While Ted Strickland does what’s necessary to keep his “no new taxes” promise- Ken Blackwell is busy breaking his…

When Ken joined the Buckeye Institute, he announced a a self-imposed, 100-day, no-comment period about Strickland’s policies.

Yesterday, he broke that promise- big time.

Blackwell says Strickland “is abandoning” our youth

Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State and Republican candidate for governor last year, stressed the importance of abstinence education today before a speech about marriage.

One out of every three babies in Ohio is born out of wedlock, Blackwell said.

“Unless you’re totally giving up on character development of our young people, abstinence education is a must,” Blackwell told reporters. “I believe that young people of character can overtake instincts to engage in premarital sex.”

Blackwell said he would not get into the specifics of Gov. Ted Strickland’s first budget plan — which would cut $1 million over two years in the abstinence-only education program — “but I want to talk about the principle of abandoning the (state-funded) abstinence programs. In effect what you’re doing is abandoning our young people. . .He’s not just abandoning programs. He’s abandoning our youth.”

Strickland, a Democrat, has said he thinks abstinence programs don’t work well in the long run.

Blackwell argued there’s evidence abstinence-only programs work.

“I will engage in the budget discussion next month after we’ve had an opportunity to get into the particulars of the proposal,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell, who works as a fellow with the Buckeye Institute in Columbus and Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., spoke today to more than 100 people at a luncheon sponsored by the Healthy Marriage Collaboration of Central Ohio.

“Marriage is a union between a man and a woman that frequently needs our attention,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell drew the longest applause when he proclaimed, “I’ve been married to the same woman for 39 years,” referring to his wife, Rosa, who is superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools. “Marriages that stay together and show that two individuals can commit themselves to one another happen to be the most powerful examples for our young people.”

Afterward, Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said, “The governor believes that, considering the very challenging budget environment we find ourselves in, that this is an unwise use of tax dollars because there is no conclusive evidence that suggests the (abstinence) program works.”

Dailey said Strickland has proposed other pro-child programs, including early care in education, that reduce teen pregnancy rates.

posted by Jon Craig at 3/22/2007 12:28:00 PM