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Ohio Election – Blackwell's Spokesperson has Changed from LoParo to Lee but the Lies Remain the Same

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In the aftermath of Ohio's disputed 2004 election, I had a phone interview with Carlo LoParo, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's erstwhile spokesperson (see ) in which Mr. LoParo gave a series of statements bolstering the idea that the election was conducted fairly. In subsequent interviews with the Supervisors of Elections of several Ohio counties, those statements were exposed as falsehoods. In particular, LoParo "stressed that each county in Ohio has an election board consisting of two Republicans and two Democrats and that each board 'unanimously voted to certify their election results on December 6th.'". The implied idea is that since local counties are in charge and some of them have Democrats as chair people or members, Blackwell, a Republican, could neither be involved in any fraud or rigging of the results nor could he in any way affect the outcome.

This is remarkably similar to an August 21, 2006 statement to the Associated Press made by Blackwell's current spokesperson James Lee who said "Anyone who is objectively looking at the election system in Ohio knows that we have a bipartisan voting system that is run primarily at the county level, that bipartisan boards determined whether to place individual voting machines ... It's amazing that there are still those conspiracy theorists out there who refuse to accept the facts." There is good reason why there are continuing 'theories' of malfeasance with regard to the conduct of Ohio's elections. Blackwell and his people do not seem to know how to play it straight when asked simple questions.

What I discovered nearly two years ago is that local county election boards are completely under the control of Ohio's Secretary of State, in this case still Mr. Kenneth Blackwell. In a December 20, 2004 interview with William A. Anthony (see ), then chair of Ohio's Franklin County Board of Elections, Mr. Anthony made it clear when he said "Even though county board members are chosen by their party ... [Secretary of State] Blackwell has the power to remove any board member of any county elections board if they fail to carry out the law or any of his directives."

What we have here by two separate spokespersons for Secretary Blackwell are similar cleverly crafted lies of omission. It is also similar to what anyone finds who does any research into the disputed election of 2004 or any other item of contention with Ohio election law since Mr. Blackwell took office as Secretary of State, Blackwell and his spokespeople twist facts or outright lie to your face. The question that should then follow for Ohio voters is, "What reason would Blackwell and his staff have to lie?" If there were nothing to hide, they would have no reason to lie.

Ohio voters have a great opportunity this November to rid themselves of a corrupt disease in their capital. As I write this, I do not know who is running against Blackwell and it really does not matter. Anytime I read something he or his spokespeople have said, I feel like I need a shower. Ohio deserves better, ABB - Anyone But Blackwell.
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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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