In light of Congressman Mark Foley's resignation amid accusations of improper conduct with an underaged Congressional page, Ohioans should be asking questions about Democratic candidate for Governor and Congressman Ted Strickland's background on the issue of confronting child predators.
Here are the facts...
FACT #1: Ted Strickland admits he employed a man on his congressional staff who was "found guilty" being arrested for publicly exposing himself to children.
"The man worked for Strickland from 1997 to 1999, as a congressional and campaign staffer. According to Athens police, the man's case stems from 1994, when he was arrested for public indecency after several children reported he'd exposed himself. Police records show he was found guilty, although the exact charge is unclear." (Lynn Hulsey, Dayton Daily News, 3/17/06)
FACT #2: Ted Strickland admits he was "unaware" of the man's background and, after being informed of the issue, admits he "perhaps" should have pursued it more aggressively.
"Strickland said Thursday he was unaware of the man's record when he hired him… In retrospect, Strickland said he 'perhaps' should have pursued the matter more aggressively, but that he tends to give little credibility to anonymous tips." (Lynn Hulsey, Dayton Daily News, 3/17/06)
FACT #3: Ted Strickland's Democratic primary opponent raised questions about Strickland's handling of the issue, suggesting he maintained a close affiliation with the man and should have been aware of his background.
"Flannery cites Strickland's employment of the man as evidence that the congressman may be 'confused about where he stands on children's issues.'" (Jim Phillips, The Athens News, 3/16/06)
"Strickland also questioned Flannery's motives for saying Strickland and the man traveled to Italy after the 1998 campaign. Strickland said campaign workers planned to treat themselves to the trip if Strickland won, but as it turned out only Strickland and the man were able to go." (Lynn Hulsey, Dayton Daily News, 3/17/06)
FACT #4: Ted Strickland refused to vote with 355 House members to condemn a psychological study suggesting sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children. (HConRes 107, 7/12/99)
"Local Democrats report having received unsigned letters, which purport to be from a Democrat who is supposedly concerned about Strickland's electability, based on the position he took on House Concurrent Resolution 107 during the 106th Congress. The resolution, which Strickland did not support, condemned an academic study by the American Psychological Association, on the long-term effects of childhood sexual activity. The study concluded that available evidence suggests that sexual contact between adults and juveniles is not always highly destructive for the psyche of the younger person." (Jim Phillips, The Athens News, 12/15/05)Even Dennis Kucinich got that one right...
FACT #5: Ted Strickland has publicly stated on the campaign trail that he intends to help convicted felons, which would include child predators, get state government jobs.
"U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland told a closed-door Toledo audience over the weekend that he would hire ex-convicts for state government jobs if Ohioans elect him governor in the fall." (Jim Tankersley, Toledo Blade, 3/8/06)
SPECIAL THANKS to various members of the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance for research assistance and Lexis-Nexis access.
UPDATE: Welcome HUMAN EVENTS readers! You might also be interested in this piece about Strickland's residency issues. And be sure to check out the front page for the latest from Weapons of Mass Discussion. Or tune in to Wide Awakes Radio on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights for our internet radio shows.