Ken Blackwell (Photo: pbs.org)
WASHINGTON – With Republicans nationally quaking in their boots over control of the House and Senate in this fall’s midterm elections, there is one potential bright spot on the horizon for the GOP.
It comes in the form of a gubernatorial race in the battleground state of Ohio – yes, that Ohio, the one Democrats still accuse Republicans of stealing in 2004.
Meet Kenneth Blackwell, the secretary of state and a candidate for the highest office in Ohio – a conservative black official and proven statewide vote-getter.
This week, he lays out the specifics of his plans – not only for Ohio, but for the nation – in “Rebuilding America,” published by WND Books.
How threatening is Blackwell to the Democrats?
This week, his white Democratic opponent for the governorship accused Blackwell of engineering a plot to deprive his fellow blacks of the right to vote in the 2004 election.
A spokesman for Blackwell, Carlo LoParo, called the remarks by Rep. Ted Strickland “irresponsible.” He pointed out that Strickland has never employed an African-American staff member though he now promises to pack his Cabinet with blacks.
Blackwell, 58, is a former mayor of Cincinnati and a former Ohio treasurer. He was the first African American to be elected statewide, in 1994.
He believes his recipe of rebuilding America’s urban areas through private enterprise and America’s families through moral renewal will resonate with both black and white Ohioans.
“I thought it was in the interest of the African-American community to reconstruct a competitive two-party system,” he said.
Blackwell championed the successful 2004 ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio. This year, he is promoting a state constitutional amendment that would impose tight spending limitations on state and local governments.
Strickland admits Blackwell has the potential to cut into the black vote in November. That’s why he is campaigning hard in black communities – normally taken for granted by Democratic politicians.
Meanwhile, Blackwell is hoping his book, “Rebuilding America: A Prescription for Creating Strong Families, Building the Wealth of Working People, And Redeveloping Our Cities,” will not only help him get his message out in Ohio, but, also, position his candidacy as a nationwide cause.
Written with WND columnist Jerome Corsi, co-author of “Unfit for Command,” “Rebuilding America” is a direct challenge to the welfare state. It is a blueprint for a new “War on Poverty,” utilizing an innovative approach to mobilizing urban capital to strengthen African-American families, build wealth through meaningful employment among those now in poverty and develop America’s urban landscape without imposing additional tax burdens on the American people.
“Rebuilding America” directly attacks the problems of African-American poverty, arguing that abortion and AIDS represent genocide to black communities and threaten the very survival of the African-American family.
After four decades of failure of the welfare state, Blackwell and Corsi argue for its phase-out through applying new techniques of public finance – not dependent upon new taxes – to enlist financial institutions in deploying new urban capital into rebuilding our cities. The goal is to work with established and newly formed corporations that integrate jobs and re-training programs to advance an “ownership society” in which families can thrive.
“Rebuilding America” is not just meant to serve as a blueprint for John Kenneth Blackwell’s campaign for governor of Ohio. It is a meant as a blueprint for a national renewal in racial relations, in urban life, in building new political coalitions and in solving seemingly intractable problems.