Give me a ticket for an aeroplane, ain’t got time to take a fast train – since the Republicans destroyed mass transit in the U.S. and there aren’t any fast trains – Ken Blackwell just wrote me a letter. That’s same Blackwell we all now known as the Katherine Harris of Ohio for his role in helping steal the 2004 election. Blackwell, billing himself as “Former Ohio Secretary of State” and “Conservative Republican,” wrote a letter regarding: “The One Way to Stop the Obama Machine.”

My first thought to stop the Obama “Machine” was – take cell phones away from 18-24-year-olds. After all, the Obama political machine was actually a decentralized cyber-force of youngsters. All of this brilliantly captured in Danny Schechter’s recent documentary: Barack Obama: People’s President.

Blackwell addressed me as “Dear Fellow Conservative.” This is perfectly appropriate since I believe in the Bill of Rights, particularly the 8th Amendment that forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” Thus, in order to preserve these traditional conservative values, I’d like to have a grand jury investigate Bush and Cheney for torture and assorted crimes against the Constitution and then prosecute them.

Blackwell began the letter by asserting that he was a “clear and present danger” to the “Democrats.” Why? Because he “threatens self-appointed black leaders, the Democrat Party machine, and even Barack Obama’s grip on power.” Blackwell particularly takes offense to the fact that Al Sharpton “…flew into the state to racially slander me by calling me Ken Whitewell” during his ill-fated run for the governorship of Ohio.

I understand Blackwell’s outrage and how out of touch Sharpton is with the people of Ohio. Blacks here were referring to him as “Ken Blackhell” and election activists as “Ken Hackwell.” How dare Sharpton make a reference to Blackwell’s race simply because the black conservative spent his time kissing Bush buttocks? Also, Sharpton failed to point out that Blackwell’s favorite past-time paid real well and was steady work.

Blackwell claims these evil Democrats “...have gone out of their way to destroy me and other black Republicans like me.” I wondered why the Dems would waste their time to “destroy” one person, because who else is like him? And who cares? But Blackwell had gotten my attention.

Blackwell sees himself targeted because he stands “on principle.” Fair enough. His principles happen to be opportunism, corruption, and cronyism. But he has displayed a principled commitment to these values.

Blackwell’s always been a man of principle. First, when he was a left-wing black nationalist in the 70s. And then, when he was a charter reform progressive Democrat out of Cincinnati. And then when he was an Independent, and again when he became a Jack Kemp help-the-poor kind-hearted conservative. And finally when he was a Steve Forbes help-the-poor-by-giving-money-to-the-rich Republican. Also, he was perhaps most principle when he appeared before white supremacist groups in Ohio and elsewhere and campaigned with far-right born-again Christians like Rod Parsley. I guess it’s not hypocritical or opportunistic to hang out with people that want to lynch blacks and believe all Muslims will burn in hell (See “Why is the man who stole Ohio campaigning with a white supremacist?” by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, October 9, 2006 at Blackwell Article).

Still, the highlight of Blackwell’s letter was his ranting against Obama’s “Big Brother government.” It’s fair to concede that Blackwell knows a lot about Big Brother. He served as the UN Human Rights Ambassador for former CIA Director, and then President, George Herbert Walker Bush. So, we gotta give him his props. He associates with people (for example George Walker Bush and Cheney) who know about torture, unconstitutional and illegal domestic electronic surveillance, and overthrowing democratically-elected governments. No wonder they wanted him to be Ohio’s Secretary of State.

To be fair to Blackwell, he did have major accomplishments as Ohio Secretary of State. He allowed 24.93% of all voters in Cleveland, Ohio’s major Democratic stronghold, to be purged prior to the 2004 election. Many voters thrown off the voting rolls had been registered in majority black precincts.

And he does know a little about money. Blackwell and three friends took a $500,000 investment, hooked up with Carl Lindner, the Cincinnati billionaire, and parlayed it into a nearly $200 million investment in radio. Of course, Blackwell’s role as State Treasurer and the deposit of large sums of Ohio tax dollars into Lindner’s banks played no role in Blackwell’s success, according to Blackwell. Essentially, Blackwell, with no radio experience, got rich off the Clear Channel franchise and mergers.

Blackwell is thrifty – outsourcing Ohio’s 2004 election count to private companies like New Media, Triad, and Smartech – so the actual statewide vote count could take place on Republican servers tied to the White House in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (See “Behind the firewall: Bush loyalist Mike Connell controls Congressional secrets as his email sites serve Karl Rove” by Bob Fitrakis, July 29, 2008 at
Republican servers).

I was so inspired by Blackwell’s letter and his plea for money, since his Black Republican PAC is “Our best chance to stop the socialism of the Obama presidency.” Blackwell clearly prefers the welfare-for-the-rich socialism of the Bush administration where nearly a trillion dollars was given to failed corporate investment bankers as opposed to the Obama, where nearly a trillion dollars was given to failed corporate investment banks. (See “Democratic Socialists? Democrats not half that good” by Bob Fitrakis, May 24, 2009 at Democratic Socialism).

I took up his challenge to respond within “96 hours.” Whew, I barely got this in with an hour or so to go. Blackwell’s right – I should send whatever I can spare, $35, $50, $75…-- to a cause I can believe in. Maybe I’ll send a check to the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN) because I want health care reform or to All Aboard Ohio working to bring a fast train, for that matter any train service, to Columbus, Ohio.

Bob Fitrakis is the editor of and also ran for governor of Ohio in 2006 on the Green Party ticket.