In case you haven’t been following the drama, has been actively fighting a plan by Governor Strickland to use race track slots to help fill a hole in the state budget.

The group has been using the courts to block the plan and delay its possible implementation until after the gubernatorial election in November.

The group was formed by former-Ken Blackwell staffers Carlo Loparo, Gene Piece and Norm Cummings and has received millions in funding from a shady DC-based group named New Models, which is also run by another former-Blackwell staffer named Tim Crawford.

Recently Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner subpoenaed asking them to reveal the true source of their funding.

Today Loparo and his pals took their battle back to the courts to try to avoid having to comply with the subpoena. According to the court documents they filed today claims that the Secretary of State “patently and unambiguously” is “without authority to issue these subpoenas? or to take any action to enforce the subpoenas.”

Back in 2004, the situation was reversed.

Back then Carlo Loparo was the spokesperson for Secretary of State Ken Blackwell – and it was Blackwell who was issuing the subpoenas and Loparo who was defending their legality.

Back in 2004 Scott Pullins and his Ohio Taxpayers Association (OTA) group were being targetted by Blackwell with a very similar request.

And when Pullins questioned the legality of a very similar subpoena request from SOS Blackwell, Loparo defended Blackwell claiming “the secretary of state is doing his duty to investigate campaign finance irregularities.”

“While I’d love to join Mr. Pullins at his pity party,” LoParo said, “we have a job to do and we want him to comply with our subpoena.”

So now that Carlo is throwing his own pity party, I have to ask: which is it, Mr. Loparo?

Does the Secretary of State’s office have the authority or doesn’t it?