Unconfirmed Sources report that Ohio Governor Bob Taft has barricaded himself in the Governor’s mansion and is refusing to come out. Police and FBI have set up a perimeter and are trying to negotiate with the distraught lawmaker. Shots have been fired from the mansion and Taft has told police that he will serve out the rest of term as Governor, ‘come hell or high water’.
The armed stand off began late last night just before police were going to arrest Taft for failing to disclose gifts he had received. Taft had been tipped off that police where on the way and barricaded himself in the heavily fortified mansion. There is an unknown quantity of arms in the mansion and police are approaching the situation with great care.
Things began to unravel for Taft, the two term Governor, when he was swept up in a widening circle of corruption within the Ohio Republican Party. The Governor’s chief of staff has been arrested and Taft himself has been implicated in the theft of over $13 million from a state pension fund. Much of the money is believed to have been funneled into State GOP coffers and some was apparently sent to the George W. Bush re-election effort. Federal investigators have fanned out over Ohio and Washington D.C. to find the stolen money.
“This governor will finish his term, ” said press spokesman Mark Rickel, who spoke to the media just outside the police perimeter. “Bob has enough food and water to hold out for the whole 17 months and intends to stay in the mansion. He is determined to fulfill the obligation he owes to the citizens of Ohio and has no intention of letting an out of control legal system drive him from office.”
“He’s a crook.” Says Ohio citizen Brad Hammersmith, of the beautiful and picturesque town of Chillicothe Ohio. “I think he belongs in the state pen, with all his other crooked Republican buddies. I hope they find him guilty and haul is ass right out of that mansion and put him in chains.”
Mr. Hammersmith is not alone in his feelings about the Governor. Even before his latest troubles Taft, the great grandson of President William Howard Taft, was suffering from the lowest approval ratings of any Governor in the nation, 17%.
“I’m pretty confident that he should resign,” said Neil Clark, a top GOP strategist, who is known for his habit of understating bad news. “I don’t know how Governor Taft is going to rebuild the confidence of the people after being hauled off to jail.”