Ohio Republicans Nominate Radical Right-Wing Candidate for Governor

Upcoming Blackwell campaign likely to feature divisive wedge issues and attempts to put down those who are already victims of discrimination

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement about the primary victory of Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell:

“A key part of People For the American Way’s mission is to monitor the radical right, so we are well acquainted with Ken Blackwell.  Ohioans should take a closer look.

“Ken Blackwell has a radical right-wing record—one that will not appeal to mainstream Ohioans.  We expect him to try to win the general election by taking the low road and running a highly divisive wedge campaign that takes aim at people who are already unfairly discriminated against.  If his current, anti-gay TV ads are any indication, he’s already doing just that.”

Here’s some of what Ohioans need to know about Blackwell’s extreme record.  Blackwell has:

  • A record of gay bashing and cozying up to gay bashers
  • A record of race-baiting to win campaigns
  • Close ties to religious radical Rod Parsley, who openly advocates turning the U.S. into a “theocracy”
  • Advocated scrapping Medicare and replacing it with privatization accounts
  • Advocated privatizing Social Security
  • Tried to stop direct government funding for all public schools in Ohio and instead make all public schools dependent on vouchers
  • Repeatedly clashed with moderates in his own party when they want to pursue pragmatic, responsible policies instead of ideologically extreme ones
Perhaps Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin put it best when he wrote on Sunday that “Blackwell’s idea of sound public policy seems to be regularly quoting the Bible, subtly bashing gays and advancing a ballot issue that would place every school system, library and park district in a fiscal straightjacket.”  As Larkin noted, Blackwell is a “political extremist.”

People For the American Way will continue monitoring Ken Blackwell in order to fulfill its mission to educate the public about radical right leaders.

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