Thursday, October 26, 2006


Theoconia is commentary. This is the first and probably the only time I'll reprint in full, an article by someone else, but I think it's important and needs wide distribution.

I'll have a new Theoconia of my own up in a couple days.

Will Ken Blackwell find the ways to steal Ohio 2006 as he did in 2004?
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
October 25, 2006
Columbus Free Press, October 25, 2006

All photos by Marley Greiner

The man who stole Ohio for George W. Bush in 2004 is now trying to steal it for himself in 2006. The question is: who will stop him, and will he also affect the balance of power in the U.S. Congress?

As election day approaches, Blackwell's dirty tricks sink ever deeper.

Blackwell is now using "push polls" made infamous by Karl Rove. True to form, child molestation charges are front and center. He has also escalated the mass disenfranchisement of Ohio voters, trashing the ballots of some ten percent of absentee voters. He has eliminated the state-wide ballot initiative meant to save workers rights and wages. He's even tried to strike the Democratic gubernatorial nominee from the ballot altogether. All of which could affect not only his race for governor, but key U.S. Senate and House races as well.

Blackwell is using Rove's notoriously deceptive push poll device to spread an unsubstantiated smear against his Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Ted Strickland. Push polls were rendered infamous when Rove used them in South Carolina to falsely suggest that Senator John McCain had fathered a mixed-race child. Often the impact of push polls is magnified by callers to talk shows that spread additional street rumors, as in the lie that McCain impregnated a black hooker. The reality in McCain's case: he had adopted a child from one of Mother Teresa's orphanages and prominently displayed her in his campaign literature.

In Strickland's case, the Free Press has obtained a statement from Barbara Mooney of Fremont, Ohio describing in detail the phone call she received from the Blackwell for Governor campaign. On October 23, Mooney picked up the phone and heard: "This is a 45-second survey. Please answer yes or no."

Then came: "If you knew Ted Strickland had hired a child molester would you still vote for him?"

The electronic voice continued: "Are you going to vote for Ted Strickland?" and "Are you going to vote for Ken Blackwell?"

Mooney answered yes for Strickland, so the next question was "Are you black or white?" followed by "If you knew Ted Strickland had hired a child molester who had gone on to a playground and exposed himself to them, would you vote for him?"

A yes answer prompted: "Are you a Democrat?" and "Are you a Republican?"

The push poll then asked: "How old are you?" and "Are you male or female?"

The push poll then ended, identifying the Blackwell campaign as the party responsible for the "survey."

On Tuesday morning, October 24, the Columbus Dispatch confirmed Blackwell is using this push poll in Ohio. It reported that a former Strickland aide had committed a misdemeanor for public indecency, but his record had been expunged. There is no evidence Strickland knew of the expunged charge when the aide was later hired.

At the final Oct. 16 Ohio gubernatorial debate, freshly scrubbed Republicans swarmed outside the Channel 10 studio in Columbus, chanting for Blackwell. Members of the Ohio State University campus-based young Republicans and fundamentalists gloated that Strickland's "child molester" scandal would elect Blackwell. In the televised debate, Blackwell tried to link Strickland to the North American Man-Boy Love Society.

The next day, The Dispatch revealed that when he was treasurer of Ohio, Blackwell had on his payroll a felon convicted of cocaine possession. The Dispatch said that when Blackwell learned of the conviction, he kept the felon on staff. Three months after leaving the treasurer's office, this same former Blackwell employee was sent to prison for four years for sexually abusing a young girl.

Blackwell attained national notoriety after serving as state co-chair of the Bush-Cheney Re-election Committee while also, as Ohio Secretary of State, running the dubious vote count that gave Bush a second White House term.

This year Blackwell will count the votes in his own race for governor, in the crucial U.S. Senate race between GOP incumbant Mike DeWine versus Congressman Sherrod Brown, and in a number of cricital House races hotly contested for the first time in years.

As he does so, Blackwell is conducting the largest purge of voter rolls since the apartheid nightmare of the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow south.

Since 2000, under Blackwell's supervision, Boards of Elections in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo have eliminated some 500,000 voters from their registration rolls. Nearly all are in heavily Democratic urban areas. In a state where some 5.6 million people voted for president in 2004, this represents nearly 10% of the electorate. George W. Bush's alleged majority in Ohio 2004 was roughly 118,000 votes.

Skeptics claim Ohio's 88 county boards of elections are bi-partisan, because each has two Democrats and two Republicans. But all appointments, and all tie votes, are controlled by the Republican Secretary of State, meaning that all decisions by all Ohio BOEs are actually controlled by Blackwell.

Blackwell is now imposing restrictive voter ID requirements aimed at crippling his opponents. Passed by the Republican legislature, these strictures aim to eliminate from the 2006 vote count tens of thousands of mostly poor and black-and thus mostly Democratic-voters who cannot or will not obtain the required identification cards.

The Free Press has further learned that even at this early date, some ten percent of absentee votes are being trashed by Blackwell's BOEs. Ohio's new "no-fault" rule allows anyone to vote absentee for this election, so absentee voting is estimated to increase 20-30%. Many Ohioans are opting for the absentee ballots to avoid electronic voting machines, which are notoriously vulnerable to tampering.

But Democratic sources in the Ohio Board of Elections have confirmed to the Free Press that about 10% of the absentee ballots cast so far are being rejected because of a technicality involving obscure driver's license numbers demanded on the ballot. Ohio driver's licenses contain two separate numbers: an eleven-digit number above the photo, and a much smaller eight character license number that begins with two alpha-numeric characters, followed by six numbers. It is the eight-character license number the BOEs demand on the absentee ballot. But many Ohio voters don't know that, and are using the wrong number---and thus having their ballot invalidated. Absentee ballots cast in Ohio tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic.

This absentee vote purge echoes another Blackwell dirty trick: the 2004 trashing of thousands of provisional ballots on which voters had not included their birth date. There was no statutory requirement to include the birth date, and thousands of provisional voters (and election officials) were never informed of Blackwell's special requirement. But he thus eliminated large numbers of mostly Democratic provisional ballots, benefitting Bush---a service he is now repeating for his own benefit with the absentees.

Blackwell has also attempted to eliminate his Democratic rival from the ballot outright. Seizing on a residency technicality, Blackwell's attack has elicited widespread scorn, including a lead editorial in the New York Times. Thus far, Blackwell has lost a series of court battles. The Columbus Dispatch has reported that the woman who originally filed the complaint---allegedly a Democrat who supports Blackwell---has asked that it be withdrawn. It remains to be seen if Blackwell has defnitively given up the effort.

The GOP has already eliminated a statewide referendum on worker rights. Issue One would have rejected parts of the Ohio legislature's vicious anti-labor Senate Bill 7, and was expected to draw pro-worker voters to the polls. But Blackwell disqualified thousands of signatures from the ballot petition, then sabotaged attempts to bring in more. On October 20 the GOP-dominated Ohio Supreme Court killed Issue One altogether. Fittingly, it will appear on many Ohio ballots, but will not count.

Overall, Blackwell currently trails Strickland by 20 points and more in state polls. Ohio Democrats have begun to crow that Blackwell's defeat is a done deal, just as they celebrated John Kerry's "victory" in 2004.

But Blackwell's push polls, voter elimination campaigns and ballot attacks cannot be underestimated. At very least, they could tip the balance in the state's hard-fought U.S. Senate and Congressional races, any one of which could help determine whether the Democrats re-take control of the Congress. Local pundits are already talking about a last-minute shift toward the Republicans, and bracing for thousands of alleged fundamentalist voters who will supposedly swarm the polls at the last minute.

In-depth studies of the 2004 ballots now cast serious doubt on the actual existence of such alleged voters, then or now. But unless Americans truly committed to tangible democracy are careful, J. Kenneth Blackwell just might find the ways to steal Ohio 2006, as he did in 2004.

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO?, just released by The New Press. They are of counsel and a plaintiff in the King-Lincoln lawsuit that has preserved the Ohio 2004 ballots. Fitrakis is an independent candidate for governor of Ohio, endorsed by the Green Party. Wasserman is author of SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED PLANET, A.D. 2030, available via

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


BOO! Just in time for Halloween, Dr. Patrick Johnston, Minutemen United & Friends plan a very special "outreach" to Central Ohio abortion providers

This was posted by Dr. Patrick Johnston on the Minutnemen United page on October 12:

Group to Visit Abortionists Neighborhood
Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hello, rescuers of the pre-born! I want to invite you to a scary Halloween outreach! Ha! Scary for the devil, that is, not for you brave warriors for Jesus' kingdom!

We have obtained and confirmed the home addresses of at least two Columbus abortionists. On October 28, we'll kindly inform the residents of this neighborhood of the murderer that lives beside them, and we'll encourage them to "Not hate thy brother in thine heart... (but) rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him." (Lev.19:17). At least one of these neighborhoods has good public sidewalk for ministering, and we'll research the second neighborhood soon.

Our theme will be "The Scariest Neighborhood in Town." I'll have a banner made, and we'll have brief tracts made for the occasion. The tracts will simply inform the residents of the abortionist that resides in their neighborhood, provide a pic of them entering the child-killing facility. There will be a brief message about abortion, and we'll close with a Gospel message about Paul, the murderer, repenting and trusting in Christ and being mightily used of God, and inviting the reader to do the same.

It's a bold outreach, but hey, they're really killing babies! We'll walk around the neighborhood once or twice with banners, distribute our tracts, then head for the next site. We'll go to two neighborhoods, close with prayer, then leave. Let's start at Noon, and I suspect we'll conclude by 2:30 p.m. Please keep this event bathed in prayer. Thank you.

The gates of hell will NOT prevail!
Dr. Patrick Johnston


For the last 18 months Patrick and his crew of have been documenting the comings of goings of clinic staff and patients at Capital Care and Founders and putting the pictures up on his Stop Columbus Killing webpage.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Friday noon (Oct. 6) the annual anti-abortion Life Chain Be-In met at the statehouse. About 140 "silent witnesses" including a priest and nun, lots of couples, and about two dozen children and babies, lined High and E. Broad Streets to "prayerfully and peacefully" spread the news that "abortion kills children" "abortion hurts women" and plead: "Adoption: the loving option." They didn't seem to kick up much dust one way or the other.

Life Chain prides itself in its civility. It's Code of Conduct admonishes participants to, "in the spirit of Christian love, commit to being peaceful, prayerful, and polite in word and deed."

But the Christians for Social Justice crowd, headed by"Radio Activist" Mark Harrington, director of the anti-abortion Center for Bio-ethical Reform--Midwest-- aren't hindered by such polite restrictions. About half way through the prayerful protest, CSJ's "Truth About Ted Truck," plastered with giant baybee blender bits pictures and the warning that Democratic guebenortial candidate Ted Strickland "supports abortion and homosexual unions," wound its way through downtown Columbus and around the Statehouse a couple times gloming on to the event. Nobody missed a beat, though, except for a group of 10-year old smirking snarky Life Chain boys who know a cheap horror show when they see one.

Christians for Social Justice/The Truth About Ted is just the latest in a line of Harrington projects including Reform America, Project Restore Justice, and the Genocide Awareness Project (and here.) You may have seen some of Harrington's work before on "truth trucks" or on big airplane banners flying over your town featuring gory pictures of severed heads, dismembered bodies... and lots of blood. Harrington is careful to separate his work with Center for Bio-ethical Reform from his other projects, though they all overlap and carry the distinct CBR brand of Christo-porn.


Undoubtedly, some of the Life Chainers were put off by the graphic display of body parts, but at the end of the day, there is little difference between Life Chain and CBR ideology. Only tactics and aesthetics differ.

Logo: Happy fetus in an uncomfortable breach birth position surrounded by a heart.

Logo (more or less): Disembodied bloody fetus parts

Adult America equates terrorism with brutal beheading and heartless bombing perpetrated by radical Islamists; but if tens of millions of our fellow citizens could speak to us, with their questioning eyes piercing our hard hearts, they would recall fellow Americans who mercilessly suctioned dismembered, tore and cut, crush, burned, and starved them to death, while no institution in their culture defended them with serious resolve...
...Royce, Dunn, National Life Chain Director, October 1, 2006 press release.

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform exhibits large photo murals comparing aborted babies with Jewish Holocaust victims. African Americans killed in racist lynching. Native Americans exterminated by the US Army. Our purpose is to illuminate the conceptual similarities which exist between abortion and more widely recognized forms of genocide. This is important because perpetrators of genocide always call it something else and the word "abortion" has, therefore, lost most of its' meaning...
..."Why Abortion is Genocide" published by the Center for Bio-ethical Reform and Genocide Awareness Project

Life Chain believes God still judges nations and that legalized abortion is closely linked with the prevailing terrorist threat America faces from abroad...
...Royce, Dunn, National Life Chain Director, October 1, 2006 press release.

Interestingly, more Americans were killed by abortionists on September 11 (about 4,300) than were killed by Islamic terrorists (about 3,000). Assuming 3,000 deaths among the 50,000 people who worked at the World Trade Center, about one in seventeen was killed. One in three unborn babies is killed by abortion every day. On September 11, it would have been six times safer to be a worker in the Twin Towers than it was to be a baby in her mother’s womb...Why do Americans support the “War on Terror,” but ignore the plight of the unborn?
...Terror in the Womb: The Forgotten Victims, Mark Harrington, Mark Harrington Live, September 14, 2003.

Today our culture is sinking beneath abortion's bond with aggressive homosexual demands with unabated pornography and sexual addiction, with illegitimacy now producing one-third of US births, with STD’s at epidemic level, and with cohabitation and divorce's assault on traditional marriage and family.
...Royce, Dunn, National Life Chain Director, October 1, 2006 press release.

Ted vs The Bible (the whole thing)
...The Truth About


Abortion = "Islamofacism"
Abortion = The Holocaust
Abortion = Terrorism
Abortino = Genocide
Abortion = Osama bin Laden
Abortion = Pol Pot
Abortion = Hitler
Abortion = KKK
Abortion = Homosexuality
Abortion = Hustler

All photos by the author

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Overheard along the E. Broad Street wall of the Statehouse:

Man #1: He’s a lunatic.

Man #2: Who? Bush?

Man #1: Yeah, man. Bush.


Thursday afternoon (October 5) about 100 local anti-war protestors converged on downtown Columbus as part of the national World Can’t Wait Drive Out the Bush Regime Day of Repudiation. Over the next few hours chanting “Bush Step Down” “Impeach Bush Now” and “Blackwell is a Nut” they spread out over the downtown area hitting the State House, Federal Building, Ken Blackwell’s office, the Dispatch, and Ohio Republican Party headquarters. I hung out with them for about an hour mainly taking pictures and gauging the reaction of downtown workers and folks driving by. My informal survey indicates that, as I expected, Bush is in lots of trouble. Dozens of high fives, honks, and cheers and only one mild rebuke. But, does BushCo care?

Shouting "Jump! Ken, Jump!" at the Borden Building, marching through downtown with a frog on your head, or wrapping up your face in a scarf pretending to be anarchists may be fun (and why were the "anarchists" waving a Soviet flag?), just what was the purpose of this mastubatory side trip on the road to oblivion?

ONN showed up to report on the demo, but according to protesters, cameramen said they wouldn’t do a shoot unless the protest focused on the Foley scandal. Friday I looked at the ONN and Dispatch pages and there was nothing. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it....