The Ohio Republican Party’s plan to stimulate economic growth in Ohio through their lackeys at the Ohio EPA – Every Polluter’s Friend – is to import more garbage from New York state. While Ohio lags behind the developed world in passenger train and mass transit rolling stock, the EPA is more than willing to keep the trains running on time with New York trash.

Since, by some measurements, we are already the most polluted state in the country, the Republicans see it as a growth industry – particularly for their political action committees. The fact that certain elements of the waste management field has long ties to organized crime doesn’t seem to bother the Ohio EPA. But, as Tony Soprano said in the last episode of the Sopranos, hey, there’s enough garbage to go around.

Of course instead of importing garbage, we could become a green, self-sustaining state cleaning up our water and air and promoting tourism in our Appalachian hills. We might start by doing what Michigan did back in the 70s, passing a bottle bill and this should include cans and plastic bottles as well. It works right now Maine, California and Hawaii.

So, instead of letting the Republicans make Ohio the armpit of the nation, why not take pride and go Green?

So the Rethuglicans have descended once again into the worst form of gutter politics. Expect more. When your party is morally bankrupt, reprehensible and relies on Christo-fascists as their base – name-calling, stereotyping, smearing and dehumanizing your opponents are your only tactics. At the core of their recent “Smear the Queer” attack on Congressman Strickland is the same type of tactic used by Mussolini, Hitler and other rightwing authoritarians.

A GOP operative, Gary Lankford, emailed out unsubstantiated allegations concerning Strickland’s personal life to targeted rightwing constituents claiming that Strickland was, among other things, “soft on those who sexually assault children.” I guess when you are 20 points behind in the race and desperate, you’ve got to shamelessly create works of fiction in order to arouse your base. You remember Karl Rove started that street rumor that John McCain was mentally ill and had an illegitimate black child with a hooker. This is standard fare for the Rove-Blackwell wing of the Republican Party.

Gary Lankford, the Republican Party’s social conservative “coordinator,” was just doing the despicable job the GOP paid him for. It should come as no surprise that Lankford is headmaster at a Christian home school and was also listed until recently as the state director of the Ohio Restoration Project. The Restoration Project is busy trying to round up thousands of so-called “patriot pastors” who would have you believe that Jesus is the greatest hater in history and that real pastors have to have mansions, Lear jets and Rolex watches.

Strickland needs to, like Jesus, metaphorically get out the whip and drive these hypocritical hatemongers out of God’s temple. Or, at least out of the people’s temple, known as the statehouse. Expect between now and Election Day that J. Kenneth Blackwell and his rightwing jackbooted thugs to tell every lie they can while praising Jesus and passing the cash to so-called patriot pastors in order to distort the truth and the Gospel to bring victory to the GOP.

Talk about the great ironies of history. Ohio’s leading kleptocrat, J. Kenneth Blackwell, recently compared being homosexual to being an “arsonist” or a “kleptomaniac.” Here’s the quote, in answer to the question by the Dispatch, can homosexuals change:

“And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one’s genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can change? Yes.”

Blackwell, who has a propensity towards opportunism, clearly learned and nurtured by shameless ambition – not genetically implanted – believes in kleptocracy. That is, rule by thieves. He’s the leading shill for what can only be described as the Bush crime family.

The crime family run by the former CIA director is most well-known for bizarre speech patterns which makes them unable to complete complex sentences. See The Bush Dislexicon, by Mark Crispin Miller. The only reason the cognitively impaired George W. Bush is president, is because of two unprincipled kleptomaniacs – J. Kenneth Blackwell and Karl Rove.

Rove was in Columbus, Ohio today assuring Republicans that they shouldn’t worry about Blackwell being 20 points behind Ted Strickland. Why would he say this? Because Blackwell and Rove, with the help of Congressman Ney and corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff have implanted partisan Republican electronic voting machines into the Buckeye State and throughout the nation. Rove, a despicable dirty tricks expert, whose roots go back to Watergate, simply plans to steal another election in Ohio. The for-profit corporate media bows down and serves the kleptocracy. After all, business is business.

The people of Ohio should be outraged that Blackwell would be equating violent criminal and compulsive thieves with homosexuality. But this is the usual form that fascism takes. Blatant corruption and scapegoating of gays and other minorities.

Since that very important corporate newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, has decided that only Strickland and Blackwell’s opinions matter, I’m now forced as a duly certified candidate to ask myself the same questions in a spontaneous interview on the fraudbusterbob blog.

How important is religion in your life?
I try to live my faith…which is democracy, human rights and the Sermon on the Mount. I believe it will be difficult for J. Kenneth Blackwell to get into heaven, much like it was difficult for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle. I’m also quite fond of the socialism of the early Catholic Church in the Book of Acts. And, I also fight every day to save the poor baby Jesus from the warmongering greedhead clutches of Bush and Blackwell.

Do you apply your faith in office or in campaigning?
Sure. Democracy means trusting the people. I apply that faith every day and I hold true to my belief in a final judgment and just pray I’m present when God asks J. Kenneth why he oppressed “the least of our brothers and sisters” by canceling their votes because they hadn’t registered on 80 bond unwaxed white paper.

Can you cite any policies or votes that may have stemmed from your faith?
Well, I’m not in office, but most of my positions are based on faith. For example, I believe Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and hence would find Bush and Blackwell’s illegal war in Iraq reprehensible. I believe Jesus and I would be against torturing human beings as are the vast majority of people on the planet. Bush and his lackey Blackwell, see otherwise. The only marriage I would outlaw is the marriage of Church and State. And I believe the First Amendment protects Freedom of Religion and the Freedom From Religion – the rights of agnostics, atheists, humanists, and pagans.

Do you think America was founded as a Christian nation, is it now, and should it be?
Since the original founders of our country were the indigenous, pantheistic Native Americans, I would have to say no. As I recall, in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution says “We the people” not “We the Christian people.” Now, I know that some far-right evangelicals will tell you that the holy spirit of Christ descended on the founding fathers in Philadelphia in 1787, but I think anyone who reads the Constitution will come to the conclusion that it was founded by a group of wealthy, well-educated men – some who were slave holders – and that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit or God who told them to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person and not to outlaw the importing of slaves for at least 20 years. That sounds like the work of the devil, or at worst, politicians.

Are non-Christians religions true?
Is the Pope Catholic?
Which of the following statements comes closest to your view about the Bible?
#3 – that the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man. I would disagree with this statement in that there were obviously women, like Ruth and others, who recorded things. Also, that the King James version is an incredible work of literature as well. All great radicals from Marx to Eugene Victor Debs and Norman Thomas quoted the Bible. It has a prophetic quality and should inspire us to speak truth to power, and that’s a basic Old Testament concept of righteousness.

What is your position on evolution, intelligent design and science, and what should be taught in science classes?
Let me go out on a limb here – science should be taught in science classes. By that I mean that the scientific method that people can never have truth, but the best possible explanation given the existing data. Why would we teach intelligent design in our science classes? I believe in the separation of church and state. But, if they do allow intelligent design, I think you have to include them all, including the one about the Earth being on the back of a giant turtle and the ancient astronauts breeding with primates. I think any non-scientific faith-based explanation must be treated equally in a secular classroom.

Is homosexuality a sin and can gays be cured?
No and I’m laughing too hard to answer the second half of this question. I believe that people like Blackwell who see sexuality as a “choice” must have had a very strange pattern of sexual development as a youth. I don’t remember somewhere around puberty there being a “choice” day. Scientific studies show that the vast majority of people’s sexual orientation is set early in life and it’s not a choice or lifestyle. I do however, believe that eating pork, as in the Book of Leviticus, is a sin. And, I say this as a biased former owner of two noble tropical boars, including the legendary Iggy. So, if I’m going to spend my time, focusing on sin, look for me protesting at Bob Evans against the pig holocaust.

The Other Paper, Columbus’ faux “alternative” paper driven by the junior high hijinks of editor Danny Russell and the cynical search for “political relevance” by Dan Williamson, may have reached a new low. In the article “Blackwell and the black vote,” Williamson, who knows better, leads with the most absurd quote in modern Ohio gubernatorial history. East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer, making a bid to be in Uncle Ken’s cabinet, likens blacks who are opposed to Ken Blackwell to the slave Jim in Gone With the Wind. As Williamson describes it, “To Brewer, black Democrats trying to defeat Republican Ken Blackwell for governor are like Jim the slave.” Jim fought with the Southerners against the Yankees. Brewer goes on to say that the African American community doesn’t know “his record,” his being Blackwell’s.

Now let’s look at the facts. Ken Blackwell appeared earlier this year before the super secret far- right Council on National Policy which harbors many known white supremacists. They are based in Texas, a southern Confederate state. The Bush family also has a sordid history of an anti-black and anti-Semitic nature, and these are Blackwell’s political backers. Prescott Bush laundered money to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, it’s a known fact. George H.W. Bush, the former CIA director who suppressed people around the world and rigged elections, won as a Congressional candidate in Texas in 1966 opposing Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.

There’s a reason that W lives in Texas and Jeb lives in Florida. These are former Confederate Jim Crow states. Jeb and W conspired in the 2000 with their key elections expert Ken Blackwell to suppress the vote of more than 92,000 Florida citizens who were eligible to vote but were denied the right to vote because their name was the same or similar to a felon or their birthdate was the same as a felon. A disproportionate number of these people were African Americans. Bush also targeted black and Latino soldiers during the 2004 election who were serving in Iraq challenging their right to vote in their home precincts.

Blackwell is Jim. No, he’s worse than Jim. Jim was a browbeaten, brainwashed, uneducated black man who may not have known better. Blackwell is an opportunistic, ass-kisser to a low-IQ’ed cracker named George W. Bush. Anytime Blackwell and Brewer start to talk about Blackwell doing things for blacks, all you have to remember is J. Kenneth is the key apologist in the Buckeye State for W Bush who left blacks to die in the rooftops in New Orleans. When Blackwell calls a black man brother, he should respond with the name Katrina

Those private vote-switching, election-stealing electronic voting machines are at it again. Early in the day, Cynthia McKinney supporters began registering complaints that when they tried to register their vote for McKinney in Georgia’s primary election today, it registered a vote for her opponent. Just like in the Ohio election, the vote hopping with Diebold machines always goes for the conservative candidate: push for Kerry – votes hops to Bush.

Or, if you voted for McKinney it hopped to Hank Johnson or John Coyne. Thankfully McKinney had her team of lawyers on the spot taking affidavits from voters who swore the machines switched their votes to one of her opponents. With a majority of counties in Ohio using Diebold electronic machines, other problems present in Georgia’a primary today are bound to plague the Buckeye State in the fall.

For example, complaints were lodged against Diebold’s electronic pollbooks. Election staff were not properly trained to access the voter registration database. Also, complaints came in about machines breaking down in the middle of the voting process and machines malfunctioning.

As I prepare to sign off, McKinney is barely ahead of Hank Johnson by a little over 500 votes with 53% of the precincts reporting. Our democracy must be transparent. We must reject this bizarre, faith-based voting. Let’s pray for McKinney’s victory, and equally important, for a real democratic system based on hand counted paper ballots.

More than a million people were in the streets in Mexico City in perhaps the largest demonstration in the history of the western hemisphere. What’s the difference between Columbus, Ohio and Mexico City? Both had a stolen election by the same people. When I saw, a week or so before the election, that the Bush team was headed down to Mexico, you could tell that the son of a CIA director was about to steal again. Bush, Rove and Blackwell are chronic kleptomaniacs. They steal because they think they can get away with it – but that only works in Ohio. In Mexico, the difference is that people believe in democracy and they are not brainwashed by a propagandistic corporate media into ignoring the obvious.

We didn’t have a million, but I want to acknowledge the hard core voting rights activists who did hit the streets after the 2004 election and continue to fight for a fair election in Ohio to this day. My campaign is the direct result of that movement – we will not concede.

We should do everything we can to support the nonviolent civil disobedience and massive demonstrations that are rocking Mexico. I’ve enclosed two recent articles Harvey Wasserman and I have written on the elections in Mexico. Let me know what you think.

The Democrats must now say “We Do Not Concede” in the U.S. as it’s being said in Mexico

An open letter from Ohio to the people of Mexico

The first of many qui tam (fraud) legal suits has been officially filed against a major electronic voting machine manufacturer. Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, co-host with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the Air America show “Ring of Fire,” described some of the details of the suit on Mike Malloy’s radio show.

Papatonio claims to have assembled a “dream team of lawyers” that will go after the well-known Republican operatives that are running the sham voting machine companies. Perhaps his best quote was: “When you hear the details, when you hear the caliber of the fraud . . . it’ll make Americans feel like they’re living in a damn banana republic, a Third World country. I’ve never heard such outrageous facts.”

Indeed. That’s how I felt when I first listened to the late Athan Gibbs describe the trail of money from voting machine companies that led back to conservative right-wing families and the software in the hands of a few people – in one case, the notorious Urosevich brothers. That’s why I blew the whistle on this fraud in a Free Press cover story called

“Diebold, electronic voting, and the vast right wing conspiracy.”

The disgusting details were also outlined in an article by me for

Diebold’s Political Machine

I’m indebted to Bev Harris for her expertise and guidance. Often maligned, Harris is the godmother of the movement, who fights to expose the evils of “black box voting.”

The reality we face is that a small group of Republican operatives, loyal to the former CIA Director and his son, George the Lessor, have hijacked our election process and we are, in fact, a banana republic. We have no transparency in our election process. We have privatized it to partisan, for-profit corporations who don’t make that much money off of selling electronic voting machines, but make a fortune off selling election results.

Wednesday, July 19th, 7PM, Robert Fitrakis, Editor and Publisher of the Freepress and a practicing local attorney, Candidate for Governor, State of Ohio, will speak to the Community Leaders Forum on the topic,

“Will the Green Party Simply Be A Spoiler Factor in Ohio Politics?”

Many people are afraid that the Green Party in Ohio, as the Green Party nationally in the years 2000 and 2004, will this year, ruin the chances of the Democratic Party in Ohio to rebound from its many setbacks in state government elections in recent years.

Candidate Fitrakis will address this sensitive issue directly and head-on in a candid discussion of what is likely to happen in Ohio and nationally within the fall November state and national general elections. This forum is free and open to the broad Columbus community.

Well, this should be fun. But there’s really nothing like democracy, and democracy means trusting the people and being accountable, as a candidate for public office, for one’s actions. Since the Green Party and other independents have placed my name on the ballot as their candidate, I intend to explain the philosophy behind my candidacy as directly as possible. While I’ll go into much greater detail a week from today at the Unitarian Church, let me state the obvious.

Had the Democratic Party in Ohio and John Kerry campaign actually made good on their pledge to “count every vote” in 2004, I would not be running for governor in 2006. But that’s only one area where the Democratic Party has failed to provide a clear alternative. Remember, when an independent progressive candidate has done well, so have liberal Democrats like Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt.

But, more next Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

The Unitarian Church in Columbus is at

93 W. Weisheimer Rd.

Wednesday, July 19th, 7PM

Let a thousand lawsuits bloom! The coalition of civil rights groups that sued the state of Ohio and Blackwell, is to be congratulated. Voting should be a guaranteed constitutional right, like free speech. Voting should be standardized, universal and easy.

What the Republican Party is doing, all too often with spineless Democrat acquiescence, is shrinking the electorate while their corporatist Christo-fascist politics dedicated to war and massive war profiteering are alienating the majority of Americans. Blackwell’s latest anti-democratic directive, requiring each person who registers voters to individually return the form, is ludicrous – just like his directive for 80 bond un-waxed requirement for voter registration forms in 2004.

In a real democratic country, Blackwell would be serving time in jail for violating constitutional rights, not running as the gubernatorial candidate of a major party. Blackwell’s policies led to mass purging of voters in the 2004 election with nearly 25% of all the voters purged in the city of Cleveland. It led to the unnecessary and widespread use of provisional ballots. While Blackwell likes to point out there were a high rate of provisional ballots approved, that’s because in Republican-dominated counties the boards of elections never enforced his absurd rule that if you were a registered voter voting in the wrong precinct, but the right county, your vote wouldn’t be counted from the county level to the presidency.

Blackwell claims he’s not repressing “African American” votes although, despite being black, he loses the African American vote by 20% to Democratic opponents. This is true. Blackwell represses not only black voters, but the elderly, poor and college students – that is, all the traditional Democratic voting blocks and the core of liberal and progressive voters in Ohio.

There are many other areas that Blackwell should be sued over, but more than anything, there should be a criminal investigation on how he became a multi-millionaire while on the public payroll and the obvious trail on the 2004 stolen election. Instead of rewarding him for helping Bush (and now himself) steal elections, he should be punished. Blackwell symbolizing the death of democracy and the rise of a new kleptocracy – rule by thieves.