Race to replace Governor Taft spreads online to Facebook

Jen Steer

Everyone seems to hate the new layout of Facebook and fears that if it is opened up to anybody, there will be more stalkers – but there is a plus to the Web site. It now has a section devoted to the upcoming election. While Facebook has been known to cut off people from their friends in favor of staring at the computer screen, this new addition to the Web site should give us all a little bit more hope in our generation.

The thing that really caught my eye was an election group called “If Ken Blackwell gets elected, I’m going to shoot myself in the foot.” I was relieved to know someone could actually verbalize my exact sentiment if the current Ohio Secretary of State wins the governor’s race. With more than a month until the actual vote, we can definitely see that the Ohio gubernatorial race is shaping up to be an interesting one.

Republican Ken Blackwell has been using attack ads a lot more frequently than Democrat Ted Strickland. Poor “Taxin’ Ted” has been made out to be extremely frivolous. The Columbus Dispatch on Sept. 13 explained that Blackwell has been focusing on Strickland’s proposed tax increases for education. And what is Blackwell’s plan to fix Ohio schools? He wants to cut spending on busing and food, and spend it on classroom activities instead. Robbing from one underfunded area of the budget to give to another is hardly a solution.

The most recent attack ads launched by Blackwell’s camp against Strickland are pretty unsettling. When Blackwell stands in front of a light blue background that looks like heavenly puffy clouds, you might as well just put a little halo on his head. Strickland, on the other hand, looks as though flames are engulfing him in the commercial. Sending subliminal messages that your opponent is the devil is very immature. I guess Blackwell forgot that Ted is a former minister.

This brings me to my next point. The Cincinnati Enquirer on Sept. 17 describes how many religious organizations are pushing the idea to the public that Blackwell is a man guided by faith. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about religion, but I consider a minister to be more rooted in his faith than a man linked to the most corrupt governor in Ohio history. As Bob Taft’s right-hand man, your values can’t be that strong.

Someone said to me just last week that it’s hard to beat someone who is in charge of the Board of Elections. True, Ken Blackwell, as the Secretary of State, oversees election results. And the polls have Ted Strickland leading, but no matter how much he is ahead, we should not give up. The polls can be wrong and the polls can change. This state needs to be a blue state again, and putting Strickland in office is just the first step of many to get Ohio back on track.

With the candidates already bashing each other this early on, it is just going to get uglier. The worst thing is, voters are less likely to get out to the polls when there have been so many negatives campaign ads. So please, boys, play nice.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].