Ted Strickland

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Posted by motoman 04/28/2009 @ 10:13

Tags : ted strickland, the house, government, politics, ohio, states, us

News headlines
Kasich v Strickland -- Ohio center stage again - Town Hall
Ted Strickland next year. The ebb-and-flow of that race in many ways will reflect the mood of the country and whether or not the Democrats' revolution of 2008 has legs. Strickland's counterpart in Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell, is a great admirer of...
GOP blaming Gov. Strickland for Ohio job losses - Forbes
Ted Strickland's time of escaping scrutiny over Ohio's mounting job losses might be coming to an end. State Republicans started turning up the heat on the Democratic governor this week following announcements on consecutive days that General Motors...
Strickland open to state aid in NCR recovery effort - Dayton Daily News
Ted Strickland visits local students Friday afternoon, June 5, at UES in Dayton to rally support for his school plan tour. Governor also wants key development tools cut from his budget restored by GOP senators. By Lynn Hulsey and William Hershey Ohio...
Hershey: School chief questions reform plan - Dayton Daily News
Ted Strickland's budget ax. The Republicans who control the Senate aren't exactly Strickland lovers. The governor's a Democrat, in case you forgot. Scheu voted for Strickland in 2006. Just ask Senate President Bill Harris of Ashland....
Strickland rejects clemency for man who burned woman to death - Columbus Dispatch
Ted Strickland today denied convicted killer Daniel Wilson's request to be spared from execution. Strickland said he reviewed trial proceedings, court decisions, evidence in the case, photographs, letters and e-mails concerning the case....
No fix in sight: Ohio Senate, House disagree on school funding - Canton Repository
Ted Strickland announced he had some major plans for education, school officials cheered while a jaded public all but jeered. Years have passed since school funding in Ohio was ruled unconstitutional — that the tax burden on property owners is too...
Verbal attacks by politicians won't bring jobs to state - Chillicothe Gazette
Ted Strickland in advance of next year's gubernatorial race, went on the offensive. "Every week, it continues to get worse," Ohio GOP chairman Kevin DeWine said. John Kasich, who kicked off his race for governor this week, said it's time to hold...
Gov. touts firm - The Evening Leader
Ted Strickland Friday afternoon touted the accomplishments of an Auglaize County business while at the same time issuing a plea to legislators to reinstitute funding for internships and training programs for Ohio students he included in the operating...
Strickland, McLin respond to criticism over handling of NCR - Dayton Daily News
Ted Strickland gives a state of the state address in this Jan. 28, 2009 file photo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato) Ty Greenlees City of Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin, in this February 2009 file photo from the state of the city address....
Senate looks to gut $1B from budget - Bizjournals.com
Ted Strickland's sweeping evidence-based school reform plan, calling it “fundamentally flawed” because it is based on school staffing needs instead of student needs. They want the governor's proposed education model to be reviewed by a bipartisan study...

Ted Strickland

Ted Strickland

Ted Strickland (born August 4, 1941) is an American politician of the Democratic party, and the current governor of the state of Ohio. Before his election in 2006, he served six terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio’s 6th district.

Born in Lucasville, Ohio, Strickland was one of nine children; his father was a steelworker. A 1959 graduate of Northwest High School in McDermott, Ohio, Strickland went on to be the first member of his family to attend college. Strickland was awarded a bachelor of arts degree from Asbury College (Wilmore, Kentucky) in 1963. In 1966, he received a master of arts degree from the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky). He received another master's degree in 1967 from Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Kentucky). He received a doctorate in psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1980. He is married to Frances Strickland, an educational psychologist and author of a widely used screening test for kindergarten-age children.

Strickland worked as a counseling psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio; was an administrator at a Methodist children's home; and was a professor of psychology at Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, Ohio). His only known pastoral position within a church was a very brief associate pastoral position at Wesley United Methodist Church located at the corner of Offnere and Gallia Streets, Portsmouth, Ohio (now Cornerstone United Methodist Church).

Strickland ran for U.S. representative for Ohio's 6th congressional district in 1976, 1978, and 1980, losing twice to long-time incumbent William H. Harsha and later to Harsha's successor and campaign manager, Bob McEwen.

Strickland ran again for the 6th District seat in 1992, once again facing Bob McEwen, who had suffered some political damage by being associated with the House banking scandal. The 6th District had been combined with the old 10th District when Ohio lost two seats in Congress following the 1990 census and now covered a huge area stretching from Lebanon, in Warren County, to Marietta, in Washington County on the opposite side of the state. The district proved a difficult place to campaign, representing half a dozen different media markets and home to no large cities and few unifying influences.

Patrick J. Buchanan, Vice President Dan Quayle, and Oliver North came to Ohio to campaign for McEwen, but Strickland narrowly won in the general election on November 3, 1992. He received 122,720 votes to McEwen's 119,252, a plurality of only 3,468 - just over 1.4%. Strickland said "I ran against Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, the National Rifle Association, and Right-to-Life. They threw everything at me. I'm just so happy I beat back those guys. I think they're so divisive." Strickland began serving in January 1993 (103rd Congress).

Strickland successfully ran for Governor of Ohio in 2006, when Governor Bob Taft was term-limited and could not run for re-election. Strickland selected former Ohio Attorney General and 1998 Democratic nominee for governor Lee Fisher as his running mate. He was sworn in as governor on January 8, 2007.

Strickland easily won the Democratic primary on May 2, 2006, winning 80 percent of the vote. In the November general election, he was challenged by Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Libertarian economist Bill Peirce and Green Bob Fitrakis, but won handily on November 7, 2006, capturing 60% of the vote. Blackwell finished in a distant second with 37% of the vote.

A full listing of endorsements can be found on Strickland's campaign website.

Strickland began his media campaign for the general election in July by purchasing significant airtime on Christian radio stations throughout the state. The ad cited a verse from the Book of Micah, calling one "to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God," principles Strickland says he has held throughout his life. His televised ads began airing in late September 2006.

Strickland's candidacy received some support from Republicans, indicated by many of the pollsters covering the race. Additionally, a number of high profile Republicans publicly announced their support for Strickland at a press conference on September 12, and Strickland's website launched "Republicans For Strickland," which lists over 340 registered Republican endorsers.

After drawing criticism for running a "close to the vest" campaign with few specific details about how he would change Ohio as governor, Strickland became more outspoken upon taking office. He has made education a centerpiece of his goals as governor, hoping to come up with ways to get more Ohioans to afford state-sponsored college, graduate from in-state public universities, and thus stay in-state for quality jobs. Although his Congressional record gave reason for many critics to claim during the campaign he may not be averse to raising taxes, he has made some efforts to investigate state government spending and proposed only minimal tax increases in his "State of the State" address in March 2007. he emphasized a goal to override the market and freeze or minimally increase tuition in the next few years, and have minimal tax increases across the board. He appointed Eric Fingerhut as a state chancellor of higher education. He also wants to shift funding away from Ohio's private universities towards public universities. While the Republican-led legislature, led by State House Speaker Jon Husted, agreed with the need to emphasize education, they disagreed on how to keep costs down without raising taxes. Nevertheless, Strickland overcame nearly all of these disagreements with the legislature to pass a unanimous budget of $52 billion over the two fiscal years beginning July 2007 with line-item vetoes; this unanimous approval of the budget was the state's first in 84 years.

On the pre-collegiate level of education, Strickland has pushed to cut funding of school vouchers, which critics claim will reduce education choice available to the public. He opposes federally subsidized abstinence-only sex education programs.In addition to shoring up the state's education bureaucracy, one of Strickland's primary economic plans has been working to help bring jobs in the coal and energy industries to Ohio by emphasizing ethanol production and other non-petroleum based energy sources.

Strickland has also emphasized health care. In addition, on the issue of capital punishment, Strickland has thus far delayed three executions until further review and has commuted two death sentences thus far. Strickland refused to block three additional executions, including two that eventually occurred. The March 20, 2007 execution of Kenneth Biros, which Strickland refused to stop, was later stayed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

Strickland voted against partial-birth abortion while in the U.S. House, but has said he would veto a near-total abortion ban proposed by Ohio State House member Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) that does not include rape, incest or health exceptions.

Arguably the biggest setback to occur during his short career as Governor was the loss of a computer backup tape that contained the names and Social Security numbers of 64,000 state employees and their families, and 225,000 other state taxpayers. Especially troubling was that a 22-year-old intern was entrusted to this tape and it was stolen out of his unlocked car; however, the administration has insisted that because of the technical nature of the coding it has not been accessed.

In spite of such setbacks, his success with bringing the legislature together with his budget and the state's overall desire for change after the Taft years have resulted in some of the highest approval and lowest disapproval ratings in Ohio gubernatorial history: 61% approval, 15% disapproval, including 54%/19% splits from Republicans (July 2007).

Marc Dann, the Strickland administration's Attorney General, became emmeshed in a sexual harassment scandal which implicated himself and many top aides who were forced to resign or were fired, and which led the married father Dann in May 2008 to admit he had a sexual relationship with a subordinate in his office. Strickland and other leading Ohio Democrats demanded Dann's resignation after the state's leading newspapers all printed demands for Dann's resignation, and the Republican controlled General Assembly had begun Articles of Impeachment against Dann. Dann resigned his position May 14, 2008. Governor Strickland appointed Nancy H. Rogers, Dean of the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University as the interim attorney general.

Helen Jones-Kelley, Strickland’s Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), became embroiled in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services database search controversy during the last few weeks of the 2008 US Presidential election campaign. The Attorney General's office of Ohio conducted an investigation. On November 7, 2008, Strickland placed Jones-Kelley on paid leave “for possibly using a state computer and e-mail account for political fundraising.” Strickland stated that this action was taken "due to the possibility, as yet unconfirmed, that a state computer or state e-mail account was used to assist in political fund raising." Strickland later released e-mails showing that Jones-Kelley "used her state-issued e-mail account to send names of potential contributors to the Obama campaign." On December 17, 2008, Jones-Kelley resigned from her position as director of ODJFS. Upon Jones-Kelley's resignation, Douglas E. Lumpkin was chosen by Governor Strickland to replace her as director of ODJFS.

Strickland's approval ratings have steadily dropped from his highest point when the took office due to the state's economy, and several corruption scandals in his administration that came to light in early 2008. By July 2008 Strickland's overall approval rating was down to 44%, with only 12% of Ohioans reporting he is doing a "good" job, and 52% reporting he is only doing a "fair" to "poor" job, with 17% stating Strickland's performance has been poor. (July 2008). The state's economic woes continue to drag down Strickland's administration with the state unemployment rate in June 2008 at 6.6%, 0.9% higher than in June 2007, and higher than any time in the previous Taft administration.

On January 2, 2009, Strickland joined the governors of four other states in urging the federal government to provide $1 trillion in aid to the country's 50 state governments to help pay for education, welfare and infrastructure as states struggle with steep budget deficits amid a deepening recession.

Due to his more conservative politics (for instance, he was voted an 'A' by the NRA) and popularity in what is presumed to be a key swing state, Strickland was mentioned as a possible Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in the 2008 election. Nonetheless, Strickland repeatedly and vehemently denied that he would accept a position on the ticket if offered. Most speculation of his potential selection as Barack Obama's running mate died out by the summer of 2008.

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Bob Taft

State Seal of Ohio

Robert Alphonso "Bob" Taft II (born January 8, 1942) is an American Republican politician. He was elected to two terms of office as the Governor of the U.S. state of Ohio between 1999-2007. After leaving office, Taft started working for the University of Dayton beginning August 15, 2007.

Although Taft was born in Boston, Massachusetts, he was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended the Cincinnati Country Day School through the ninth grade and graduated from The Taft School. He attended Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Political Union, graduating in 1963. From 1963 to 1965, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching in the African nation of Tanzania. He then attended Princeton University, receiving a master of arts degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1967. In 1976 he received a Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Taft was elected as a Republican to the Ohio House of Representatives from 1976 to 1981, and then was Hamilton County commissioner from 1981 to 1990. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio on the ticket with Jim Rhodes in 1986, but was unsuccessful. In 1990, he was elected as the Ohio Secretary of State, defeating incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown. He was re-elected in 1994, defeating Democratic candidate Dan Brady.

Taft was elected Governor of Ohio in 1998, defeating Democrat Lee Fisher 50-45 percent, and was reelected in 2002, defeating Democrat Tim Hagan 58-38 percent. In 1999, Taft issued a gubernatorial executive order mandating four hours of ethics training for members of his cabinet, assistant cabinet directors, and senior staff every two years.

In the wake of convictions for the ethics violations (see criminal conviction section below), Taft's approval rating bottomed out at 6.5 percent, according to a late November 2005 poll by Zogby, giving him quite possibly the lowest polled approval rating ever by a United States politician. A SurveyUSA poll that same month gave Taft a rating of 18 percent. A late-2005 article in Time named him as one of the three worst governors in the country.

In February 2006 Taft vetoed legislation passed by both houses of the Ohio General Assembly removing the 'Plain Sight' provision from the state's concealed carry law. The bill would have also kept the Cleveland Plain Dealer from publishing the names and home addresses of licensees. Nevertheless, this provision passed into law when the General Assembly overrode his veto, the first veto override in Ohio in over 30 years.

Taft was criticised during his tenure for permitting state spending and state taxes to rise. Critics also link Taft to the lagging Ohio economy in the early 21st century.

Taft presided over reintroduction of use of the Capital punishment in Ohio. During his term 24 people were put to death by lethal injection, which made Ohio a first state outside the South by number of performed executions. Taft, however, granted one commutation.

Due to term limits for the Ohio governorship, Taft was ineligible to run for a third consecutive term. According to the Washington Post, Taft was the most unpopular Governor in Ohio history. Taft's unpopularity contributed to major Democratic gains in the 2006 election, including the defeat of Republican Ken Blackwell by Democrat Ted Strickland in the race to replace Taft as Governor.

This was the first time an Ohio governor has ever been charged with a crime while in office.

At his arraignment in Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus on August 18, Taft pleaded no contest and was fined $4,000 plus court cost. Judge Mark Froehlich also ordered Taft to apologize to the people of Ohio as well as state employees. At the time, Taft said he was "very disappointed" in himself.

Taft's conviction was grounds under the Ohio Constitution for impeachment and removal from office by the Ohio General Assembly; however, impeachment proceedings did not occur and Taft remained in office until the end of his second term.

In addition to the criminal sanctions, Taft was issued a public reprimand by the Ohio Supreme Court on December 27, 2006 for accepting and failing to report gifts and golf outings worth more than $6000.00. This reprimand will be attached to Taft's license to practice law in Ohio.

After Taft left the governorship, he and his wife made a trip to Tanzania in February 2007 where he had served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Taft said the trip was invigorating and that the buildings where he taught and lived 40 years ago were still there.

In November 2008, he joined the Board of Directors of the Alliance for the Great Lakes to help advance Great Lakes education and policy initiatives, such as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin Water Resources Compact, started during his tenure as Chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

The Taft family has been involved in Republican politics for over a century. His great-great-grandfather Alphonso Taft was Secretary of War, Attorney General, and an Ambassador; his great-grandfather William Howard Taft was President and Chief Justice of the United States; and his grandfather (Robert Alphonso Taft I) and his father (Robert Taft Jr.) were both U.S. Senators. His first cousin, William Howard Taft IV formerly served as chief legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State, before resigning after the reelection of President George W. Bush. His uncle, William Howard Taft III was an Ambassador. His great-grand-uncle Charles Phelps Taft was a U.S. Representative from Ohio and for a time, an owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. His great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Rawson Taft, was a member of the Vermont legislature. Other prominent relatives include Seth Chase Taft, Charles Phelps Taft II, Peter Rawson Taft II, Henry Waters Taft, Walbridge S. Taft, and Horace Dutton Taft. Kingsley A. Taft was a U.S. Senator from Ohio and Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Bob Taft is also related to former President George W. Bush through at least three different marriages, ranging from eighth-cousin-once-removed to 11th-cousin-once-removed, as well as being a ninth cousin of former Vice President Dick Cheney (see Cousin chart to understand these terms).

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Lee Fisher

Great seal of Ohio

Lee Fisher (born August 7, 1951, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. He is the 64th and current Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, serving under Ted Strickland since 2007. Fisher also served as Ohio Director of Development.

Fisher is a graduate of Oberlin College (where he has served as a college trustee) and of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. Fisher served as an Ohio state representative from 1981 to 1982 and as an Ohio state senator from 1982 to 1990. He was elected attorney general of Ohio and served in that post from 1991 to 1995. In 1994, Fisher lost his bid for re-election as attorney general to Republican Betty Montgomery.

In 1992, Fisher was elected a presidential elector for Ohio. In 1998, Fisher ran for Governor but narrowly lost to Republican Bob Taft in the closest gubernatorial election in 28 years.

Fisher's wife, Peggy Zone Fisher, was a member of the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. During this time, Fisher hinted that he might be interested in playing a hand in statewide politics again. This was taken to mean that he might consider another run for the governorship in 2006, when Taft was to be barred from seeking a third consecutive term. Fisher once again appeared on the statewide ticket, for lieutenant governor with gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland, winning in November. His campaign was captured in the documentary film Swing State, directed by his son Jason Zone Fisher as well as John Intrater and H.Spencer Young.

Fisher has announced he will be running to replace George Voinovich in the United States Senate in 2010.

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Frank Cremeans

Frank Cremeans

Frank A. Cremeans (April 5, 1943 – January 2, 2003) was an Ohio small-businessman who represented Ohio in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. He served one term in Congress, from 1995 to 1997.

Cremeans was born in Cheshire, Ohio. After graduating from Kyger Creek High School, Cheshire, Ohio he earned his B.A. at the University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio, in 1965 and his M.A. at Ohio University in 1969. Cremeans, the self-made millionaire owner of a concrete company in Gallipolis, was elected in the Republican landslide in 1994, narrowly defeating one-term incumbent Ted Strickland in Ohio's sixth congressional district.

On the first day of the first session of the 104th Congress Cremeans was featured as part of Republican efforts to reform the rules of the House. He was one of several congressmen tricked into saying stupid things by Spy Magazine writers posing as reporters for a young Republican magazine; Cremeans made disparaging remarks about the appearance of Hillary Clinton.

Strickland challenged Cremeans in 1996 to regain the seat. Cremeans made bizarre charges in the campaign that Strickland had burgled his offices and was spying on him while Strickland showed up at Cremeans rallies with a videocamera that sometimes had no tape in it. Cremeans lost thanks to strong Democratic turnout in southeastern Ohio, particularly in Athens County and subsequently returned to Gallipolis and his concrete business.

In 1998, Cremeans sought to retake his seat from Strickland, but he was defeated in the nasty, three-way Republican primary by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Hollister. Hollister received the support of almost all the Republican establishment in the primary, including Senator Mike DeWine and Congressman John Boehner. Although Cremeans's views on many of the issues, such as abortion were closer to those of the Republican base in Ohio, they viewed Cremeans's eccentric public personality as a detriment to his effectiveness.

In March 2000 he challenged DeWine in the Republican primary for US Senate, but lost.

He died in Gallipolis in 2003 due to a respiratory disease.

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Ken Blackwell

John Kenneth Blackwell (born February 28, 1948), is a former secretary of state of the U.S. state of Ohio who made an unsuccessful bid as the Republican nominee for Governor of Ohio in the 2006 election. He was the first African-American to be the candidate for governor of a major party in Ohio. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee's Platform Committee and was a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Blackwell gained national prominence for his dual roles as Chief Elections Official of Ohio and honorary co-chair of the "Committee to re-elect George W. Bush" during the 2004 election. Allegations of conflict of interest and voter disenfranchisement led to the filing of at least sixteen related lawsuits naming Blackwell. Regarding voter disenfranchisement, a federal appellate court ruled, in agreement with Blackwell, that provisional ballots cast in the wrong polling location should not be counted in the election, but the court overturned his directive to poll workers that they refuse to issue provisional ballots unless satisfied as to the voter's residence. Blackwell was also named in a 2006 lawsuit related to his office's public disclosure of the Social Security numbers of Ohio residents.

A staunch conservative, Blackwell successfully led the campaign for the 2004 Ohio Constitution Amendment banning state recognition of same sex marriage and civil unions, despite opposition from many other Republican leaders. He is a proponent of gun ownership rights, and has stated that he is against abortion except in order to protect the life of the mother. He was defeated by Ted Strickland in the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial election.

Blackwell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to George (a meatpacker) and Dana (a part-time nurse) Blackwell in 1948. He has two brothers, Carl and Charles. He married his wife Rosa in 1969 while he was in college. They have three children, Kimberly, Rahshann (a Denver resident and Ohio Northern Law School graduate) and Kristin.

Blackwell attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio on a football scholarship. Blackwell received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Xavier in 1970 and his Master of Education degree, also from Xavier, in 1971. He taught at Xavier from 1974 to 1991 and has served as a trustee of Wilberforce University and Wilmington College. After college, he was invited to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp; he states that he gave up football when he was told he would have to convert from linebacker to offensive lineman.

From 1979 to 1980, Blackwell served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlier, he had been a member of the Cincinnati city council.

Blackwell served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1990. He returned to Cincinnati to run for the first district seat in the United States House of Representatives being vacated by Tom Luken. Blackwell lost to Luken's son, Charlie Luken, by a narrow 51% to 49% margin. Following his close defeat, President Bush appointed Blackwell ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Blackwell served in that post from 1992 to 1993.

Blackwell was appointed Ohio State Treasurer by then-Gov. George Voinovich in 1994 to complete the term of Mary Ellen Withrow, who was appointed U.S. treasurer by President Bill Clinton. Blackwell was elected treasurer in 1994 and was elected Ohio Secretary of State in 1998. That year, Blackwell considered a run for governor, but Ohio Republican Party chairman Robert T. Bennett persuaded Blackwell to run for secretary of state instead, leaving the governorship open to Bob Taft. Blackwell was national chairman of longtime friend Steve Forbes' presidential campaign in 2000. Blackwell was re-elected secretary of state in 2002.

Blackwell, a strict fiscal and social conservative, has become a vocal critic of the moderate wing of the Ohio Republican Party, including Taft, for adopting tax increases in the face of budget shortfalls in recent years. He has also demanded the resignation of Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder, a Republican, whose staff has become embroiled in fund-raising scandals.

He was also the most prominent Republican to support adding an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. The state's Republican U.S. Senator George Voinovich and then-Senator Mike DeWine opposed the amendment's broad language, fearing it could bar not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions, domestic partnerships, and possibly wills and any legal contracts for homosexuals. Taft later also came out against the amendment, expressing his concern that its ambiguous language would have unintended consequences and leave the state open to a number of lawsuits. During the campaign Blackwell lobbied hard for this measure and was widely credited with attracting many conservative evangelical African Americans to the polls to vote for the measure and for Bush's re-election. The amendment passed with the approval of 61.64% of the voters.

As Secretary of State of a hotly contested swing state, Blackwell played a prominent role in the 2004 national election. As Secretary of State, Blackwell held the position of Chief Elections Officer, overseeing Ohio's elections process. In Congressional testimony, Blackwell stated that every Republican holder of statewide office in Ohio was named an honorary "co-chair" of the Bush campaign, that the position carried no responsibilities, and that previous Ohio Secretaries of State from both parties had held similar honorary positions.

Blackwell also announced he would enforce an Ohio State election law decreeing that any person who appeared at a polling place to vote but whose registration could not be confirmed would be given only a provisional ballot; if it were later determined that the person had attempted to vote in the wrong precinct, then their provisional ballot would not be counted. He also directed poll workers to refuse to distribute provisional ballots unless they were satisfied as to the voter's residence. The Democratic party promptly filed a lawsuit claiming that the policy was "intended to disenfranchise minority voters" and in violation of federal election law, specifically section 302 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

On October 21, 2004, U.S. District Court Judge James G. Carr issued an order rejecting Blackwell's policy. Blackwell said that he would go to jail rather than comply.

Blackwell appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On October 26, 2004, the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court agreed with the plaintiffs and the District Court that Blackwell's directive violated HAVA to the extent that it empowered poll workers to withhold a provisional ballot based on their "on-the-spot determination at the polling place." The court also ruled, however, that if a subsequent review concluded that the voter was not entitled to vote in that precinct, then the provisional ballot would not be counted. (pdf)(pdf) In accordance with the Court of Appeals ruling, provisional ballots cast in the wrong precincts were not counted in Ohio's 2004 elections.

On September 6, 2006, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the ballot access requirements for primary elections were too restrictive for third parties.

The majority opinion stated that Ohio's rules violated the First Amendment and had "a negative impact ... on minor parties and on political activity as a whole in Ohio," according to Yahoo News.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio's legal battle started when they appealed Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's 2004 decision to deny them access to the ballot.

On December 27, 2004, Blackwell requested a court order to protect him from being interviewed in the Moss v. Bush case, a challenge of the presidential vote, and fought a subpoena, arguing that the litigation was frivolous.

On March 1, 2006 Blackwell's office accidentally published a list of 1.2 million Social Security numbers of Ohio citizens on a website along with their business filings. A Federal class-action lawsuit was filed by Darrell Estep who claimed that the release of the data had caused his Social Security number to appear three times on the website. The lawsuit was settled on March 28, 2006 after the numbers were removed from the website, a registration process was enacted to view the data and Blackwell's office agreed to make monthly progress reports to the court. The data was part of a centralized voter database, required by Federal law. At that time, Blackwell promised to only retain the last four digits of the Social Security number in the database to prevent future problems.

However, on April 26, 2006, Blackwell's office disclosed Ohio Social Security numbers again, mailing out computer disks containing the names, addresses, and the Social Security numbers of 5.7 million registered voters in Ohio (80% of all registered voters in the state). The list was released as a standard practice under the Freedom of Information Act and Help America Vote Act. Blackwell's office apologized, indicating that the release of the Social Security numbers was accidental and attempted to recall all 20 of the disks. At least one recipient of the disks has refused to comply.

Jim Petro, then Republican Attorney General of Ohio, has launched an investigation into the disclosure, citing a legal requirement to "investigate any state entity where there may be a risk of a loss of private data." Blackwell stated that he considered the issue to be closed, but Petro disagreed, saying that he will use "maximum due diligence" to ensure that the data was not copied before it was returned. Ohio law requires that individuals be notified if their Social Security numbers are compromised.

Ohio State Senator Jeff Jacobson asked Blackwell in July 2003 to disqualify Diebold Election Systems' bid to supply voting machines for the state, after security problems were discovered in its software, but was refused. Blackwell had ordered Diebold touch screen voting machines, reversing an earlier decision by the state to purchase only optical scan voting machines which, unlike the touch screen devices, would leave a "paper trail" for recount purposes. The controversy was inflamed the next month when Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold, sent a fund-raising letter to Ohio Republicans, stating that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Although he clarified his statement as merely a poor choice of words, critics of Diebold and/or the Republican party interpreted this as at minimum an indication of a conflict of interest, at worst implying that those newly purchased electronic voting machines which did not leave any verifiable paper trail represented a risk to the fair counting of ballots.

On April 4, 2006, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Blackwell "owned stock in Diebold, a voting-machine manufacturer, at the same time his office negotiated a deal" with the company. After discovering the stock ownership, Blackwell promptly sold the shares at a loss. He attributed the purchase to an unidentified financial manager at Credit Suisse First Boston who he said had, without his knowledge, violated his instructions to avoid potential conflict of interest.

When Cuyahoga County's primary was held on May 2, 2006, officials ordered the hand-counting of more than 18,000 paper ballots after Diebold's new optical scan machines produced inconsistent tabulations, leaving several local races in limbo for days and eventually resulting in a reversal of the outcome of one race for state representative. Blackwell ordered an investigation by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections; Ohio Democrats demanded that Blackwell, due to his prior role in acquiring the Diebold equipment as well as his status as the Republican gubernatorial candidate in this election, recuse himself from the investigation due to conflicts of interest, but Blackwell did not do so.

Blackwell was the Republican candidate for Governor of Ohio in 2006. He beat state Attorney General Jim Petro in the 2006 Republican primary. (The then current governor, Republican Bob Taft, could not run because of term limits.) Blackwell's opponents in the general election were Democratic Congressman Ted Strickland, Libertarian professor emeritus Bill Peirce and Green Bob Fitrakis. Blackwell chose Ohio State Representative Tom Raga to be his running mate. Blackwell was the first African-American to be nominated as a candidate for the Ohio governorship by either major political party.

There had been increased national attention on the ability of the Republican party to maintain control in Ohio. On a national level, The New York Times went so far as to suggest that the results of the election would be a "bellwether" for the 2008 US presidential election.

Blackwell faced an uphill battle; according to a broad survey reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer on April 30, 2006, Ohio voters would "prefer to see a Democrat occupy the governor's mansion." Still, he had his supporters. John Stemberger, president and general counsel for the Florida Family Policy Council, was quoted as saying that Blackwell could "potentially be president of the United States someday, and the first black president at that." Blackwell's campaign relied heavily on accusations that Ted Strickland was not a resident of Ohio, and later that Ted Strickland was gay. Both of these accusations played heavily in campaign literature that failed to resonate with Ohio voters. Due to his poor management of this campaign, Blackwell's ability to compete on a national stage was called into question.

On November 7, 2006 Ted Strickland was elected Governor, defeating Blackwell by a 24% margin.

Blackwell has taken some very conservative positions. In 2005, he supported keeping Terri Schiavo on life support indefinitely, saying, "I really do think that life is sacred, no matter how painful." When asked on Hardball with Chris Matthews if he would keep her on life support for 30 years, Blackwell said he would.

In his 2002 campaign for re-election to the post of Secretary of State, Blackwell took the position that he would favor abortions in the case where the life of the mother was at stake. He has since taken a more conservative position of opposing abortions even in the case where the mother's life is at risk .

Blackwell won the Republican Primary on May 2, 2006 against Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro with 56% of the vote. Blackwell's strongest support came from his home town of Cincinnati and much of rural Ohio. The run up to the primaries was dominated by strongly critical television ads that Blackwell and his opponent Jim Petro ran against one another.

During the primary, Blackwell led the Republican candidates in his ability to raise significant amounts of money for his campaign. He raised $1.09 million between January 31, 2006 and April 12, 2006, from approximately 12,000 individuals and businesses. This was nearly $800,000 more than his main competition, Jim Petro, but less than the $1.1 million raised by his main Democratic competition, Ted Strickland. Blackwell, along with 14 other candidates, (including Petro and Strickland) were accused by the Ohio Citizen Action group of failing to meet Ohio's campaign contribution law which requires best efforts to disclose the names, addresses, employment status, employer, and place of employment of individuals who donate $100 or more to a political campaign. Blackwell, Petro, and Strickland all received a "B letter grade" from the group for their levels of disclosure.

After winning their respective primaries, both Blackwell and his Democratic opponent were able to raise record sums, in part because of the national attention paid to the race. As of September 9, 2006, Strickland led Blackwell, $11.2 million to $10 million.

Blackwell had been well supported by many religious leaders in Ohio both politically and financially; according to campaign filings, Blackwell has received $25,031 from clergy and more than 27 times as much as Strickland.

On April 19, 2006, e-mails sent on behalf of the Blackwell campaign by Johnson on Easter Sunday, April 16th, 2006, came to light in the Columbus Dispatch. Both the Blackwell campaign and Russell Johnson, on behalf of Fairfield Christian Church, denied all wrong-doing. The e-mails in question subsequently emerged on various online media outlets, clearly showing that the e-mails had been sent from within Johnson's church office on the evening of Easter Sunday to Church personnel and employees of the church-owned Fairfield Christian Academy.

On Wednesday, May 14, 2007, Ken Blackwell was appointed a senior fellow at the well-known conservative religious, political group Family Research Council.

Ken Blackwell has earned an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Political Victory Fund. Blackwell is also endorsed by the Ohio Gun Collectors Association, Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Gun Owners of America.

Blackwell announced his intentions to run for the Republican Chairmanship, but withdrew after the 5th round of voting.

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Source : Wikipedia