Skip to comments.The Blackwell Revolution [Opponents Call Ken Blackwell Radical, An Extremist and Goofy]
Posted on 05/08/2006 8:10:31 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
As the Republican Party flails around trying to regain its bearings, party operatives should take a close look at Ken Blackwell, who just won the Republican primary in the governor's race in Ohio.
Blackwell decisively defeated Jim Petro, Ohio's attorney general, garnering 56 percent of the vote, and now has a shot at becoming the first black Republican governor in the nation's history. Initial polling shows him trailing his Democratic opponent Congressman Ted Strickland. However, it's early in the game and Blackwell, a former Xavier University football star, is both a competitor and a winner.
Blackwell also is a man of principle and is that rare and unusual politician who is clear, upfront and uncompromising about those principles. He serves up his agenda, a combination of limited government, fiscal conservatism and traditional values, in a straightforward way that makes typical political gurus and consultants wince. But, like Ronald Reagan, Blackwell knows that Americans respond to honesty and he also knows that he is right.
Conventional wisdom is that he's too conservative. There is also concern that Ohio is in such bad shape, and that the current scandal ridden Republican governor is so unpopular, that the door is wide open for a change in party.
But, in fact, Blackwell's clear and honest conservatism is the answer to the concerns about the state's economic problems and the problems with government corruption.
The point is that corruption is the product of big, undisciplined government, and this is exactly what Ohioans have gotten from their current regime. It is a joke to think that the way to solve corruption is to throw out a big government Republican and replace him with a big government Democrat.
The Cato Institute issues a bi-annual fiscal policy report card of the nation's governors. They grade governors, A to F, on their spending and tax policies. Not only did Ohio's Governor Taft receive an F, but his overall rating was dead last of all governors. Under his leadership, real annual per capita spending, according to Cato, has increased a whopping 5 percent per year. Over the last 10 years, total government spending in Ohio has risen 20 percent faster than personal incomes.
If corruption is the symptom of big government, economic performance is the victim. The Ohio economy has been sputtering. It is 47th out of the 50 states in job creation and has one of the nation's lowest growth rates. According to The New York Times, the state "has lost 175,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years and ... an average of 65 people ages 25-39 leave the state every day."
While other politicians are offering up the usual government engineered schemes to revitalize the economy of Ohio, Blackwell understands that the last thing that Ohioans need is more government.
He has proposed a constitutional amendment that would put a cap on growth of state and local spending of 3.5 percent, or the sum of the rates of inflation and population growth. Exactly the kind of formula that makes conventional politicians cringe, which is exactly what is happening.
However, he also knows that there are two sides to the coin of social and economic vitality. One is to keep government in check. The other is to maintain a positive healthy moral environment that sustains individuals and families. So Blackwell supports constitutionally protecting traditional marriage and he opposes abortion. And, he supports school choice.
So, in fact, Ken Blackwell has not stopped smelling the roses of the Reagan revolution. Or, perhaps I should say the American Revolution.
His opponents call him "radical" and an "extremist." His primary opponent called him "goofy."
And, of course, the left translates his stand for traditional values, which Americans overwhelming support, as "gay bashing."
We are in challenging times. Ohio is in many ways a poster child of the problems that the country is facing. If we check the track record of history, or even look around the world today, it is clear as a bell that countries with undisciplined government are both corrupt and poor. It is also clear that social vitality, that is traditional values and intact families, coincides with economic prosperity.
I have long felt, counter to the conventional wisdom that Republicans recruit blacks, that blacks will play a key role in defining and leading the Republican Party. It is because the black community needs the agenda of limited government and traditional values like oxygen.
The beauty is that it's an American agenda. Not an ethnic or racial or special interest agenda.
So watch Ohio. It may tell you a lot about the country's future.
Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay. You can contact her here.
..ah hut? what I do?
Go Ken Blackwell, win one for the Gipper!
If Blackwell does anything to move to the center, will his base hold him accountable or will they rationalize it as necessary to win an election?
To the liberal, its his "R" after his name.
Every indication is that Blackwell is pretty firm in his postions and wont "move" anywhere ideologically.
Blackwell is a 'Nazi' who 'wants to kill all gay and transgendered citizens' and an 'Uncle Tom' who will 'place the hobnail heel of his jackboot on the neck of all women (opps, I mean 'wemyn') and minorities throughout the state' as part of his 'state mandated theocracy'.
After 'Haliburton and Diebolt fixed last Tuesday's primary election', state 'Republicans and the Ku Klux Klan' are ready to march from Cleveland to Cincinnati because most 'Ohio Republicans are so stupid, they don't realize Ken Blackwell is black'...
He's not Taft, and he's not a Taft wannabe. That should stand him in good stead with the voters.
But the conventional wisdom here on FR seems to be that it's OK to vote for big government Republicans.
The democrats aren't very tolerant of other peoples choices themselves, are they? Their hypocrisy has been showing all over the place lately. They seem to have some type of political death wish or something.
He sounds like a good man to me. I'd vote for him.
I just sent Blackwell a contribution. This may turn out to be a major battle in our national fight against the democRATS and their RINO allies.
"If Blackwell does anything to move to the center, will his base hold him accountable or will they rationalize it as necessary to win an election?"
Yes, the conservative base in Ohio will definitely cut Ken some slack to move to the center if he needs to.
And just as importantly, watch how Blackwell and the GOP take apart Strickwell (the Dim's candidate for governor) and that raving leftwing loon Sherrod Brown, the Dim running for DeWine's seante seat. It will be wonderful to behold.
Oh my. The liberal white elitist have an escapee from Hillary's village. They have to put him back in his place as soon as possible, because if they don't, their other political slaves might get the idea they too can escape the democrat village of government cheese!
I'm going to carefully watch the senate race. I think the social conservative right is going to attempt to "votemail" Dewine. I was listening to a social conservative talk show the other day, and the host was boldly making the prediction that Brown would defeat Dewine since social conservatives don't care much for Dewine. This guy is on the boards of or closely connected to the activist social conservative organziations in Ohio. At this point it's gut feeling on my part, but this guy is sneaky.
I can't get anyone to say it is an "official" campaingn, but their eyes light up when I mention whether there will be any official effort to deny Dewine the election.
Glad to see your support for Blackwell.
How is your support for McCain. Do you see him as a national hero and a man of integrity and principled leadership? Should those who support Secretary Blackwell support McCain due to the previouisly mentioned principals?
McCain could gain much traction if he campaigns and fund raises for Blackwell.
phoney stat. Ohio like Michigan have been killed by the decline of domestic auto industry. govt. spending has been about normal. personal income has gotten crushed.
The dems in MI and the R's in OH are both in trouble for much the same reasons.
If that were true then Blackwell should have been the big Republican vote getter in those three races. No one believes that Voinovich, Taft, Montgomery, or Petro got anywhere near 30 or 40 percent of the black vote.
Since Blackwell did not lead those races, the only conclusion is that for every black vote Blackwell gained he lost at least one white vote.
In 2002 J. Kenneth Blackwell got 1,827,995 while Betty Montgomery got 2,010,022. Blackwell had to not get well over 200,000 white votes that voted for Betty. The black gains did not made up for the white losses.
In 1998 Betty D. Montgomery got 2,037,864 votes and Blackwell got 1,789,105. If Blackwell got 30 or 40 percent of black votes, he had to be losing more white votes than he gained black votes.
In 1994 Governor Voinovich got 2,401,572 votes to Blackwell's 1,740,710. In 1994 Blackwell ran 660,000 votes behind Voinovich. Voinovich has consistently won a huge majority of moderates. Blackwell has not.
Blackwell did not even equal Bob Taft's vote totals in 2002. In 2002 it was Taft with 1,865,000 to Blackwells 1,827,000. In 1998 it was Blackwells 1,789,000 to Taft's 1,678,000. Blackwell has consistantly gotten about 1,800,000 votes. I think Blackwell will need between 2,000,000 to 2,200,000 to win. The Democrats will turn out at least 2 million votes for Strictland... more like 2.2 million. The question is how can Blackwell add 400 thousand votes to what he normally gets? Blackwell has owned the conservative vote for at least the last 4 years. Where will he get the needed 400 thousand votes?
It is very important that Republicans hold the Governorship or they will likely lose control of redistricting Ohio in 2010. We can measure Blackwell's chances for victory by how much effort Rove makes in his behalf.
If Blackwell can pull close to Strictland look for the national money to pour in. If he does not the national party and many major donors will not throw good money after bad. Blackwell has a reputation for being a principled candidate who does not reach out to those who oppose him. That is not the way to get elected.
If Blackwell is willing to follow the direction of Rove, then he may get some help. At least enough to determine if he can make up some of his polling deficit. If not then most of the RNC support will go to DeWine and Republican house seat races. Those Republicans will likely distance themselves from Blackwell.
The Republican party is really split in Ohio. The big question I have, is will Blackwell and his supporters reach out to unite the party? If he runs as an outsider opposed to the establishment, he may gain some moderates at the expense of at least a third of the base.
My reading of the moderate electorate in Ohio is unfortunately .. "Throw the crooked bums out." That does not mean just Taft. It means anyone running for state office with an R after his or her name.
Democrats handle corruption by defending the corruption. They say every one does it and it is not really what it seems. Voters can draw the conclusion that accusations against Democrats are political in nature.
Republicans eat their own and lose elections as a result. Taft has lost half the Republican base and all the moderates. I doubt that Blackwell or any Republican can unite the Ohio Republican party while wining a majority of the moderates in this election cycle.
The Ohio media really wants Strictland to win. They will in my view promote some very dirty Democrat tactics. I wish Blackwell success but he is going to have to pull off a record political upset. That will be very, very difficult to do.
What does McCain have to do with the price of beans? McCain != Blackwell
There are those who may listen to what he says that would not were he of a different race, and there are those who will ignore what he says because of his race, but I don't think either group is huge.
Racism does exist, it is a factor, but it tends to be a secondary factor in political races. Many who exhibit some level of racism from both parties will say he's not representative of his race.
This still is "all-out important race to win for the Democrats". I think Parker stated it pretty well in the article.
Blackwell also is a man of principle and is that rare and unusual politician who is clear, upfront and uncompromising about those principles. He serves up his agenda, a combination of limited government, fiscal conservatism and traditional values, in a straightforward way that makes typical political gurus and consultants wince.
Blackwell, it a small government conservative with strong moral fiber, integrity, and the will to fight for what he believes is right.
Ohio is a mess economically and government spending is out of control, and it's gotten that way with Ohio "Republicans" clearly in control.
Big government has been devastating to Ohio. If Blackwell is committed to making real, not cosmetic changes in the government. If he can force those changes through and they make a noticeable difference in a State that has a large blue collar workforce and is bleeding manufacturing jobs, it could really change the face of politics in Ohio, and have a significant influence outside Ohio.
That has both the big government liberals in the Ohio Republican Party and the far left that makes up the Ohio Democratic Party scared.
They can't even rely on the legislature to undermine Blackwells efforts. Blackwell has had to deal with opposition to his conservative fiscal policies from within his own party for a very long time. He knows that his policies will have a rough time in the legislature. However, he does have some ability to go around the legislature and take issues directly to the voters through ballot issues. In November we not only get the opportunity to vote for Blackwell, we get to vote for an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that will limit growth in government spending.
Blackwell scares them because he's an honest reformer that isn't going to be dissuaded by their political games. He's withstood their smear campaigns in the past and isn't going to go away. The liberals are very afraid of him, and for good reason.
To quote Ken Blackwell about his opponent "Borther Strickland, you can run but you can't hide"
He's for small government and personal responsibility.
Those positions are not "anti-black" or "anti-poor". However they are being presented as being that way by proponents of big government in both main political parties and by the media.
There are many who will try to make it so his positions are viewed as "anti-black" and anti every one else as well.
Rush just quoted a poll saying DeWine is running 11 points ahead of Brown. Hmmmm. So much for that "vulnerable" seat. Santorum moving back to "dead even." GOP candidates up in NJ and MN.
Blackwell has been very consistent in his conservative beliefs even though they have often placed him at odds with the Ohio Republican Party leadership.
During the 2004 elections he did his job of defending our election laws not only from the far left, but also from Republicans that tried to undermine the laws.
He hasn't, changed or misrepresented his views to get elected in the past, and I see any reason to expect that will change now.
He's one of the main people behind the ballot issue to amend the Ohio Constitution to limit growth in government spending that will be on the ballot in the same election.
Would his base hold him responsible if he moved toward the center? That's hard to answer, since the Republican Party leadership here is seriously left of center on fiscal policy. He could move a considerable way towards the center and still be far to the right of Taft, and his Democratic opponent. How would they "hold him accountable"?
If suddenly took a big step toward center it would be very, very out of character for Blackwell. He's not only conservative, but his policies have the consistency that come from having spent a long time learning and understanding the issues.
If he suddenly made some significant changes in his platform, it would tell me that something very wrong was going on.
However, that doesn't leave conservatives a better option. It could definitely result in lower turnout, and the election is going to be close enough that a low turnout by conservatives could easily sway the election.
I however expect that we will likely see the highest turnout among conservatives we've seen in a very long time due to Blackwell running for governor and the ballot issue to restrict government spending. I'm willing to bet that we will see the highest percentage of registered voters show up for the 2006 elections of any election in Ohio history in which there wasn't a Presidential race.
Bookmark for later.
That depends on if their opponent is even worse.
I voted against Senator Dewine in the primary, but he won the Republican primary, and I'm going to end up having to vote for him in the general election in November even though I pretty much despise him. Unfortunately his Democratic challenger is far worse. If I thought Brown was only a little worse than Dewine I would vote for Brown to get rid of Dewine.
I'd vote for a third party candidate if I thought the candidate was the best candidate, and if I wasn't concerned that voting for a third party candidate would allow the worst of the two major party candidates to win.
How do you decide which candidate gets your vote? What do you do when you don't like the choices you have available?
Do you vote in the primaries?
I suspect that's because now that he has won the primary, we have become resigned to having to select the lesser of these two particular evils.
Yes, I voted in the primaries. I voted for Blackwell and Pierce. I have never voted for a 'Rat, and I doubt I ever could, but I won't vote for a RINO ever again, either.
On my little Ohio town forum I was just told that Blackwell wants to starve all the poor children!
I'm going to find that post and put it here. How do you answer an idiot that posts such a thing???
For whatever reason, facts is facts. I won't vote for DeWine, only because I have absolute confidence that he will win without my vote. If it were not the case, I would even vote for him.
You are mistaken. You are correct that our manufacturing has taken a serious hit, and our per capita income is growing more slowly than most of the rest of the nation, but the per capita income has still grown based on the yearly figures from the US Department of Commence through 2005.
Ohio's government spending per person under Taft has been going up 5% a year on average.
In the last 10 years we've gong from having the 19th highest state tax burden as a percentage of income to having the third highest tax burden of any state in the nation.
Government spending has increased. It has increased faster than incomes have increased. It's increased faster in Ohio than in most other states to the point where we now have the third highest state tax burden.
So why do you think that stat was phony?
As to turnout, the primary should have indicted the intensity of the base vote. It wasn't there. However, the stakes are higher in the general election, but I was surprised at the low turnout for Republicans in general.
Blackwell may run to the center is he perceives he is going to lose to Strickland. The perception of his move toward the center will be governed by how much cover he gets from his allies. That of course is the purpose of my question.....will they hold him accountable if he does or will they provide cover for him and rationalize it.
Never underestimate Blackwell. He is principaled, but he is also a pragmatist. We'll see how principaled he is if he hangs on to the TEL. If he softens on that or abandons it all together, then we'll know the practmatic Blackwell has come forward.
Again, I believe that if he remains in striking distance of Strickland, but remains behind, a move toward the center will occur. If he is leading Strickland or is losing big time, he may well stick to his guns.
Glad to hear it! I wish there were more of us voting for Pierce in the primary. I don't think Dewine got less that 50% of the vote in a single county. I found the results of that primary race particularly depressing.
I have never voted for a 'Rat, and I doubt I ever could
If there were a race where I thought the Democrat was the better candidate, I would be happy to vote for them.
I won't vote for a RINO ever again, either.
I've felt that way in the past. I didn't vote in the last senate race between Voinovich and Fingerhut because I hate Voinovich even though he was the less evil of the two choices. However, it was obvious that Voinovich would win easily, so I had no concerns that it would be a close race and we needed to rally together to stop Fingerhut from winning. I did vote in that election, just not in that particular race.
I really, really don't like Dewine. I've been telling myself for many years that we needed to get him out of office, and I'd never vote for him again! However, between him and Brown, I have to choose him.
Despite the current polls, the race could be very close, so I feel obligated to vote for him as the lesser of two evils.
I think this race could be closer, though it is a simular matchup of a liberal Republican and a very far left Democrat.
Just keep an eye on how things shape up as we get closer to November. Dewine being our Senator is a very bad thing, but Brown would still be considerably worse.
Last year Dewine got a 56 rating from the ACU. Brown got a 4.
Exactly---and you prove an important point I've said about DeWine: he has a LIFETIME rating from the ACU of 80, but recently he has consistently moved left. As you say, 50% range. At some point, even as the lesser of two evils, you have to wonder where it stops.
Good article pretty much states all for reference:
Born in the projects of Cincinnati to a meat-packer who preached the work ethic and a nurse who read to him from the Bible every evening, Blackwell has rejected the victimology of many black activists and opted for a different path, championing school choice, opposing abortion, and staunchly advocating low taxes as a road to prosperity.
One of Blackwells principles, handed down from his father, is that opportunity is something you have to grab for yourself, because it wont be handed to you by government or anyone else.--Ronald Reagans Unlikely Heir Steven Malanga Ohios Republican gubernatorial front-runner Ken Blackwell is Jesse Jacksons worst nightmare.
I don't think Blackwell scares the media or Democrats in Ohio at all. Every politican who has won major races against strong competition knows the following. Every media person who has covered contested races know the following as well.
Deciding what you are for and then running on those issues is a prescription for defeat. In nearly all cases it involves changing the minds of voters on at least a few issues. That is next to impossible in the space of a single campaign.
What successful politicians do is find out what a majority of the voters want done and then propose to do exactly what the people want. One of the reason's Gingrich was able to get much of the Contract With America passed and signed into law by Clinton was every item on the contract has at least 70 percent voter approval. The contract with american had nothing to do with principles. It had everying to do with 70 percent voter approval.
If a campaign proposes to do what 70 percent of the people want they tend to get elected. And since opponents know they can't get elected with 30 percent support even opponents adopt those proposals or oppose them at their peril.
Men like Blackwell decide what they are for and then run on those issues. Blackwell is a principled candidate who will not bend to public opinion and then run for office while bent. Those that agree with Blackwell's positions rise to his support with obvious glee. But that is not the majority of voters reaction.
You can bet the farm that the Democratic candidate will know exactly what a majority of Ohio voters want done. Strictland will propose to do exactly what they want. No more and no less.
The choice will be between a Strictland that comes across as the candidate with which most voters agree and a Blackwell who has some positions that lack voter support. Strictland will go to great lengths to point out the Blackwell positions that voters don't accept.
The media will do its best to throw softballs at Strictland and hardballs at Blackwell. They will use footage of Strictland that shows him in a positive light. They will use footage of Blackwell that will show him in a negative light. They will say the name Blackwell and describe him as Governor Taft's secretary of State.
Blackwell like all principled conservatives will tell the voters what they need to hear while Strictland will tell them what they want to hear.
Taft and his crew have done a great job of making Democrats look fiscally conservative and pro growth. It is not a good year to be a Republican in Ohio.
That includes the last 2 and a half years of the second term of cryin' George Voinovich. After 16 years of RINO slop, Ohio conservatives are hungry and out of patience, even more than the 'rats.
Tator, only you can wrap a ton of BS in thousand words that anyone else can put into 10.
The "Contract with America" was only presented to America weeks before the '94 election. There was NO WAY the Republican party could have done focus groups and voter surveys in time for the election.
The Contract with America took off on it's own simply because it was based on conservative principles and AMERICANS, i.e. everyday "moderate", conservative, and Republican were sick and tired of liberal Clinton whacko-ism and wanted to believe in PRINCIPLES of good and responsible government. These principles are beyond "conservative" or "Republican". They are simply good principles that most good and decent Americans want.
I can't think of a polite or "Christian" way of saying you're full of shit.
Go back to your Karl Rove cult of RINOism. I heard he's always looking for a good toad.
Politicians rarely change their positions on core policies. They instead try and change how their positions are perceived, or what they claim to be their positions.
This is something that liberal politicians excel at because liberal policies are almost never sold to the public on their actual merits, or based on what their real effects will be. Liberal policies are sold to the public by going after emotional issues and presenting their policy as a solution to those issues. They take specific instances that aren't representative of the whole, invoke an emotional response, and then say that they have the solution.
Conservative small government advocates have to fight this by trying to get people to think rationally about the issue, and point out that the liberal way of addressing the problem hasn't fixed the problem in the past, has little to now chance of fixing it in the future, and is likely contributing to the problem.
Blackwell's not going to have problems with voters not supporting his core issues of government accountability, integrity, transparency and restraint. His problem is that his policies deal with reality and the truth, while his opponent is spinning tales about a fantasy world in which all the people problems are the fault of someone else (rich capitalists and corporations) that the government can and will protect them from.
Blackwell scares the liberals and the media because he has stuck by his principles. He hasn't misrepresented his views. He's done it consistently, and he's overcome those in the democratic party and those in his own party who have sough to undermine him because of it. He withstood the attacks of the far left and all their 527 groups in the 2004 elections and not only didn't he flinch, he went up against them when they took their efforts to the voters to undermine Ohio's voting laws through ballot issues in which the misrepresented what they changes would do, and they lost on each and every one of the ballot issues.
In nearly all cases it involves changing the minds of voters on at least a few issues. That is next to impossible in the space of a single campaign.
You think that this just started at the beginning of this election campaign?
I heard Blackwell speak at a dinner over a decade ago, and the core message hasn't changed much.
He ran for State Treasurer in 1994 and won with a platform of small government and lower and fairer taxation.
He was elected as Ohio Secretary of State in 1998 and 2002.
During that whole time he's been fighting for small government and has vocally opposed big spending and tax increases by republican governors.
Blackwell has been one of the key people that have worked to put the Tax and Expenditure Limitation Amendment on the ballot, and they purposefully waited to have it on the ballot while he is running for Governor.
The reason the Liberals are afraid of Blackwell is because he's already won three Statewide election races without changing how he presents his stance on the issues.
You can bet the farm that the Democratic candidate will know exactly what a majority of Ohio voters want done.
The Ohio Democratic Party has a total of one party member in a statewide elected office, and while Supreme Court Justices do get nominated by their party in the primary elections, their party membership is not listed on the ballot in the general election.
Their history of convincing the majority of Ohio voters that their candidates are what they want isn't very good.
However, I will give them credit for one insight. They finally figured out that being anti-gun was killing them, so they nominated Strickland for governor who is reasonably pro-gun. However, he also has an American Conservative Union Rating of 28 for 2005, and a lifetime rating of 18. He isn't a moderate. Senator Byrd has a lifetime rating of 30.
Still peddling that moderate Republican snakeoil, eh?
Remember history(Reagan)...that's all I have to state to you. I heard you are quite knowledgeable in Ohio politics...well maybe your right...even if Blackwell does in theory lose. Blackwell would not go down without a good fight between himself, Strickland , and the media.
Remember history(Reagan)...that's all I have to state to you. I heard you are quite knowledgeable in Ohio politics...well maybe you're right...even if Blackwell does in theory lose. Blackwell would not go down without a good fight between himself, Strickland , and the media.
Expect nothing less!!!