Wednesday, June 07, 2006

 

Ohio wanker of the day: Joe Hallett

When covering political events, the m.o. of the Dispatch's Hallett seems to be to arrive late, leave early and get just enough info to cover his ass. We don't know if he is just disorganized, pissed-off about having to go out to events and dig up quotes instead of working the phones like he usually does, or what, but this story about the gubernatorial campaigns and a meeting of university officials/trustees is hackery at its best.

Let us preface our comments by saying that we weren't there and haven't heard anything independently about the quality of presentations by Kenny Blackwell and Frances Strickland. Maybe Blackwell hypnotized his audience and maybe it was a enormous mistake for Frances to stand in for Ted. Or, maybe not.

But, to report on how well either campaign is making an impression actually requires getting responses from both sides of the political spectrum. That is, unless you want to be considered a lazy wank:
trustees interviewed after Blackwell’s speech said he successfully communicated that he would be innovative and open in his approach to higher-education fund.
Exactly, which three university officials did Joe bother to talk to?
1) Brian K. Hicks, the ethically-challenged former Taft chief of staff, lobbyist and Republican operative;

2) Former GOP House Finance chair Bob Corbin, who while in the Ohio House of Representatives sponsored legislation to ban prevailing wage projects for schools (and one plank in Blackwells platform); and

3) Kenneth Yowell, president of Edison Community College.
Well, you ask, what's wrong with Yowell? Good question. We don't know much about him, but a search of campaign contribution databases turns up only three reported contributions: one for $250 to John Boehner and two ($100 and $250) to arch conservative Ohio Rep. Diane Fessler who, herself, is a Blackwell endorser. A little research provides enough of a picture to suggest that Yowell definetly can't be counted on to provide political "balance."

And Hallett purposely muddies the water by allowing Corbin to toss off the comment, "I’m not a supporter of Mr. Blackwell personally." Hallett knows full well that there is a huge bloc of the GOP establishment that personally abhor Blackwell but are strongly politically supporting him because they know the loss of the governor's race would be a body blow to the Republican strangle hold.

Is this what the Dispatch is going to allow to pass as reporting in the governor's race?

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