We’re not sure whether Jon Husted is just a glutton for punishment or has just written off running for statewide office, but the evidence points to possibly both.

Secretary of State and steward of Ohio elections Jon Husted is set to appear at a “True the Vote Summit” with none other than J. Kenneth Blackwell, probably the most polarizing figure in Ohio election history.  You will remember Ken Blackwell as the person who tried to get voter registrations nixed if they were on the wrong paper weight.  That was the least of it.  Blackwell also intentionally kept the right number of voting machines out of democrat heavy districts, which resulted in some of the longest lines we’ve ever seen in Ohio elections.  This action disenfranchised many black voters and caused one of many lawsuits related to elections to be brought against him.  In all, Blackwell was involved in over a dozen election related lawsuits.

Blackwell may be the worst ever poster boy for election protection.

It’s interesting to note that Husted was a late addition.  This press release dated 8/16 doesn’t have Jon listed as a speaker.

The timing doesn’t seem very good for SOS Husted, given the uproar over voting rights in Ohio relative to early voting and the tacit admission by Franklin County GOP Chairman Doug Preisse that restrictions in voting hours were being used to suppress the vote of blacks.

I guess in a way it makes sense for Husted to share a stage with Blackwell.  The Preisse comments do seem to indicate that Blackwellian tactics, though different from those in 2004, are being used in this election as well.

Appearing on stage at a “voter protection” rally with Ken Blackwell in the middle of a huge battle for voting rights completely erodes any credibility Husted may have had with his claims of standardizing voting around the state in order to run a fair election.

True the Vote is a wingnut tea party backed group led by Catherine Engelbrecht.  Catherine has been in the news for drumming up bogus “New Black Panther Party” scare tactics and her other group “King Street Patriots” was sued by the Texas Democratic Party for voter intimidation.  Not really the folks you want to take advice from on election protection.  As Media Matters notes, True the Vote’s National Summit speakers reads like a who’s who of voter fraud charlatans:   J. Christian Adams, Hans von Spokovsky, James O’Keefe, and John Fund.

There is absolutely no reason to think this group is non-partisan or trying to protect the integrity of the vote in Ohio.  Quite the opposite.  Their true goal – that will probably be on display this weekend in Worthingon – is to remove as many people who may vote for Barack Obama from the rolls as they can.  Why else would Tom Fitton (a speaker at their national summit & on Saturday in Ohio) stoke election fraud fears without an ounce of evidence by stating: “I fear the Obama gang is setting themselves up to steal the election”?

Engelbrecht’s group has spread in influence in the Republican Party and their voter intimidation tactics disguised as “voter protection” have spread from Texas across the country like an electoral plague:

source:  colorlines.com 

For Jon Husted to cast his lot in with the rightwing craziness of O’Keefe, Engelbrecht, and Blackwell this close to an election is stunning.  We hope to find out more about what this group is doing in Ohio and specifically what the training is that they are offering to those who attend.  Feel free to go if you like.  We’d love to get some reports back from readers about what they’re up to and how our own Secretary of State figures into the mix.

If you feel like listening in and having lunch with Jon Husted and his closest far right friends, by all means be our guest.

True the Vote Ohio State Summit

WHEN:  Saturday, August 25, 2012 – (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)


Holiday Inn
7007 North High Street,
Worthington, Ohio 43085