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Ohio governor downplays snooper’s blatant misuse of office

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 10, 2008 04:47 PM

Ohio Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland first told us there was noooooooo reason whatsoever to believe that the raids on Joe The Plumber’s records were at all political.

He maintained that position even after it was revealed that snooper Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the state Department of Job and Family Services, was a max contributor to Barack Obama’s campaign.

He maintained that position even after a state whistleblower came forward, contradicted her supervisors, and said she was ordered to rummage through Joe The Plumber’s records.

And he maintains that position even after newspaper public records requests show that Jones-Kelley was
possibly using a state computer and e-mail account for political fundraising.

Gov. Strickland commented this afternoon that this was merely an isolated incident. Nothing to see here, move along:

“I don’t want to minimize what may have happened here,” Strickland told reporters today. “But worst-case scenario, there is no evidence of any systematic, wide-spread abuse of government resources.”

Strickland placed Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the state Department of Job and Family Services, on paid leave Friday after e-mails requested by The Dispatch showed that she possibly used a state computer and e-mail account for political fundraising. Strickland has asked Inspector General Thomas P. Charles to investigate.

Other members of Strickland’s administration did work for the Obama campaign, but when asked whether he’s checking into any other possible misuse of state resources, the governor replied, “I have no reason to believe that that would be necessary or called for.”

He’s got “no reason to believe” and every reason to cover up.

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