explained that in late 2004 or early ’05, she and Wlaszyn bumped into Coughlin and a friend of his at Brubakers in Montrose. The roommate says she joked openly about the affair. Coughlin called her later, she says, and told her she had “a big mouth” and that his friend had warned him that “the only way to shut her up is a bullet in the head.”

Coughlin’s friend confirmed to Scene that the chance meeting occurred, but denied saying anything threatening about the roommate.

Coughlin’s harassment of my sources continued into March. Last week, he sent an e-mail from his private account to a source that said: “The tabloid Scene has been trying to put together a hatchet job story on me for several weeks…” He also issues a thinly veiled threat to those who might talk to the paper: “Anticipating legal action, [my attorney] has repeatedly reminded Scene magazine of it’s [sic] obligations to save all records that will help lead us back to the source of the defamatory comments and allegations.”

Wlaszyn got a job working as the executive assistant for Republican Summit County Engineer Greg Bachman in December 2004, but Bachman insists she was not hired as a favor to Coughlin. However, he admits that Coughlin personally called him to recommend her for the $38,000 a year job. “She was very good at administrative things like Excel and managing databases,” he says.

Oddly, her first performance review, in 2005, specifically notes, “Needs to take Excel classes; needs basic understanding of personnel access database.”

By the time she was let go in January, after Bachman lost his bid for re-election, Wlaszyn had become an able liaison of the engineer’s office at City Counsel meetings and in the media, even if her dress was provocative at times. “Whatever I do next, if I can hire anyone, I’ll hire her,” says Bachman.

But allegations of infidelity and cronyism aren’t the most serious threats to Coughlin’s political future. In January, the Summit County Board of Elections sent information to the county sheriff and the county prosecutor suggesting that Coughlin committed a felony when he altered elections petitions in 2007.

When Coughlin made a play to unseat Arshinkoff as chairman of the Summit County GOP that year, a number of his supporters worked as “circulators” to gather signatures for New Republican allies so that they could run for positions on the Republican Central Committee and vote in their own chairman. It was a poorly organized coup against a man many in Akron call “Godfather.” Even before it had failed, Arshinkoff’s supporters were carefully double-checking the legitimacy of the petitions. Coughlin should have anticipated this. But it appears he hurriedly altered some petitions in an effort to keep the documents from being ruled invalid by the Board of Elections, possibly in violation of state law. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if his former roommate hadn’t been the guy whose job it was to review the documents.

Bryan C. Williams, Deputy Director of the Summit County BOE, noticed that someone had used a different pen to fill in portions of the petitions such as “number of signatures,” “party affiliation” and “precinct.” He recognized the handwriting as Coughlin’s — they had shared a hotel room in Columbus from 1997 through 2003, when Williams was working in the legislature (however, Coughlin often made excuses to stay extra nights at the hotel, alone.)

At issue is whether Coughlin’s circulators were present when he altered the petitions. If they were not, what he did was illegal.

In order to get to the bottom of this, the BOE held hearings on January 13, at which Coughlin’s circulators were ordered to appear by subpoena. Two of his circulators were suddenly stricken with bad memory and could not recall specifics. Another pleaded the Fifth (an odd choice, considering that there is no scenario in which they, themselves, broke any law; or perhaps not so odd, considering that this particular circulator was represented by Coughlin’s attorney). Two others said that they did not witness the alterations.

Coughlin was very careful to not admit to altering the petitions circulated by Jones and Davenport.

Republican BOE chairman Jack Morrison Jr.: “Well, did you fill out the word ‘Republican’ on that circulator statement?”

Coughlin: “I can’t say that I did.”

Morrison: “You don’t recognize that as your handwriting?”

Coughlin: “It may be, but I’m not going to stand here under oath and tell you that I did.”

Republican BOE member Brian K. Daley doesn’t believe much, if any, of Coughlin’s testimony. “Look, if the circulators were present, why didn’t he just have them fill it out?”

“I believe what he did was illegal,” says Williams. “Those petitions are akin to affidavits. To change any information on the documents without their prior knowledge or consent, I believe, is illegal.” A similar case that Williams recently investigated led to a felony indictment that was eventually pled down to a misdemeanor.

He will say this, though, “In the eight years we roomed together, I never saw any indication he was having an affair.”

That may prove to be small consolation if the prosecutor chooses to present the case to a Grand Jury.

What impact this probe — and his alleged affairs — may have on his bid for governor remain to be seen. But if Summit County politics is an indication, Coughlin is quickly running out of allies. The Rubber City, like state politics, is full of bridges, and Coughlin has done a good job of burning most of them.

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