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Ken Blackwell Loses Bid to be Republican National Chair

Published on January 30, 2009, by in General.

On January 30, the Republican National Committee chose Michael Steele of Maryland to be its new national chair. One of the other candidates for chair, Ken Blackwell, dropped out and endorsed Steele after placing last in the fourth ballot.

Blackwell, a former Ohio Secretary of State, behaved with hostility toward minor parties and independent candidates while he was Secretary of State in 2003 and 2004. In late 2003, he rejected the Ohio Libertarian Party’s petition because the wording on the petition changed while the party was conducting its petition. When the party started its petition, the petition was supposed to say, “The penalty for election falsification is imprisonment for not more than 6 months or a fine of not more than $1,000 or both.” During the drive, the state changed the petition so that it said instead, “Whoever commits election falsification is guilty of a felony of the 5th degree.” The party didn’t know about the wording change, and was shocked when it submitted the petition and Blackwell rejected it because of the wording.

In 2004, Blackwell rejected Ralph Nader’s independent petition because most of the signatures had been collected by people that perhaps were domiciled outside Ohio (although this was never resolved). At approximately the same time Blackwell rejected Nader’s petition, he waived the rules to allow an initiative petition to appear on the ballot even though its circulators had not been domiciled in Ohio.

Blackwell’s behavior kept Nader off the 2004 ballot, and kept the Libertarian Party off the 2004 ballot (although it qualified its presidential candidate as an independent). However, after the 2004 election was over, courts struck down the Ohio procedure for new parties to qualify, and struck down the Ohio law barring out-of-state circulators from working on an independent candidate petition, so Blackwell’s behavior was ultimately good for ballot access.

9 Responses

  1. SEbastian

    Maybe Ken Blackwell should move to Pennsylvania, He’s be in like company there. Perhaps Reed/Smith would give him a job paying big buck$. Sebastian McGarigle

  2. Don’t forget Blackwell’s role in the 2004 Ohio recount issues, for which Michael Badnarik and David Cobb initiated legal action.

  3. Blackwell handed the 2004 election to George W. Bush and managed to shift the blame onto his lesser minions in various parts of Ohio. He also tried to jump on board the NAFTA Superhighway bandwagon by proposing to lease the Ohio Turnpike to Centra.

  4. Hmmn, funny how leftwinger Winger focuses in on Blackwell, but only mentions Steele’s win in passing.

    Michael Steele served as Lt. Governor under libertarian Republican Gov. Bob Erlich. Erlich was a hardcore budget hawk, fiscal conservative, and one of the Republican Party’s leading supports of marijuana decriminalization. Quite a libertarian fellow. And Steele holds very closely to his old boss’s views.

    A bit of a stretch to say Michael Steele is a libertarian Republican, but friendly to the libertarian wing of the GOP, absolutely.

    Too bad Winger and his Democrat allies don’t want to mention that fact.

  5. Eric, Ken Blackwell was without a doubt the WORST Secretary of State Ohio has had since Sherrod Brown.

    Ken Blackwells documented animosity to free elections is why this story is relevant to “Ballot Access News”. Please remember that this site is NOT “Republican Party News”.

    If Sherrod Brown (now in the US Senate) proposed to limit free speech rights by limiting access to Federal ballots, THAT would be news for this site, too. I am certain that Richard would cover the story. Would that make Richard a “right winger”?

    BTW, Steele may be a nice guy. So what? What does that have to do with free elections? Steele won, woo hoo!!

    PEACE

  6. lemur

    i’m not a big fan of blackwell. But I believe he was in suport of proportional representation in Cinncinnati.

  7. Michael Morrison

    Richard “Left” Winger?????
    Eric, you apparently haven’t been paying a lot of attention to this site.
    The point of this site is “ballot access,” which you might have known if you had, say, looked at the name.
    Blackwell worked hard to prevent “ballot access,” and thus was the focal point of the above item.

  8. Michael Seebeck

    Gee, Eric, you think that if the article was about that tool Steele winning then the article would have reflected that? No? Gee, maybe that was because the article was about that other tool Blackwell losing instead.

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