From The Columbus Dispatch:
The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party fired an employee yesterday for disseminating a disparaging e-mail about Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland and his wife.
Robert T. Bennett also issued a letter of apology to Strickland, saying the e-mail suggesting that the Stricklands are gay "was in no way authorized nor condoned by me or any member of my senior staff."
Bennett dismissed Gary Lankford, hired this month as the party’s "social conservative coordinator," for sending the e-mail titled "10 Things to Know About Ted Strickland." The e-mail linked readers to a Web log that directly questions the sexual orientation of Strickland and his wife, Frances.
"Ohioans expect and deserve a competitive contest for governor focused on the substantive issues important to leading our state," Bennett said in his letter of apology to Strickland. "While public records, comments, platforms and proposals are fair game, we will not engage in rumor and innuendo."
Bravo, Mr. Bennett; you did the right thing. To my disappointment, Ted Strickland's response left much to be desired:
Strickland called the firing of Lankford "appropriate" but said it seemed more than coincidental that before being hired by the Ohio GOP, Lankford had worked for Republican gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell and was a board member of the Ohio Restoration Project, a conservative religious group that has featured Blackwell at its meetings.
Despite Bennett’s apology, Strickland said the rumor still has been spread, and he doubted that Bennett would have apologized if the party hadn’t "got caught."
"I think more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the so-called ‘swiftboating’ that occurs in political campaigns and I think the electorate is becoming a little more sophisticated about that. This may have damaged me, but it may have damaged those who engaged in it much more."
Let us leave aside for a moment the quiet attempt to equate the factual complaints from shipmates of former presidential candidate John Kerry to another political verb -- borking (The charges against Robert Bork were untrue). Mr. Strickland’s response is, I suppose, befitting an ordained minister who ministers unto no one. At least his response to the attacks on his person is better than his non-response to the blatant racism of his fellow Democrats:
In his letter, Bennett also urged Strickland "to publicly condemn the racially motivated hate campaign being waged by members of your Democratic Party against" Blackwell, who is black.
Strickland said he was unaware of such tactics, especially by anyone affiliated with his campaign or the state party.
"If they are doing things as (Bennett) describes, I would certainly object to that and condemn it," Strickland said.
There is no limit to the list of crummy things that leftist operatives have done of which Democrat campaigns are "unaware." The standard operating procedure of every Democrat campaign in memory is to claim "ignorance" and do absolutely nothing about the hatred dished in their name.I must say Mr. Strickland, I expected better from you. You and Mr. Lankford are two peas in a pod. If you do nothing about this racist literature, you are no better than he.
NOTE: Cross-posted from Right Angle Blog.