Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kenneth Blackwell's Confession

(NOTE - This post is a work in progress. As I continue digging up information I will be adding it here.)

Last week, at a congressional hearing on the 2004 elections, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell had this to say: "I confess: I’m a Republican. And with every other Republican elected to statewide office, I was an honorary co-chair of President Bush’s Ohio campaign. It was an honor – one shared by previous Ohio secretaries of state of both parties, in presidential elections – but it was one that carried no responsibilities."

No responsibilities.

"Blackwell, who said he was asked by Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman earlier this year to do "surrogate work" on gay marriage in Ohio...Blackwell stands by his statement to 1,500 state GOP leaders last month - in a letter written on "Blackwell for Governor" letterhead - that the amendment could help Bush carry Ohio and thus win the election. But that's a side benefit, he said." (link).

"Today, supporters of the amendment, known as Issue 1, will start a statewide radio ad campaign featuring Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. "Ohio families are stronger with a wife and a husband," Blackwell says in one 60-second spot. "Our children do better with a mother and a father. That’s just common sense." The ads are paid for by Citizens for Community Values, a Cincinnati group that gathered the signatures to put the amendment on the ballot. President Phil Burress would not say how much the ads cost or what the group is spending on its ad campaign." (link)

"Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a surrogate for the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, recently sent a letter to Republican leaders throughout the state in which he said the Bush campaign "has asked me to help with the state DOMA effort and I agreed." Kevin Madden, spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, declined to verify that the campaign had sought Blackwell's help." (link)

"Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) admitted that the Bush campaign is helping coordinate the state's effort to pass an anti-gay Constitutional amendment."

Excerpted from Blackwell's letter: "The President's campaign has asked me to help with a state DOMA effort and I have agreed. I am working closely with state and national religious leaders to protect and defend the sanctity of marriage. No one is spending more time communicating with the key elements of the GOP base on behalf of the President than I." (link)

"Blackwell also was a factor in Bush getting 17% of the Black vote in Ohio as opposed to 8% in 2000...Blackwell, in the months before the election, met with over a thousand evangelical pastors providing them with the tools and encouragement to register their church members and turn them out on Election Day. The percentage of evangelical vote participation jumped from 17% in 2000 to 25% in 2004." (link)

Two-and-a-half months ago, The Raw Story posted a Kenneth Blackwell for Governor fundraising letter (link), in which he "boasted of helping “deliver” Ohio for President Bush and said he was “truly pleased” to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state’s votes had been counted": "I have no doubt the strong campaign we helped the President run in Ohio - - coupled with a similiar effort I helped deliver for State Issue One (the Marriage Protection Act) - - can easily be credited with turning out record numbers of conservatives and evangelicals on Election Day...As Co-Chairman of Bush/Cheney '04 in Ohio, I counted on you to help us win the Buckeye State in 2004."

From the July 25, 2004 edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer: ""Transforming a Boston liberal into a Midwest conservative will make for fascinating TV, but I don't think Ohio voters will be fooled," said Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell Friday in a conference call arranged by the Bush-Cheney campaign" (link).


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