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In light of John Kerry’s most recent gaffe over Iraq, we have to re-examine Rep. Ted Strickland and his photo-op support of John Kerry in his failed 2004 Democratic Party presidential campaign.

Remember John Kerry’s famous staged hunting picture from the 2004 presidential campaign? Kerry was photographed out in the woods, triumphantly wearing goose hunting gear and giving the photographer a “thumbs up” while obviously displaying his proud hunting trophy. The guy Kerry was photographed hunting with that day was none other than Ted Strickland, the same Ted Strickland who is now running as the 2006 Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in Ohio.


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John Kerry and Ted Strickland


Yet, Ted Strickland has told voters in Ohio that he doesn’t own a gun. How is it, then, that we see Ted Strickland here, photographed in the field with Kerry, with the two of them decked out in full hunting regalia? Strickland is pictured shouldering a shotgun, carrying downed game – the triumphant hunter wearing a broad smile on his face. Was this all just for show?

Jodi Wilgoren of the New York Times published an article at the time that Kerry’s hunting outfit and gun were both borrowed and that within hours Kerry “was back in tailored suit and rose-colored tie for another photo-op, hugging the widow of the actor Christopher Reeve, who endorsed him because of his backing of embryonic stem cell research.”

Supporting embryonic stem cell research, even when it involves destroying live human embryos, is a cause near and dear to Ted Strickland’s ex-minister’s heart.

Strickland has just scored 0 percent on the Family Research Council’s 109th Congress Scorecard, meaning that the congressman failed to support any of the legislative measures FRC considered essential to its pro-faith, pro-family agenda.

For a person professing to be an ex-minister still devoted to God in his own “private manner,” Strickland’s voting history in the 109th Congress as scored by the Family Research Council tells an entirely different story, much as we find in the duck hunting episode with John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Typically, Strickland was absent in the voting on three of the seven pieces of legislation FRC scored. On all four of the bills where Strickland did vote, he voted in what FRC would consider a completely anti-faith, anti-family manner.

Here are the bills FRC scored and Strickland’s disappointing anti-faith, anti-family voting record:

  • Repeal of Abortion Restriction on Military Facilities, an amendment (H.AMDT. 805) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122) designed to lift the current ban on privately funded abortions at U.S. military facilities. FRC opposed the amendment, and the amendment failed, but Strickland voted YEA, to allow the abortions on military facilities.

  • Marriage Protection Amendment (H.J.Res. 88), designed to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The House failed to get the two-thirds vote needed. Ted Strickland was ABSENT.

  • Pledge Protection Act (H.R. 2389), to use congressional authority under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution to remove the jurisdiction of federal courts over cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance. The measure passed, but Strickland voted NEA, against the FRC recommendation.

  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research Act (H.R. 810), a bill designed to overturn President Bush’s policy on funding embryonic stem cell research to fund stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos. President Bush vetoed the bill after it passed the House and Senate. The House voted to sustain President’ Bush’s veto. FRC opposed overturning the veto, but Strickland voted the other way, in favor of overturning the veto to allow funding stem cell research even when the destruction of human embryos would be required.

  • Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., to prohibit transporting minors across state lines in circumvention of state laws that require parental notification before minors obtain an abortion, except for abortions necessary to save the life of the minor. The House had inserted a provision requiring abortion providers to notify parents of out-of-state minors before performing an abortion. FRC supported the bill. Ted Strickland was ABSENT.

  • Public Expression of Religion Act (H.R. 2679), a bill designed to prevent the use of legal fees to threaten local, state and federal governments over establishment of religion cases, including veteran memorials and the display of the Ten Commandments. FRC supported the bill. Ted Strickland was ABSENT.

  • Sponsorship of Marriage Protection Amendment, an endorsement by representatives who intended to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment (H.J.Res. 88) to co-sponsor the legislation. FRC supported the co-sponsorship. Strickland chose not to co-sponsor the Marriage Protection Amendment.

I have previously argued that we only get the true picture when we look at how Strickland has openly courted the support of those who advocate the extreme left’s radical moral and sexual agenda.

Yet, Strickland seeks to draw his support quietly from the pro-abortion pro-LBGT (“Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender”) lobbies, while all the while trying to sell himself to Ohioans as a Christian moderate.

Is anything about Ted Strickland authentic? Or is the Strickland campaign just feeding back to Ohio voters the picture Strickland’s polling experts tell him that Ohioans want to see?

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