It was the first gubernatorial debate in Ohio history, possibly the United States, in which one candidate accused the other of being applauded by the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Republican candidate for governor who is trailing by double digits in most polls with three weeks until the election, went on the offensive in the fourth and final debate Monday night against Democrat Ted Strickland.
[..]To recap, Blackwell said Strickland did not vote for a resolution condemning sex between adults and children as a U.S. congressman.
That vote led NAMBLA, an organization that promotes sex between adults and consenting minors, to applaud Strickland, Blackwell said. Blackwell also said Strickland knew, employed and traveled with a man convicted of exposing himself to young children in Washington and Athens counties.
``It goes right at his judgment,'' Blackwell said.
(UPDATE below the fold)
[..]Strickland appeared before reporters after the debate to elaborate on his responses to Blackwell's accusations.
The Democrat reiterated he never knowingly employed anyone in his campaign or congressional office that did not share his same values. But he does acknowledge a former employee was convicted of exposing himself.
As for the resolution, Strickland said he did not vote for or against the idea, but instead was recorded as present.
He said he supported a number of the ideas in the resolution, but could not vote yes because it contained a sentence he did not agree with. Read on...
C&L reader Uncle Joe McCarthy in the comment thread alerts us to a video clip of the debate:
But that's not the best part. Get this:
NYTimes (reg. req.):
Voters in Ohio can be forgiven if they feel they have been beamed out of the Midwest and dropped into a third-world autocracy. The latest news from the state's governor's race is that the Republican nominee, Kenneth Blackwell, who is also the Ohio secretary of state, could rule that his opponent is ineligible to run because of a technicality. We'd like to think that his office would not ultimately do that, or that if it did, such a ruling would not be allowed to stand. But the mere fact that an elected official and political candidate has the authority to toss his opponent out of a race is further evidence of a serious flaw in our democracy.
Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee, is leading Mr. Blackwell by as much as 28 points, according to one recent poll. In their panic, some Blackwell supporters have hit on the idea of trying to prevent the election from occurring. One of them filed a complaint alleging that Mr. Strickland, who is a member of Congress, does not live in the apartment where he is registered to vote. Mr. Strickland owns a condominium in another part of Ohio, and the complaint alleges that he actually lives there. If Mr. Strickland was not a qualified voter, he would be prohibited from running for governor
So while Blackwell busies himself with farcical mud-smearing in the hopes of something sticking, he can actually invalidate his opponent's candidacy. Blackwell is just a one-man example of why our voting system needs to be overhauled, isn't he?