Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Sunday, April 2

Gov: Blackwell (R) Channels Marjoe

Ths article from saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer is an absolute must-read for understanding the nature of the stealth campaign of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati) in the Republican primary for governor. The mainstream media has generally not covered Blackwell's appearances at massive rallies orchestrated by the Ohio Restoration Project, founded by self-described "patriot pastor" Rev. Russell Johnson of the Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster. These multi-media extravaganzas (the one reported here included dinner, live music, projected imagery, and interactive televangelism-style speeches before an audience of more than 700) are replete with patriotic symbols (including a replica of the Statue of Liberty at the side of the stage) and denunciations of churches who "co-habitate with evil" by failing to join in Johnson's socio-political jihad. But the most bizarre part is the crassly manipulative presentation of Blackwell:

"[Blackwell] first asks that the lights be dimmed so he can play a 3½-minute rap video by the Rev. S.M. Lockridge, the now-deceased San Diego Baptist preacher known for his booming voice, lyrical sermons and civil rights activism. The video is a collection of more than 70 one-line descriptions of Jesus -- "Pilate couldn't find fault in him" and "Death couldn't handle him" -- interrupted occasionally by the question, "Do you know him?" It quickly excites the audience members, who applaud and shout "Amen!" As Lockridge delivers the last line -- "And the grave couldn't hold him!" -- the church lights rise to reveal Blackwell pointing to the sky.

"That's my king!" he yells as the audience comes to its feet. "That's my king!"
That's your candidate, Republicans. That's your candidate.

A Macromedia Flash slideshow is here.

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