Boycott Watch
May 16, 2006
Ohio's Battleground Myth
News Analysis By Fred Taub
    Ohio's recent Republican primary has revealed a lot about this so-called battleground state. Democrats are looking forward to winning Ohio's electoral votes in 2008, smelling victory resulting from scandals including Governor Taft being reprimanded in court for not reporting golf outings, bad investments in rare coins through a Republican and party donor coin dealer and six-term rep. Bob Ney getting caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

    Taft's administration scandals probably ended his political career. Although the term-limited governor won 60% of the votes in his last election, he did not run for any office in the 2006 primary, not even for the US Senate seat held by Mike DeWine (R-OH), who is viewed as being too liberal by conservative Republicans. DeWine won the recent primary with 72% of the vote, as his challengers did not put up much of a fight, which is odd because Ohio is becoming more and more conservative every year. Ohio's other Senator, George Voinovich, was re-elected with 64% of the vote in his last election, thus demonstrating both the strength of the Ohio GOP and the weakness of the Ohio Democrats, who in their last run for the governorship could only find Tim Hagan, a county commissioner whose only statewide claim to fame is being married to actress Kate Mulgrew who played Captain Janeway in a Star Trek series. Some newspaper articles discussing the recent scandals claim Republicans will lose votes because of Taft, yet do not detail which voter group the projected vote loss will come from.

    While Ohio was the home of ultra liberal Senator Howard Metzenbaum until he retired in 1995, four statewide initiatives in 2005 called 'Reform Ohio' by its supporters aimed to neuter Republicans control of Ohio by creating unelected bi-partisan committees, yet were each defeated by about 74% of the vote. These ballot initiatives were largely financed by Ohio billionaire insurance mogul Peter B. Lewis who, along with George Soros, is no stranger to the DNC top brass fundraisers.

    Ohio is now a predominately a Republican state with the Cleveland area being an oasis for the Democrats. In 2002, Cleveland area Rep Stephanie Tubbs- Jones (D) soundly defeated Republican challenger Patrick Pappano, yet she lost the predominately Jewish suburb of Beachwood because she consistently votes against her own constituents by not supporting Israel issues. She continues to win re-election because her district, despite Beachwood's Democrat residents disdain for her, is overwhelmingly liberal, as is the entire county. These entrenchments give most Cuyahoga County and surrounding area Democrats the false sense that the entire state votes just like they do. Incidentally, Tubbs-Jones was active in the re-election efforts of Capitol Hill Police-puncher Cynthia Mckinney (D-GA) who's father made national news for his anti-Semitic comments. Many articles have been written questioning if McKinney's views of Jews resembles that of her father.

    Meanwhile, Ken Blackwell won the Ohio's 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary with 60% of the vote. In his last gubernatorial run, Taft won 58% of the overall vote. Considering the growing strength of the Republican Party in Ohio, Blackwell will not only be the next governor of Ohio, but will be the first black governor outside the south. Blackwell won the primary because he is seen as a conservative Christian, thus Blackwell received the votes of religious Christians and Jews as his base. Blackwell's campaign was unconventional, as he avoided debates. He also irked many Ohio Republicans by supporting an Ohio constitutional amendment to limit spending which many mayors are against because while it also lowers taxes, it lowers state money sent to municipalities.

    And which Democrat is running against Blackwell? Six-term rep. Ted Strickland who has his district offices in world-renown cities such as Wheelersburg and Martins Ferry. Ohio's Lt. Governor slot is usually occupied by a virtual politically unknown, and Strickland tapped the politically washed-up and failed Ohio Gubernatorial candidate Lee Fisher who has been out of office for years. Why? Well, Fisher is from the Cleveland area and has been desperately trying to make a comeback for years.

    "If you read the newspapers, you will get the impression Blackwell is a radical religious zealot" says Rob Frost, the Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, for example, appeared surprised at Blackwell for linking God and politics in a speech in a church on the National Day of Prayer, just days after his primary victory. Did the newspaper expect him to speak about baseball in a church?

    These newspaper attacks only appease the senses of Lewis and Soros, who will once again seek a chance to win Ohio's Electoral Votes for the Democrats despite the fact that the numbers do not bear that out as possible. Lewis is anything but a humble altruistic philanthropist. A building he donated to Case Western Reserve University bearing his name can best be called Metal on a Bad Hair Day considering its roof; and when he donated an aquatic therapy center to retirement community, he did do with the condition that he has 24 hour access plus priority access over all residents and programming. While that may sound like a small price to pay for a major donation, what it really boils down to is Lewis getting his name on a private tax deductible Olympic sized swimming pool, and the retirement center may never ask him for another penny per the donation agreement.

    Lewis will surely sink money into Ohio's Democratic efforts for 2008 with the illusion of a victory projected by liberal newspaper dreams and by living in an area that makes him feel as if all of Ohio is liberal. This does not worry the GOP which will be happy to have the Democrats dollars spent in Ohio to try and defeat Blackwell in 2006 and whoever the 2008 GOP presidential candidate will be, thus diverting dollars away from actual contestable states. "It's all in the numbers" as Pappano said after he lost his congressional race. As it stands today, the Republicans in Ohio have the numbers, even if the Democrats deny it.
Fred Taub is a boycott consultant and is the President of Boycott Watch ( which monitors and reports about consumer boycotts, and Divestment Watch ( which exposed the illegal nature of the divest-from-Israel campaign as well as why divestment is bad for the US and is anti- peace.

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