Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blackwell Campaign Staff -- Part I: Michael Hernon

J. Kenneth Blackwell's Campaign Manager

3812 Bristol Ave
Steubenville, OH 43952


2000 to 2002
Director of Catholic outreach at the Republican National Committee

Attends White House Christmas Party (December)

Started website focused on convincing Catholics that the upcoming invasion of Iraq was justified under the Catholic just war tradition. (February - we invaded Iraq in March)

Begins four year term as Steubenville Coucilman at Large (January)

Organized Franciscan students in Steubenville "to distribute voter guides to almost all the local churches" during the 2004 Presidential elections. Most of the guides were "removed later by pastors due to 'IRS issues'". (September - two months before the election)

Awarded no-bid state contracts as a consultant for the Ohio Secretary of State's (Blackwell) Office. Also, begins working as a paid member of the Blackwell campaign.

Appointed by Blackwell as one of the Secretary of State's Field Representatives for Ohio's 2004 Presidential recount.

Called as a witness in at least one of the many lawsuits resulting from the 2004 elections.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Campaign Contributions by California County
This is a followup post regarding the Blackwell Blog's comment that Ted Strickland raises money "from nutty California liberals"...

Strickland Contributions by California County

Blackwell Contributions by California County

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blackwell Supporter Accused of DUI
You gotta love the right angle blog for ridiculous stories like this about ruthless Lucasville cops that pull over and ticket innocent (and possibly drunken) drivers simply for displaying a Ken Blackwell bumpersticker.

Pay attention to this story, folks- it's about ready to rock the campaign:

Strickland-Supporting Cops Caught in DWB (Driving With a Blackwell sticker) Scandal!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Christian Homeschoolers for Blackwell
According to an article in the Toledo Blade, an email was recently sent out that "attacked the church attendance, work ethic, and voting record of Mr. Strickland" and raised "questions whether Mr. Strickland is gay."

The email was written by "home school headmaster" Gary Lankford, the new "social conservative coordinator" for The Ohio Republican Party.

The same article says that, up until last week Gary was "the state director of the Ohio Restoration Project, a faith group whose federal tax-exempt status has been challenged on allegations that it works too closely with Mr. Blackwell's campaign."

Doing a little research, it looks like Gary has even closer ties to Mr. Blackwell.

Gary is also know to have responded to letters sent to the Blackwell campaign, signing them with his title as the “Pro-Family Voters Coordinator” for Ohioans for Blackwell.

More interesting is the $15,963 paid to Gary by the Blackwell campaign for his work as a "VOTER CONTACT CONSULTANT".

But Gary and his wife are not new to Christian politics. According to his online biography,

"Gary and Marilyn (his wife) were previously very active in the pro-life movement and with crisis pregnancy centers. Politically, Gary was the County Chairman for theRepublican Party in Gadsden County, Florida, and Marilyn was State CommitteeWoman. Gary was also a Republican candidate for the State Board of Education inAlabama."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Devos and Blackwell sittin' in a tree...
It turns out that Blackwell and Devos share more than just a website address...

MLM Liberal: The DeVos-Blackwell connection--CNP (part one)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Whiskey and Guns
Ooh! Now you can see a three and a half minute video of Ken Blackwell’s staff learning how to shoot in an old barn.

As proud gun owners, I would have expected them to be more adept at emptying the spent shells from a .38. Careful son, those things are hot.

Anyway, playing through the whole video is a Toby Keith song about getting drunk after hanging people called “Whiskey For My Man, Beer For My Horses”.

I wonder if the campaign is paying ASCAP for the use of this song?

According to the ASCAP website, an Internet/New Media license for a single song should cost about $350.

And I’m pretty sure the license fee needs to be paid BEFORE the song is used—but the only video-related expenses the campaign has reported are:


Pushing the Polls

Last December, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported "Blackwell's campaign has paid almost $15,000 since last year to ccAdvertising" to conduct automated "push-polls".

"The automated calls are amassing ... voter information while sometimes spreading negative messages about Blackwell's leading Republican rival, Attorney General Jim Petro..."

That was December. That was the primary.

I downloaded Blackwell's 2006 expenses yesterday (from
his OSOS site).

Since December, the Blackwell campaign has paid ccAdvertising an additional $111,346!

I'm guessing Ken has already prepared a bunch of "surveys" aimed at conservative Christian voters. I figure they go something like this:

Press "1" if you support Ken's pro-family (homophobic), pro-life (misogynistic) platform.
Press "2" if you are a queer-lovin', baby-killer like Ted.
Press "3" to donate money to Ken Blackwell's campaign.

If only Ken could pay someone to push him up in the polls that count.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Republican Demographics

This is a picture, from Ken's blog, of his campaign staff.

Does Ken Blackwell really think that he can win over the minority voters that he disenfranchised during the last election with a campaign staff that is 100% white and 75% male?
The Middle East in the Midwest

According to his blog, Ken Blackwell wants to lease the Ohio Turnpike so he can "make Ohio the 'Middle East of America'".

Given the recent violence - oh, and the thousands of years of historical violence- in the area, I'm not so sure our state should strive to be the "Middle East" of anything.

Will Blackwell's Job Creation plan aim to make Ohio the "Nazi Germany of America"? Hey- there was NO unemployement under Hitler...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Republican Websites
Surf on over to and...

You'll find the website for Dick DeVos the "businessman and conservative Republican politician from Michigan. The son of billionaire Amway founder Richard DeVos, he is currently a candidate for governor of Michigan."

Not suprisingly, both of these rich conservatives are clients of NewMedia Communication- the same people responsible for a bunch important republican website , including Bush-Cheney, Rick Santorum and Bob Taft.

The President, Chief Political Strategist and CEO of this company is Mike Connell. According to an interview given during the Republican Convention, "Mike is the Republican operative Internet guru for, not only the Bush presidential campaign, but also the Republican Convention, and anybody else worth having on the Republican side."

In addition Mike- and three other NewMedia employees- are Blackwell contributors.

Friday, July 14, 2006

And now, a word from our sponsors
I don't mind advertising if the product or service is something that I might actually buy or use.

CNN must believe old people are the only ones watching the news during the day. One can only suffer through so many ads for mobility devices (scooter for old people), supplemental medicare insurance and adjustable beds before Fox News starts to seem appealing.

Anyway- Googlemail does a pretty good job of matching their "Sponsored Links" to the content of your email messages. For example, the links on the left were presented while I was reading an email about Ted Strickland.

The first link is an ad for a website that sells Ted Strickland shirts and stuff. This is the best ad here. The ad was appropriately matched to the content of my email (Ted Strickland)- and the product appeals to a wide audience. Who wouldn't look good in that bright blue Ted Strickland sweatshirt?

Jumping down to the third link, we have an ad for Congressman John Murtha's book. There certainly is a smaller audience for this product. But the fact that this ad was even presented makes it interesting. Unlike the first ad, there is no direct link between my email and this ad. Instead of matching on Murtha's name (which was not in my email) it must have used some alternate and indirect criteria like "Democrat and Congressman". Ok- so it's nothing to write home about- but it is a hell of a lot better than CNN.

Anyway- the second link is the most interesting. While the content of the ad matches my email content on at least 10 words (Ted Strickland, Ohio, Governor, Race, Ken Blackwell, etc.), the target audience for this product (the domain name itself) is tiny- maybe 2 people- and the price ( $260K!), well, that's just crazy...

The 2006 Ohio Governor's race is sure to be politically charged. Ken Blackwell and Ted Strickland are fighting it out in this extremely important race for Ohio and the nation. This domain name could be the difference between winning and losing this historic race. The domain name is available for purchase for $250,000.00 or lease thru 12/31/2006 for a negotiable price.
Garnished Greed
All of the ultra-conservative kooks in (and out of) Ohio are throwing their support behind Ken Blackwell because of his hate-filled, homophobic agenda.

Especially Rod Parsley, the bible-school dropout and millionaire televangelist, who has built a considerable personal fortune from the well-intentioned donations of his loyal followers (i.e. viewers).

I bring up Mr. Parsley’s political ties only because it fits in with the theme of my last few posts and it provides a nice segue into what I really want to talk about: the most hilarious thing I’ve seen on TV in months.

And I will get to that in a second. First, let’s go to Wikipedia to find out why people send money to Rod Parsley…

From Wikepedia:

Parsley encourages a variation on the Biblical concept called tithing. Though tithing is taught by many pastors, the view held by Parsley (and common among televangelists) is that if one tithes, in exchange God will provide virtually unlimited blessings (usually emphasized as being monetary in nature), a variation of word of faith theology.

In other words, Parsley tells his TV viewers: give me money and God will bless you. In the segment I saw, it seemed more like: give me money or God WON’T bless you.

And here it is…

On July 7th, 2006, my Tivo recorded four and a half minutes of Rod Parsley telling his audience that God wants them to donate $120 to help free slaves in Sudan.

It went like this…

As long as there are innocent brothers and sisters
held in unspeakable conditions
and the horror of slavery
I will not rest .
And I pray... neither will YOU.

MY GUEST- I believe God has brought you
to his kingdom for such a time as this:
when innocent children are crying out in prayer,
asking for God to send a deliverer,
God has assigned YOU to be the answer to their prayer.

And I believe God, by the holy spirit,
is speaking to THREE HUNDRE PEOPLE right now
to be one of Gideon’s army
who will help bring freedom to three abused suffering people
as YOU sow the seed of your own deliverance of $120.00.

When YOU need a miracle, as I know many of you do...

When you need a miracle, God will ALWAYS give YOU an instruction. Because of YOUR immediate, compassionate response of $120 - I'm speaking to 300 people -
three Sudanese captives in slavery will be freed from their tormentors.

Three Hundred, right now, uncommon people to sow an uncommon seed of $120
to reap an uncommon harvest of freedom for tormented brothers and sisters
held today by terrorist captors in Sudan.

Blackwell's Myopic Turnpike Plan
A recent and really ridiculous Blackwell blog post claims that we should lease the Ohio Turnpike to foreign investors because it “provides no direct financial benefit to the taxpayers of Ohio.”

In fact, the Ohio Turnpike is probably the only highway in Ohio that is NOT funded by taxpayers. It doesn’t cost them a dime- that’s what the TOLLS are for.

Besides being an important, self-funded part of the state’s transportation infrastructure, the Ohio Turnpike also provides a shit-load of additional indirect AND DIRECT economic benefits to the state. For example, “95% of Ohio’s $58 million in gas tax revenue generated from miles driven on the Turnpike flows to Ohio Department of Transportation and local governments”.

“Compared to other toll roads in the country the Ohio Turnpike has lower rates than any other toll road except the Indiana Toll Road. However, the Indiana Toll Road recently announced that it will raise its toll rates 72% for cars and 113%”

As a result, “The Ohio Turnpike’s toll rates are soon to be the lowest in the country.”

FYI: Indiana just finished leasing the Indiana Toll Road to a Spanish Australian group for the next 75 years.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Heart of Rock and Roll
Young Republicans from across the U.S. are in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend for their 70th Anniversary Gala. As part of this celebration, the Greater Cleveland Young Republicans hosted an event and, of course, invited Ken Blackwell to speak.

He certainly did not disappoint.

Ken’s blog has a video of his short speech (3:03 - including a lot of dramatic pauses) pandering to the 18-40 year old Cuyahoga County conservatives. e.g. “The first obligation of government is to protect innocent life and defend our national security.”

While the speech lacked originality (an anti-abortion speech at a YR convention?)- the event location did not. This time- Ken wasn’t speaking at a church or a gun club- he was speaking at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Supposedly, after his speech, the Young Republicans “were given private access to journey through the entire history of rock music.”

What? Republicans listen to rock music? (like what? Styper? Ted Nugent?)

Did you know that? I didn't.

So I did a little research...

According to an article in the National Review , conservatives actually listen to rock “songs”. The top fifty conservative rock songs and included in the article- the top ten are listed below.

1. “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who.
2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles.
3. “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones.
4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
5. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” by The Beach Boys.
6. “Gloria,” by U2.
7. “Revolution,” by The Beatles.
8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols.
9. “Don’t Tread on Me,” by Metallica.
10. “20th Century Man,” by The Kinks.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Why does Ken Blackwell hate gay people?
I really don't think he does.

Ken, as a career politician, only cares about two things: 1. Winning votes and 2. Raising money (to be spent on winning votes).

Sure- he did compare gay couples to farm animals while traveling around Ohio with corrupt Pastor Rod Parsley.

But I am fairly confident that, if a majority of Ohio's voters WERE Gay, Ken would have proudly marched in this year's Columbus Gay Pride Parade.

However, because Ohio's same-sex couples make up only about 0.33% of the population, Ken would rather align himself with a racist like Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

Speaking of Tony...

why is it that all of these pro-family (i.e. homophobic) guys look so, well, gay?

e.g. pictures of the other "Council" members....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blackwell's Not-so-negative Blog?
Over the past month or so, Blackwell's blog (i.e. Matt Naugle) has been churning out post after angry post about Ted Strickland (his opponent in the race for Ohio's next governor).

But, for the past few days, no mention of Ted.

Instead- they are posting pictures/videos of Ken going to church and shooting guns.

Has the Blackwell campaign finally decided to focus on Ken's positive attributes instead of simply attacking his opponent?


My guess: they are about to unleash a big, negative ad campaign.

Good luck with that, Ken.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Blackwell (via Naugle) Beats a Long-Dead Horse

Come on Matt- you are making this too easy.

You may be correct when, in your latest ridiculous rant, you say that "Ted Strickland has been all over the place on the issue of expanding gambling. "

When dealing with such a complicated political issue, smart people (in case you don't know any) will often do some research, listen to experts, take advise and, yes, sometimes change their minds.

Blackwell, as you fail to point out in your post, has taken a very different (read: stupid and selfish) approach to the issue....

According to this article in the Columbus Dispatch (one of many on the topic):

"Although he opposes potential November ballot initiatives to permit slot machines at Ohio’s horse-racing tracks, Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell holds stock in the world’s leading maker of slot machines."

Didn't you already lose this fight? Why bring it up again?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Blackwell's One Note Blog

Why do I continue reading this crap?

Well... because it's really funny, of course.

First, take a look at the tables on the left- specifically the sum of California contributions by state (for 2005 and 2006) for each candidate. Note: Blackwell has raised almost SIX TIME AS MUCH money from California than Strickland.

Then, read this blog post called The Elusive Ted Strickland by Matt Naugle:

Apparently, Ted Strickland would rather be on the "left coast", raising money from Hollywood liberals than voting to provide funding for equipment and resources for our brave troops....

It must be that, to Ted Strickland, fundraising from nutty California liberals is more important than our troops, health care policy or higher education. Ted's priorities are out of whack.

It's funny because it's NOT true.
Letter to Ken Blackwell's Blog
To Ken Blackwell’s Blog,

Below is some unsolicited, but much needed, advice from this first-time writer/ long-time reader regarding your most recent post:

Ted Strickland Can't Find Time to Support Veterans and Our Troops

On Tuesday (June 27), Ted Strickland missed yet another day of votes in the U.S. Congress. This time, he missed voting for the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2006", which increased compensation for veterans with service-related disabilities. With 408 affirmative votes, the resolution was passed unanimously. But Strickland, who claims to be supportive of veterans' issues, couldn't find the time to show up and vote in favor of veterans.

1. The Angry Voice
Fake anger? Come on. Do you really believe there are people who will read this and think: Wow! Ken is REALLY angry with Ted for missing that vote; Ken must REALLY care about our veterans.

2. The Missing Information
Let’s assume these people do exist (e.g. the Fox News audience); people who equate righteous-sounding anger with moral superiority.

To win these people over to your side, you want to make them believers. To do that, you need to start with something believable. A clear and simple message that provides a logical reason for you to get angry at your opponent about an issue that everyone supports.

And here is that message (paraphrasing):

My opponent did not vote on the Veterans’ Act therefore he hates veterans- and boy, am I angry about it!

Now THAT is a clear message.

The result? Armed with this new, easy-to-understand information, blog-reading Blackwell supporters across Ohio now believe what they have always believed: I knew those liberal democrats hated veterans and now, finally, I have proof.

Of course, most of Ohio’s voters won’t read your (or my) blog and will never receive your message.

This is probably for the best since most people would find it too simple to be true. Everyone is skeptical about a message that is too clear because this clarity requires the exclusion of important facts that, while relevant, tend to ‘cloud up’ the message’s reasoning.

And, in this case, that skepticism would be warranted.

From an article in yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch:

Strickland said that many of the votes he has missed are noncontroversial procedural motions or bills that were expected to pass by sweeping margins. For example, Strickland missed a vote last month on the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which he co-sponsored.

3. The Included Information
Your pretend anger would be more believable if you had not included the statement: “the resolution was passed unanimously”.

Without this information, one might think that the vote was actually close- that Ted’s inaction ALMOST took money out of the pockets of injured veterans.

Uninformed readers might not understand that no one would vote against something called the Veterans’ Compensation Act- not in an election year.

But they do understand “408-0” and “unanimously” and, thanks to you, they might realize that showing up to vote for something that is GUARANTEED TO PASS would not be the best use of his time.

Why would someone want to pretend to be angry at someone for using his time wisely?

5. The Past
You picked the topic of voting to pretend to be angry about!? With so many people REALLY angry about the last election?

Given Ken’s “failures” as Ohio’s chief elections officer during the 2004 presidential election, it seems obvious that he is an active supporter of people NOT voting- especially Democrats.

The entire post resonates with hypocrisy.

6. The Present and Future
Coincidentally (or not), on that same day (June 27) , Rasmussen Reports released the following, more relevant numbers:

Strickland now leads Blackwell 50% to 37%.

I hope you find this advice helpful.