Continuing his quest to court religious leaders, Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell bought lunch for more than 70 black pastors in Cleveland yesterday, hoping to match his success with mostly white leaders of evangelical Christian churches.
In a private, 90-minute luncheon at the inner-city Antioch Baptist Church, Blackwell appealed to the black ministers — whose flocks are overwhelmingly Democratic — with a message of economic opportunity. He left the obvious unsaid: If he wins the May 2 primary, he will become Ohio’s first black nominee for governor.
There was a question asked in the article:
"Strickland must answer one question for black voters: ‘Tell me why I shouldn’t vote for Ken Blackwell?’ African-American voters are attuned to the historic nature of this race."
Ok. let's answer that one. Although I do not agree with various colleagues that Kerry lost Ohio due to some illegal activity, I do recognize that there was a concerted effort on the part of Republicans (and democrats it seems) to swing the State to George Bush. Central to that effort was Kenneth "Black"well who at the time was the Chief election officer for the state. If black ministers or voters, heck..if the voters of Ohio want to see what Kenny boy is about then they should look no further than that election. Under Kenny "Black"wells term, he had some 175,000 voters scrubbed off the roles in Cuyahoga County. An additional 133,000 persons were scrubbed from the roles in Hamilton and Lucas Counties. Note that this was not illegal in Ohio but it was completely unnecessary. I would think that the people of Ohio would want a governor to be someone who did his best under the law to get people to vote not to restrict voting. Also Mr. "Black"well oversaw the distribution of voting machines in such a manner that places with high turnout (and coincidentally high Democratic voting blocks) had too few machines which caused people to stand out in inclement weather AND he prevented people who were already in line from voting by closing the booths at 12 AM rather than letting the people that came to vote do so. One could argue that it was past time to vote and legally that would be correct but again, does one want a governor who would try to restrict voting on technical grounds?
Kenny "Black"well also oversaw that implementation of computerized balloting with no receipts which in my book is simple incompetence.
These issues alone are reasons enough that the ministers should not be interested in anything that comes out of "Black"well's mouth. But speaking of ministers, why are ministers even involved with elections? I have serious issues with this which I have enumerated a number of times here on GG. The Columbus Dispatch continues:
Blackwell has diligently courted the religious right with his socially conservative stands against abortion in any circumstance and against same-sex marriage. Two pastors of predominantly white evangelical churches — the Revs. Rod Parsley, of the World Harvest Church in Columbus, and Russell Johnson, of Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster — have been accused of using their churches to boost Blackwell’s candidacy in a complaint by 31 Columbus pastors to the Internal Revenue Service.
Among Blackwell’s 75 meetings with religious groups since January 2004 are 28 visits with Parsley, Johnson or their churches. Blackwell made no apology yesterday for his association with religious leaders: "I don’t have to hang up my faith hat when I enter the public square."
He certainly does not have to, but Pastors, if representing their churches do under the law or lose their exempt status. I would personally like to see the IRS take on these religious organizations over their blatant politicking at the taxpayers expense. And yes it is at the taxpayers expense because when Churches don't pay taxes they don't contribute to the tax base and by extension to Schools, and other services.
I would also highlight that the white "Christian" support of "Black"well is over homosexuality and abortion and not on some "economic opportunities" for blacks that "Black"well tried to sell to the ministers.
Personally, as I've written before on this blog, I think Black people in the US ought to abstain from voting in any election for an entire cycle (Congress, Senate, President)except those that would hurt those that are working for us. This non-voting revolution should continue until a common platform for voting is established. And most of all I want to see all religious leaders removed from the political process.
Anyway, back on topic. There are plenty of reasons to not vote for Kenny which has nothing to do with his party affiliation and everything to do with his actions. If you believe, as Dr, King Jr. did that a man should be judged by his character and actions, then Kenny boy has proven himself lacking in both.
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