Sunday, January 09, 2005

Blackwell Letter Violated Ohio Law

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

COLUMBUS - The state's chief elections officer, already accused of mishandling the presidential vote in Ohio and criticized for backing President Bush, sent a fund-raising letter for his 2006 gubernatorial campaign in which he asks for illegal corporate contributions.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, said the request for corporate checks was an oversight. His spokesman, Carlo LoParo, said Saturday that any corporate donations would be returned.

In the five-page letter to GOP donors and activists, Blackwell said, "And with your help, I intend to provide fresh, new leadership and bold reforms to Ohio as our next Republican Governor."

A pledge card that accompanied the letter said "corporate & personal checks are welcome." Corporate donations are illegal in Ohio.

Jeff Ledbetter, fund-raising coordinator for Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign, blamed a printer for using a template for an issue committee, which is allowed to accept corporate donations.

In a just world this would end Blackwell's gubernatorial hopes, but I'm sure it's just a bump in the road.

In the letter, Blackwell also thanked Republicans for delivering Ohio to Bush. Is it too late to start calling him Katherine Blackwell?
This is just another incident in a long line showing why we need electoral reform in this state and in this country. If Republicans would simply imagine themselves on the opposite side of this scenario we might be able to get somewhere, but many on the right don't seem to be that imaginative.