Even in the last days of the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Ohio voters still have gotten very few answers from Democratic candidate Rep. Ted Strickland, even regarding the most basic questions concerning who Ted Strickland is.
We still don’t know for sure even where Ted Strickland lives in Ohio, why his wife lives in Kentucky even when Ted is in D.C., or what Ted does with his time in D.C. since he has one of the worst absenteeism records in the House of Representatives.
Let’s take the questions one by one and see where Ted Strickland comes out on the issue of who Ted Strickland is.
1. Where does Ted Strickland live?
The controversy began when Jacquelyn Long in East Liverpool, Ohio, filed a complaint with the Columbiana County Board of Elections to determine whether Ted Strickland actually lives in an apartment above his congressional office in Lisbon, Ohio. Ms. Long, a Democrat like Strickland, alleged that Strickland does not live at the address, regardless what the election records show.
Ms. Long’s challenge was strengthened by a homestead exemption form signed by Strickland that lists a condo in Columbus, Ohio, as his primary residence. Columbus is outside Strickland’s Sixth Congressional District in Ohio. Yet, Columbus residence, when questioned by Ohio reporters, evidently saw Strickland at the Columbus condo no more than Lisbon residents saw Strickland at the Lisbon apartment.
But if Strickland’s Ohio residence is not in Lisbon, then Strickland probably pays no local taxes in his congressional district. Still, the Ohio Board of Elections lists the Lisbon apartment as Strickland’s voting address.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Strickland’s federal tax returns listed the Columbus condo as his primary residence and quoted a Strickland campaign official as saying that Strickland spends most of his time in the state living out of his Columbus condo, not in the congressional district he represents.
Instead of resolving the conflict by proving that the Lisbon apartment was his primary residence, Strickland simply got the friendly Lisbon election officials to allow him to vote early. After that, Ms. Long withdrew her complaint, figuring the issue was now moot.
2. Do Ted and Frances Strickland live together as a married couple?
Ted Strickland married for the first time late in life, when he was 46 years old. Ted and Frances Strickland have no children together.
His wife, Frances Smith Strickland, continues to use predominately here maiden name. That is the name she uses for her published works, including a children’s book titled “The Little Girl Who Grew Up to be Governor: Stories from the Life of Martha Layne Collins.” Martha Layne Collins was governor of Kentucky from 1983 to 1987.
Mrs. Smith (Strickland) is listed on public records as the president and director of a consulting corporation named “Smith Educational Enterprises,” a Kentucky corporation. Ms. Smith is also listed on public documents filed with the Kentucky secretary of state as the registered agent for this Kentucky corporation. But to be a registered agent for a corporation or other business entity in Kentucky, you must be an individual resident of Kentucky. Smith Educational Enterprises is not registered to do business in Ohio.
The logical conclusion is that Mrs. Smith (Strickland) is still a resident of Kentucky, not Ohio.
Strickland owns a small apartment in Washington, D.C., but there is no real evidence that Mrs. Smith (Strickland) lives with her husband there, either. Until the recent gubernatorial campaign in Ohio, Ted and Frances Strickland have not been regularly seen together.
3. What does Ted Strickland do in Washington, D.C.?
Normally, most members of the U.S. House of Representatives are busy in their congressional offices representing the interests of their constituents and voting. Yet, the Washington Post lists Ted Strickland as having the third-worst voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives for the current 109th Congress, having missed 251 votes, 21.2 percent of all votes taken.
If Ted Strickland is too busy in Washington, D.C., to be present to vote, what does he do with his time?
4. What is Ted Strickland’s career?
Strickland’s background is filled with a lot of former positions in ministry, teaching and psychology. Strickland is a former assistant professor of psychology at Shawnee State University, and he is an ex-consulting psychologist at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. Still, we can find no evidence that as an adult Strickland every earned a salary working a business job, starting a company of his own or serving as a top officer of any commercial entity. Put directly, Ted Strickland has no business experience we can find documented anywhere, not even on his campaign website.
Ted Strickland is an ex-minister who supports publicly funded abortions. As I have previously documented, Strickland has accepted the endorsement of many LBGT groups who openly advance the “lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender” political agenda. We cannot currently find the church where Ted Strickland professes to be a regularly practicing member.
Howard Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Enquirer perhaps summed Strickland up best when he wrote:
“Today, Strickland seems to some a walking contradiction – an ordained Methodist minister who rarely goes to church, an advocate of gun rights who doesn’t own a gun, a man who has moved from one career to another in his adult life – pastor, prison psychologist, professor, politician.”
The one consistent feature of Ted Strickland’s career is that since his first try in 1976, he has been running for Congress from Ohio’s southeastern 300-mile Sixth District that runs along the Ohio River bordering Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, a district that has consistently been ranked as among the poorest in America despite Strickland’s nearly 12 years in office.
5. What is Ted Strickland’s platform for governor?
One of the most remarkable videos in the 2006 mid-year election is a clip of a press conference on YouTube.com where Ted Strickland admits he does not remember a key statistic in his own “Turn Around Ohio” program.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t know right at the very moment, not because the information doesn’t exist,” Strickland professes to the inquiring reporter. “It’s because just I haven’t memorized it.”
Unfortunately, Strickland’s whole campaign has been characterized by a consistent failure to provide details of his programs that he can remember when questioned.