Terminator Keeps the Cash

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to keep $10,000 he received from an Ohio coin dealer linked to a possible multimillion-dollar fraud case, even though President Bush and other GOP leaders are treating similar donations as if they are radioactive.

Bush is sending back $4,000 he took from Tom Noe, a veteran GOP fund- raiser who is being investigated in connection with $12 million that may be missing from a rare-coins fund he managed for an Ohio state agency.

“There have been some serious allegations that have been raised against (Noe),” Scott McClellan, a spokesman for the president, told reporters Friday. “The president felt it was the right thing to return those contributions.”

Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine, Gov. Bob Taft and other GOP leaders and organizations will send back more than $80,000 they have received from Noe since 1990.

But Schwarzenegger, whose California Recovery Team cashed two $5,000 checks from Noe in March of last year, will be hanging onto that money, said Marty Wilson, who runs that political committee and the governor’s overall fund-raising effort.

“The allegations about Mr. Noe became public a year after we accepted his contribution,” Wilson said in a statement. “As he was an active Ohio Republican Party fund-raiser and donor, we had no reason at the time to question his contribution and have no intention of refunding the money.”

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