Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio

In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, questions are circulating below the radar screen in Ohio about the past record of Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland on pedophilia.

Strickland is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Ohio running against Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

The issue surfaced Dec. 15, 2005, when the left-leaning Athens News reported on an anonymous letter-writing campaign to Democratic voters citing Strickland’s vote as “present” and not in support of the 1999 House Concurrent Resolution 107 that condemned an American Psychological Association study supporting “nonnegative sexual interactions between adults and adolescents.”

The APA study claimed scientific evidence established that sex between adults and underage minors might be positive for children.

HCR 107 passed with a strong bipartisan coalition of 355 congressmen voting “yea” and only 13 congressmen, including Strickland, voting “present.”

Strickland’s refusal to vote “yea” has been interpreted as implicit support for pedophilia, as he was given a chance to join an overwhelming congressional bipartisan majority voting to condemn the APA study.

In the Democratic primary, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Flannery openly challenged Strickland on his HCR 107 vote. Flannery still has posted on his gubernatorial website Strickland’s July 27, 1999, speech on the House floor explaining his refusal to condemn the APA pedophilia study.

Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, it troubles me that sometimes in this Chamber we stand and say things that we ought not to say. We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.

We recently voted to condemn a scientific study and an organization, an organization that has done as much as any organization in this country to fight child abuse.

WND Managing Editor David Kupelian in his best-selling book “The Marketing of Evil” has noted a tendency since sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey published his sexual behavior books in the late 1940s and early 1950s to use flawed social science research to endorse sexual practices traditionally considered deviant.

Bloggers in Ohio argue that the behavior of the Democratic Party in Washington expressing outrage over Foley’s e-mails demands “a full vetting” of the seven-year old controversy over Strickland’s refusal to take a strong stand against the APA study arguing that pedophilia can be beneficial to children.

The argument is that Democrats are pursuing a double standard, condemning Republicans on sexual misconduct issues while giving Democratic candidates a pass.

The HRC 107 controversy resurfacing in the last month of the Ohio gubernatorial campaign also has brought back another controversy over sexual misconduct that first was launched by Flannery, Strickland’s Democratic challenger.

On March 17, during the primary campaign, Lynn Hulsey reported in the Dayton Daily News that Flannery had accused Strickland of hiring from 1997 to 1999 a male congressional and campaign staffer who had been convicted of exposing himself to children. As Hulsey wrote:

According to Athens police, the man’s case stems from 1994, when he was arrested for public indecency after several children reported he’d exposed himself. Police records show he was found guilty, although the exact charge is unclear.

Flannery also accused Strickland of taking the man with him to Italy after his 1998 congressional campaign. Again, Hulsey wrote:

Strickland said campaign workers planned to treat themselves to the trip if Strickland won, but as it turned out only Strickland and the man were able to go.

Hulsey reported Strickland had learned of the sexual misconduct charge against his employee late in the 1998 campaign through an anonymous letter, but he discounted the letter since it was sent anonymously. Hulsey quoted Strickland as saying “perhaps” he should have pursued the matter more aggressively, but at the time he took no action. The man left Strickland’s office of his own accord in 1999, after the reported trip to Italy with Strickland.

After the Foley scandal, these resurfacing charges against Strickland are creating a firestorm among Ohio’s political blogs.

Among Strickland’s endorsers is the choice of Ohio’s openly pro-homosexuality PAC, the Equality Ohio Campaign Fund, or EOCF. In endorsing Strickland, EOCF emphasized his service as a minister, a psychologist and a professor, commenting:

Representative Strickland has long been an ally of and advocate for LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bi-sexual-Transvestite) people. He maintained a 100% rating with the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard while in Congress. He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).

The EOCF noted Ted Strickland is married to Frances Strickland who lives in Simpsonville, Ky. The EOCF closed its endorsement by commenting that Frances “is an educational psychologist and author of a widely-used screening test for kindergarten-age children.”

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