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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

OH-Gov: The Fabulous Life of J. Kenneth Blackwell

Posted by Tim Tagaris

(Note from Tim: It appears as if I won't be joining Bob down in the Gulf Coast. I am pretty dissapointed, but it ain't gonna happen. Anyway, the post below is something I wrote up for Grow Ohio. If you aren't from the Buckeye State, don't feel compelled to visit, but if you are from Ohio, you should check it out, and create a username)

Ken Blackwell's campaign for Governor is understandably proud of the grassroots support they have received in the form of small to medium sized donations.  A press release linked from the front page of his campaign website boasts $1.1 million cash on hand from an average contribution of $195.  One of the hallmarks of a grassroots campaign is responsible stewardship of the donations received from hard working Americans.  Unfortunately, people like Joan Emerson, who contributed $10 to the effort, have been fleeced by Blackwell's campaign as the candidate and his staff live the high-life everywhere they go on the back of her contribution--and others like her.

How can the people of Ohio, and even future contributors, expect fiscal responsiblity from a "Governor Blackwell," when candidate Blackwell is using the people's money to live a lifestyle of the rich and famous?

Take $1,745.76 for two evenings at the lavish Ritz Carlton in Cleveland for example.

The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland combines Midwestern hospitality with a cosmopolitan elegance in an ideal setting for both business and leisure traveler.

Sounds luxurious.  Blackwell contributors should be pleased to know that their candidate does travel properly.  The Carlton is after all "the city's only luxury four-star, four-diamond rated property. And when Ken Blackwell leaves the state of Ohio, he spares no expense (and there is a TON travel; including $3600 in one shot to Ladd Air). He travels around Florida using Dolphin Transportation and their fleet of stretch limos, lincoln towncars, and other assorted extravagent automobiles. And when he rests after such a difficult day, he checks into the Registry Resort in Naples Florida for $1,099.

Each of the 395 Guestrooms and 29 Tower Suites are luxuriously appointed with Tuscan-inspired furnishings, elegant decor and roomy conversation areas. With private balconies offering spectacular vistas of the Gulf of Mexico and City of Naples, this is the perfect place to take in a legendary west coast sunset.

$239 to stay at the St. Gregory Hotel and Luxury Suites in Washington, D.C. This place is beautiful. I remember passing it the last time I was in Washington, D.C. on the way to to Adams Morgan (A spot for nightlife in the area).

$620 for an evening at the Marriot Key Bridge overlooking the nation's capitol in Arlington, Virginia.

$245 was the cost to live it up at the Renaissance Houston. Again, luxrious--just check out their website It's also instructive to note that the hotel is adjacent to the Lakewood Church, one of the largest in the world and home to Joel Osteen.

And the list goes on and on and on and on. By contrast, when I travel for Grow Ohio, I normally shack up at the Red Roof Inn.  There isn't much of a "cosmopolitan elegance," but I do get Internet access and there is normally a vending machine with Diet Pepsi down one of corridors.

Blackwell also uses his small dollar contributions to pay his dues...literally. The Club for Growth was a recipient of $895 dollars in dues, straight from the pockets of dozens of Ohioans. For those of you who don't know, that organization is the ultra-conservative organization that goes around "primarying" Republicans who aren't radical enough like when they put Pat Toomey up against current Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, Arlen Specter.

There is also more than $11,000 in expenditures to Citizens for Tax reform. That organization is very similar to the Club for Growth in that most Republicans just aren't Republican enough for them. In Paul Hackett's special election, the organization attempted nothing short of full-fledged sabotage of Jean Schmidt's effort.

And that's just a taste of what it's like to live the fabulous life of J. Kenneth Blackwell. An extravagent lifestyle afforded on the backs of hard working Ohioans who think they are contributing money that goes towards the items it takes to win a campaign--not luxury hotels, vehicles, and the payment of dues to extremist organizations like the Club for Growth.

Posted at 03:32 PM in Ohio | Technorati


These are all campaign-related; not on the taxpayer's dime. All the candidates have similar expenses--some more (Blackwell is a national political figure), some less (Petro/Montgomery/Strickland/Coleman have no drawing power outside OH).

See every OH candidate's contributions/expenditures here (need to be able to unzip files and have Excel):

http://serform.sos.state.oh.us/p...V2? agree_flag=Y

Let's stick to issues!

Posted by: Joe C. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2005 11:46 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

No... Joe.

His luxurious nights come on the backs of $10 contributors, that's the point. Then his campaign has the nerve to tout their grassroots support, while the candidate jet-sets across the country, traveling around in limos and living it up at the Ritz Carlton.

And I have looked at the finance reports (that's where I got blackwell's info from), and his campaign is the only one among all candidates that ridiculous.

Sorry, but in my mind, that is an issue.


Posted by: Tim Tagaris [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2005 01:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


You're looking at this all wrong. Let him spend money that could be used for vital media buys, GOTV, etc. to live the jetset life.

Strickland for Gov!

Posted by: Travis Owsley [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 10:02 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment