Wednesday, July 12, 2006

J. Ken Targeting Blacks, Bashing Gays

We knew it was coming, but maybe not this soon. J. Ken Blackwell is campaigning hard on the gay marriage issue in the Black community. A friend who lives in a predominantly African American ward in Akron has received a pro-Blackwell robo call focused on gay marriage and says that at least one friend has received the same call. My friend is a registered Democrat.

The automated call asks the voter is African American. It runs through questions about coingate, the BWC, and whether “you think African American Children should have a choice to attend safe schools” The voter is then asked to speak a preference governor. If the answer is “Strickland” the call goes into a message asking if the voter is aware that Strickland "voted for gay marriage." After the negative message, the voter is again asked who he/she prefers. A voter who switches to Blackwell gets a thank-you from J. Ken and a reminder that “he stands for us because he stands for families.”

While doing a preemption check for this post I discovered blogger Pat Denino’s rundown on a Restoration Project flier for “values voters.” The flier prominently features J. Ken for his “efforts in passing one of the strongest constitutional definitions of marriage in America."

Apparently J. Ken didn’t get the memo from Laura Bush.

Strickland needs to figure out how to respond to this and fast. Meanwhile, I’ve found one of those quixotic, symbolic, ineffectual-but-I-feel-better petitions to sign. Equality Ohio has an online petition urging candidates not to "use the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community as a divisive distraction from issues that matter." The petition is smartly worded – don’t focus on divisions, show real leadership, talk about issues. I like it.

It also gives you an opportunity to send emails to your friends urging them to sign, so my real-life friends who read here should expect something in their mailboxes. soon. Equality Ohio is hoping for 20,000 signatures. That’s about right for an online state petition, but with a little push they should be able to bust it. Let’s give them a hand, blogosphere. Sign it, blog it, pass it on.