Former GOP fundraiser Tom Noe has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he illegally funneled donations to President Bush's re-election campaign.
Tom Noe, from Toledo, says he decided to plead guilty to --quote -- "spare my family and many dear friends" the ordeal of a trial. Prosecutors say Noe gave $45,000 to 24 friends and associates, who then made campaign contributions in their own names. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges in October. Noe also faces state charges of stealing from a $50-million coin investment that he managed for the state workers' compensation fund.