All along, J. Kenneth Blackwell has been engaging in criminal activity.
He’s responsible for the purging of over 300,000 voters in Ohio between the 2000 and 2004 election, telling voters they were registered on the wrong paper weight, not counting votes cast in the wrong precinct after he had the precincts switched, and stealing the election in Ohio.
He could always count on the Bush boys to bail him out. But now what? He’s caught dead to rights with an unlawful interest in a public contract.
Remember, Blackwell bragged about negotiating the “best in the nation” deal with Diebold. It wasn’t hard, since Wally O’Dell was one of the president’s Pioneer and Ranger team members.
So, let’s get this straight. Bush’s co-chair of his Ohio “re-election” campaign was responsible for counting all the votes with half of the counties in Ohio using GEMS software from Diebold in their central tabulators. Blackwell also brought in new Diebold touchscreen voting machines in 41 counties for the notorious 2005 election where the results for election reform issues 2 and 3 looked reversed from what was predicted in the polls.
Now we know that the multimillionaire Blackwell who invested in rightwing and religious radio stations also had shares in Diebold stock. But, as always, he didn’t know. Nor did he know that he disenfranchised over 300,000 voters. Nor did he know that his purges eliminated 25% of the voters in the African American-dominated city of Cleveland. Nor did he know that he was being a hypocrite by comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.
All we can hope is that some prosecutor sees fit the put Blackwell where he belongs — like Franklin County Prosectuor Ron O’Brien — in the county jail. Then, and only then, does Blackwell have a chance at redemption. He could write a letter from the Franklin County Jail. And he only need utter five words: I’m sorry Martin, I’m guilty.