Gene Pierce and Carlo Loparo – former spokesmen for Ken Blackwell during his time as Secretary of State and during his failed campaign for Governor – have teamed up with David Hansen (of Buckeye Institute Fame). This time they seem to have revenge on their minds. Revenge against the guy who defeated their candidate and lost them their jobs: Governor Ted Strickland.

I can find no other reasonable explanation for the project both men are currently involved in: trying to sink the budget recently passed by both the Ohio House and the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate. Their “problem” with the budget is that it includes a provision allowing video lottery terminals at Ohio’s racetracks. A provision included to avoid raising additional taxes on Ohioans. It’s a reasonable solution that would not have been pursued had we not been in such a serious economic crisis. And it’s a much better solution that the ones proposed by Blackwell during his campain (remember the whole sell the turnpike idea?).

I’m still waiting to hear Loparo and Pierce’s alternative proposal. I can’t wait to hear which programs they would like to cut and/or which taxes they like to raise to replace the revenue that will be generated by these lottery terminals. Until I hear them propose some alternative solution I’m going to continue to assume that this is nothing more than revenge politics.

The most ridiculous part of their whole endeavor is the name these guys chose for their group: Let Ohio Vote.

Given that Ken Blackwell, their former employer, is well known for preventing thousands of votes from being cast and counted in 2004 you’d think they could have come up with a little better name.

Another example of Republicans pushing their ‘do as we say, not as we do’ message.

  • Matt N.

    2004 was a record voter turn out in Ohio, so our evil plan didn’t work.

  • bob

    Let’s not forget David Hansen, of Buckeye Institute Fame.

    Pierce has been doing campaigns and consulting as of late. I have it on good authority it was his firm that ran Columbus Public Schools’ successful levy campaign.

  • Matt N.

    Yes, Gene did run that campaign. But does that disqualify him from working for a group which will give voters the right to decide the gambling issue? Did you change your party’s name to the anti-Democratic party?

  • regarding #1: Your comments were caught by the spam filter Matt. Just released them.

  • and regarding #3: First get your pals at Let Ohio Vote to release ALL of the names of the people who donated the over 2.5 million dollars to LOV to fight against the video lottery terminal proposal.

    If none of them are casino owners trying to protect their existing or potential profits – and if none of them are big-name Republican donors trying to embarrass the Governor – then I’ll believe they have the best interest of Ohioans in mind.

  • Matt N.

    LOL. SO the only ones who can oppose Strickland are Strickland supporters. Thanks for the guidelines, silly goose.

  • These issue-oriented campaigns always work the same way, Matt. And you know it.

    First you find a couple of rich folks with a first-hand interest in seeing ‘the issue’ resolved in their favor and then you get them to secretly and anonymously give a bunch of money to an issue-oriented group fronted by professional political operatives like LoParo and Pierce.

    Then you come up with some populist reason for why the issue should be resolved in favor of these secret rich donors – and you push that agenda in the media via headline-grabbing legal action or paid advertising if necessary.

    So far they’ve been following this playbook to the letter.

    Are you seriously going to pretend that this isn’t the case here?

  • @7 You forgot the part where they give it an Orwellian name which has little or nothing to do with the actual intent of the issue on the ballot. Republicans have perfected this method. A ballot issue which legislates the destruction of every fish species in Ohio called “Protect Ohio’s Fish”. Shit like that.

  • Good point, Eric. Don’t forget the Defense of Marriage Act, legislation drafted specifically to PREVENT certain people from getting married.

    Oh, and the Clean Skies Act – which would have decreased regulation of emissions allowing increased amounts of pollutants and toxins in the air.

  • Exactly. Now when you hear an issue name you think the exact opposite and are pretty much right on. That’s the crazy mixed up world in which Republicans would have us live.

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