Give Me A Ticket For An Aeroplane – Ken Blackwell Just Wrote Me A Letter

August 11, 2009
By Bob Fitrakis

Give me a ticket for an aeroplane, ain’t got time to take a fast train
– since the Republicans destroyed mass transit in the U.S. and there
aren’t any fast trains – Ken Blackwell just wrote me a letter. That’s
same Blackwell we all now known as the Katherine Harris of Ohio for his
role in helping steal the 2004 election. Blackwell, billing himself as
“Former Ohio Secretary of State” and “Conservative Republican,” wrote a
letter regarding: “The One Way to Stop the Obama Machine.”

My first thought to stop the Obama “Machine” was – take cell phones
away from 18-24-year-olds. After all, the Obama political machine was
actually a decentralized cyber-force of youngsters. All of this
brilliantly captured in Danny Schechter’s recent documentary: Barack
Obama: People’s President.

Blackwell addressed me as “Dear Fellow Conservative.” This is perfectly
appropriate since I believe in the Bill of Rights, particularly the 8th
Amendment that forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” Thus, in order
to preserve these traditional conservative values, I’d like to have a
grand jury investigate Bush and Cheney for torture and assorted crimes
against the Constitution and then prosecute them.

Blackwell began the letter by asserting that he was a “clear and
present danger” to the “Democrats.” Why? Because he “threatens
self-appointed black leaders, the Democrat Party machine, and even
Barack Obama’s grip on power.” Blackwell particularly takes offense to
the fact that Al Sharpton “…flew into the state to racially slander me
by calling me Ken Whitewell” during his ill-fated run for the
governorship of Ohio.

I understand Blackwell’s outrage and how out of touch Sharpton is with
the people of Ohio. Blacks here were referring to him as “Ken
Blackhell” and election activists as “Ken Hackwell.” How dare Sharpton
make a reference to Blackwell’s race simply because the black
conservative spent his time kissing Bush buttocks? Also, Sharpton
failed to point out that Blackwell’s favorite past-time paid real well
and was steady work.

Blackwell claims these evil Democrats “…have gone out of their way to
destroy me and other black Republicans like me.” I wondered why the
Dems would waste their time to “destroy” one person, because who else
is like him? And who cares? But Blackwell had gotten my attention.

Blackwell sees himself targeted because he stands “on principle.” Fair
enough. His principles happen to be opportunism, corruption, and
cronyism. But he has displayed a principled commitment to these values.

Blackwell’s always been a man of principle. First, when he was a
left-wing black nationalist in the 70s. And then, when he was a charter
reform progressive Democrat out of Cincinnati. And then when he was an
Independent, and again when he became a Jack Kemp help-the-poor
kind-hearted conservative. And finally when he was a Steve Forbes
help-the-poor-by-giving-money-to-the-rich Republican. Also, he was
perhaps most principle when he appeared before white supremacist groups
in Ohio and elsewhere and campaigned with far-right born-again
Christians like Rod Parsley. I guess it’s not hypocritical or
opportunistic to hang out with people that want to lynch blacks and
believe all Muslims will burn in hell (See “Why is the man who stole
Ohio campaigning with a white supremacist?” by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey
Wasserman, October 9, 2006 at

Still, the highlight of Blackwell’s letter was his ranting against
Obama’s “Big Brother government.” It’s fair to concede that Blackwell
knows a lot about Big Brother. He served as the UN Human Rights
Ambassador for former CIA Director, and then President, George Herbert
Walker Bush. So, we gotta give him his props. He associates with people
(for example George Walker Bush and Cheney) who know about torture,
unconstitutional and illegal domestic electronic surveillance, and
overthrowing democratically-elected governments. No wonder they wanted
him to be Ohio’s Secretary of State.

To be fair to Blackwell, he did have major accomplishments as Ohio
Secretary of State. He allowed 24.93% of all voters in Cleveland,
Ohio’s major Democratic stronghold, to be purged prior to the 2004
election. Many voters thrown off the voting rolls had been registered
in majority black precincts.

And he does know a little about money. Blackwell and three friends took
a $500,000 investment, hooked up with Carl Lindner, the Cincinnati
billionaire, and parlayed it into a nearly $200 million investment in
radio. Of course, Blackwell’s role as State Treasurer and the deposit
of large sums of Ohio tax dollars into Lindner’s banks played no role
in Blackwell’s success, according to Blackwell. Essentially, Blackwell,
with no radio experience, got rich off the Clear Channel franchise and

Blackwell is thrifty – outsourcing Ohio’s 2004 election count to
private companies like New Media, Triad, and Smartech – so the actual
statewide vote count could take place on Republican servers tied to the
White House in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (See “Behind the firewall: Bush
loyalist Mike Connell controls Congressional secrets as his email sites
serve Karl Rove” by Bob Fitrakis, July 29, 2008 at

I was so inspired by Blackwell’s letter and his plea for money, since
his Black Republican PAC is “Our best chance to stop the socialism of
the Obama presidency.” Blackwell clearly prefers the
welfare-for-the-rich socialism of the Bush administration where nearly
a trillion dollars was given to failed corporate investment bankers as
opposed to the Obama, where nearly a trillion dollars was given to
failed corporate investment banks. (See “Democratic Socialists?
Democrats not half that good” by Bob Fitrakis, May 24, 2009 at

I took up his challenge to respond within “96 hours.” Whew, I barely
got this in with an hour or so to go. Blackwell’s right – I should send
whatever I can spare, $35, $50, $75…– to a cause I can believe in.
Maybe I’ll send a check to the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN)
because I want health care reform or to All Aboard Ohio working to
bring a fast train, for that matter any train service, to Columbus,

Bob Fitrakis is the editor of and also ran for governor
of Ohio in 2006 on the Green Party ticket.