Bob Taft

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Robert Alphonso Taft II (born January 8, 1942) was the Republican governor of the U.S. state of Ohio from 1998-2006, when he retired due to term limits.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Taft attended Yale University and graduated in 1963. After Yale, he received a master of arts degree from Princeton University in 1967 and then a law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1976.

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Political career

Prior to his election as governor in 1998, Taft served as Ohio's secretary of state (19911998), Hamilton County commissioner (19811990), and in the state House of Representatives (19761981). In 1990, Taft was elected secretary of state, defeating incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown. In the 1994 election for Ohio secretary of state, Taft won re-election, defeating Democrat Dan Brady.

Taft won the 1998 Ohio gubernatorial race against Democrat Lee Fisher taking 50% of the vote to Fisher's 45% He was reelected in 2002, defeating Democrat Tim Hagan, taking 58% of the vote to Hagan's 38%. Since then his popularity was waned.

As of July 12, 2005, according to a poll, Taft has the lowest approval rating out of the 50 governors. His approval rating is only 17%, while his disapproval rating is 76%. Much of the reason lies in the odors of adminsitrative incompetence and political corruption that now cling to his tenure as governor.

Criminal charges

On August 17, 2005, Taft was charged with four criminal misdemeanors stemming from his alleged failure to disclose golf outings paid for by lobbyists. It is the first time an Ohio governor has ever been charged with a crime while in office. [1][2] At his arraignment in Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus on August 18, Taft pleaded no contest and was fined $4,000 plus court cost. Taft was also ordered to apologize to the people of Ohio as well as state workers. Although he could have been sentenced to maximum of 6 months in jail for each of the four counts, taft was not given jail time. Yalees are rarely sentenced to serve time in prison.

Among Taft's golfing buddies named by the Associated Press were were CSX Corp. executive John Snow and Akron based FirstEnergy Corp. executive Tony Alexander. Jack Abramoff is suspected to be the one who paid for the golf outings. The total value of the undisclosed gifts was approximately US$5,800.

Quod licet jovi, non licet bovi

Taft stated that he will not resign the office of Ohio governor. According to a news report in the August 18, 2005 The New York Times. Republican Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Joe Husted promised that an impeachment motion would not be passed in the Republican dominated state legislature. As the governor of Ohio Taft possesses the constitutional authority to fully and unconditionally pardon himself after a potential conviction.

Family connections

Taft's family has been involved in Republican politics for over a century. His great-great-grandfather Alphonso Taft was secretary of war, attorney general, and an ambassador; his great-grandfather William Howard Taft was president and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court; and his grandfather (Robert Alphonso Taft I) and his father (Robert Taft Jr.) were both U.S. senators. His first cousin, William Howard Taft IV currently serves as chief legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State. His uncle, William Howard Taft III was an ambassador. His great-grand-uncle Charles Phelps Taft was a U.S. representative from Ohio and for a time, an owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. His great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Rawson Taft, was a member of the Vermont legislature. Other prominent relatives include Seth Chase Taft, Charles Phelps Taft II, Peter Rawson Taft II, Henry Waters Taft, Walbridge S. Taft, and Horace Dutton Taft. Kingsley A. Taft was a U.S. senator from Ohio and chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Bob Taft is also related to current president George W. Bush through at least three different marriages, ranging from eighth-cousin-once-removed to 11th-cousin-once-removed, as well as being a ninth cousin of Vice President Dick Cheney (see Cousin chart to understand these terms).

See also

Sources

  • Jamese Dao Governor of Ohio is Charged With Breaking Ethics Law. The New York Times. August 18, 2005. Page A16.
  • Andrew Welsh-Huggins Ohio Governor Enter No Content Plea. Associated Press. August 18, 2005.

External links

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References

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