clintonstrickland.jpgSomething got me thinking the other day on a long flight from the west coast back to our beloved Buckeye State. I was reading about the ongoing controversy about why Hillary Clinton will not release her tax returns. Something her opponent – and Plunderbund endorsed candidate – Barack Obama had already done. There was something very familiar about the entire episode and then I remembered! Kenneth J. Blackwell. Ted Strickland.

…it was all coming back to me.

In the summer of 2006 I was blogging quite furiously over the Ohio Governor’s race. It seemed there was a treasure trove of material to pound “Krazy Kenny” Blackwell at the time and I do remember enjoying it. Of course this is the period where I developed a great fondness for one official campaign blogger, but this is well documented.

So I begin thinking: “wasn’t there some tax return thing back then?”. Sure enough, when later searching the archives I find just that. A “tax return thing”. The post title, in-fact, is quite revealing:

Strickland Continues to Pound Krazy Kenny on Tax Returns

In it, Ted Strickland and his team blast Ken Blackwell for not releasing his tax returns and are absolutely up in arms over this breech of transparency in government:

“Mr. Blackwell treats transparency in government as a punchline, not a serious effort to make sure Ohio voters know more about the income and motivations of their elected officials,” said Keith Dailey, spokesman for gubernatorial candidate Congressman Ted Strickland.

The campaign was later quoted by The Blade:

“It’s only fair for voters to raise the question as to why he is refusing to share his tax returns.” (The Blade August 2, 2006)

They even went further and called it a betrayal of the voters:

“Blackwell’s ongoing refusal to release his tax returns is a betrayal of the virtues he preaches.” (CityBeat)

There were questions about what Ken Blackwell had to hide and how they must be keeping the returns under wraps for strategic reasons knowing something in them would raise questions in the voters minds and give their opponent ammunition in the election.

So the real question is why did Ted Strickland hold Ken Blackwell to a standard he is not willing to hold Hillary Clinton? Why the free pass? Why no call for her to release her tax returns? Why no outrage by Ted over her seeming willingness to “treat transparency in government as a punch line”?

Maybe Hillary doesn’t care about or speak of such transparency in government, in which case Ted’s willingness to look the other way would be consistent. It seems like a huge flip flop if you ask me. I was behind Ted when he pounded Ken Blackwell on this one nearly two years ago. I’m saddened that he’d not hold true to these positions now that it is politically expedient for a candidate he supports.

There’s an old saying back where I’m from. I’m sure Ted has heard it as well. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.

Shame on you Ted Strickland! Shame on you Hillary! Let’s shed some sunlight on real issues in this race. Release the returns! Anything short of that paints Hillary as a hide and seek politician and Ted as a hypocrite.

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