? of the Day: Who will provide Ohio the leadership missing for past 16 years?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 12:04.

I just watched the debate of candidates for Governor for the state of Ohio - Ken Blackwell vs. Ted Strickland - and strongly recommend anyone who cares about the future of the state and region do the same - it will be rebroadcast tonight on Channel 5 and is available at their website. I haven't really been following any of the campaigns so far this election term, other than being exposed to lots of very unsophisticated, annoying and at times revolting negative ads from Republican PACs, which makes me certainly not want to vote for any Republicans. That those candidates allow such crap to be associated with them shows their lack of substance and character. But the debate today between Strickland and Blackwell proved Blackwell's lack of substance, and that Strickland is a smart, thoughtful and enlightened civic citizen prepared to do the right things for the state.

Bottom line, Blackwell proved to be a silver-tongued, silver-bullet, deficit driving, outsourcing asset depleting politician cut of the same evangelical cloth as Bush - his plan for education is to privatize and bring back the rod - all sorts of crazy promises for specific schemes to enrich the rich while depleting the state of important public assets, which will shift the state from a high cost, low service mess to a higher cost no service disaster. He is a made politician who is carrying a loaded bomb for lobbyists and industry that have put the state in this horrible position in the first place. His economic development strategy is outsource and cut taxes to industry so they will stay here.

Strickland didn't promise to shoot the state and himself in the foot with silver bullets - he promised to be a Governor with an approach sadly lacking in recent times, being intelligent, involved and responsible. He spoke of fixing education at the core, with best practices from around the world, and of economic development based on trying to save old economy jobs while building a future of new economy jobs. He pointed out he is a psychologist and understands human differences, and the impacts of environment on achievement, and the need to reform testing strategies - to invest in quality teachers - to hold all schools including charters accountable for performance. He said all the right things, because he clearly understands the right things.

Some soundbites:

Strickland says: "We need to learn best practices - in Japan, kids spend 30% or less of their time in seat being talked to  - in America it is over 60%. That kind of thinking and problem solving excites me." "I will provide the leadership that has been lacking for the last 16 years." "There are correlations between educational achievement and environment." "I'm a psychologist and know about testing and single standards testing is not effective."

Call and Post points out young black men are graduating at lower rates than whites... Blackwell says "our children can and will learn" - our schools have a job to analyze and perform - that you will throw away standardized test disgusts me... no more soft bigotry

Strickland proposes program for best teachers to teach in troubled schools - have tools to teach - reduce reliance on standardized test that discriminate - "do not let the world squeeze you into a mold"

I now very much like Strickland - he would be a step in the right direction for Ohio. Blackwell is unreal and beyond further description, other than yuck and god help us if he wins. Luckily, polls all show he is very much the loser.

Anyone else watch the debate - have any thoughts?