Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#504: Ken Blackwell

John Kenneth Blackwell is the erstwhile mayor of Cincinnati (from 1979 to 1980), Ohio Secretary of State from 1999 to 2007, and later gubernatorial candidate in Ohio. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee's Platform Committee and senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council, as well as several other positions such as this one, and this one.

He rose to national fame for his attempts at voter disenfranchments during the 2004 election (he has, in fact, been sued a number of times, often successfully, given his careless attitude toward the law when it does not serve his interests, and even by American standards his activities would be counted as borderline corrupt. In particular, Blackwell lacks the ability to grasp the fact that he and his organizations do not have a constitutional right to tax exemption.

He did lead the campaign for the 2004 Ohio Constitution Amendment banning state recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions, and did not shy away from comparing gay people to arsonists and kleptomaniacs, and same-sex couples to barn animals.

Although he originally said that abortions were defensible when the mother’s life is at risk, he has since gone rather more extreme; his attempts to evoke science in this regard have been sorely pathetic, apparently being unable to apprehend the fact that ”I want to believe X” does not analytically imply ”science supports X”.

There’s a fine Blackwell resource here. His defense of Rand Paul is … noteworthy as well, as is this one.

Diagnosis: A surprisingly lowkey fellow, though one does not have to look too hard to find Blackwell revealing himself as blithely denialist. In any case his association with the Family Research Council is a dead giveaway. Blackwell must be considered very dangerous.

(Honorable mention also to Prescott, Arizona’s Steve Blair for this one, though I'm less sure he deserves a separate entry).