FREE FOR ALL! One Dude’s Quest to Save Our Elections

O Blackwell, Where Art Thou? 

December 22nd, 2008 | Written by: John Wellington Ennis

Ken Blackwell Facebook
Ken Blackwell is no longer my friend.

After my last column endorsing him for the RNC Chair, I was abruptly de-friend-ed/dumped from his Facebook profile — proof that he is in fact getting tech savvy.  He also took down the embarrassingly lame YouTube videos from his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, which still only had a couple hundred views after all this time.  His super-fast, Internet-like response to my endorsement might have been tipped off when I posted a Tinyurl link on his Facebook wall to my piece here on Huffington Post.

And there on his Facebook profile I happened to notice the only film Ken Blackwell had put down as his favorite: The Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? This struck me that: A) He shares one of my favorite films by my favorite filmmakers, and B) What did he like so much about it to list it as his only favorite?

Does Blackwell really, really like Bluegrass?  The film is arguably a Bluegrass musical, and its soundtrack sold millions.  It stands out to me that the film centers on a governor’s race between two corrupt hacks only decided by the incumbent’s last-minute shameless play unlike anything before, and the other guy being a racist.  Maybe he’s got a thing for Clooney–but who doesn’t?

Maybe something in him knows he belongs singing along, on a chain gang, for any of the number of electoral crimes that I could only begin to cover in my film FREE FOR ALL!

Blackwell will assuredly becoming more tech-savvy now that his loyal IT tech guru, Mike Connell (featured in this clip from my film) has died inexplicably in a solo plane explosion miles from his landing strip.

Mike Connell was a GOP PC Platform in himself.  He made literally every major Republican campaign website, including for Ken Blackwell and the Ohio GOP, and then would get the government jobs and access from them in office under a different company name.  Mike Connell made the website for the Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

Mike Connell (as you can read in-depth on, BradBlogVelvet RevolutionFree Press, and HuffPo) was also at the scene of every election heist between 2000 and 2006 like Woody Allen’s chameleon-like character in Zelig.  And Mike Connell was instrumental, crucial to Ken Blackwell on election night in 2004.

The already suspect details of this plane crash will continue to develop.  It is significant in its untimely tragedy, in that Mike Connell had finally just been deposed under court order in an ongoing lawsuit charging Ken Blackwell with election theft in 2004. His deposition, by relentless attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis, was the Monday before this past Election Day.  Some have credited this intense focus at the last minute as the reason Rove and his cabal did not make the power grab they might have.

Mike Connell had received death threats since the summer telling him to take the fall for the 2004 election crimes, and despite a formal request to provide him with federal protection, the Attorney General did not grant it.

To compare this to another TV series that I bet Ken Blackwell enjoys like I do, 24, Mike Connell is like the bad guy that Jack Bauer catches up with at the climax in an 8-episode arc, who we’ve been seeing all these schemes through—from the lost White House emails to god-knows-what he accessed while operating behind the Congressional firewall for the entire Bush term—and then his plane blows up, incinerating his secrets with him.

Usually at this point, Jack Bauer gets a clue to the next bad guy up the chain, rather conveniently, like hitting re-dial on the dead guy’s cell phone.  While Arnebeck’s case King Lincoln v. Blackwell is still open, with another RICO case against Blackwell in the works, there will no doubt be new revelations, but I don’t know that many other conspirators will feel like playing whistleblower at this time.

I was shocked today to learn about Mike Connell’s sudden death — yet not surprised.  Many loose ends from the Bush era will be cut off altogether.  Mike Connell goes so far back with the Bushes, he was doing campaign computer infrastructure for Bush Sr. when he was running against Reagan.

To put this in terms of yet another of my favorite movies that I’m sure Ken Blackwell also reveres: The offing of Mike Connell in such dramatic and convenient fashion after decades as a dedicated insider is like something out of the final assassination montages of the Godfather movies.

And then it struck me—another aspect Blackwell perhaps relates to in O Brother, Where Art Thou: Being constantly on the run from the crimes you’ve committed and the people trying to kill you.  Talk about a man of constant sorrow.

Among the many revelations from Stephen Spoonamore—the former colleague of Mike Connell’s whose deposition on their election hacking was the basis of Connell’s subpoena—Connell disclosed to Spoonamore that his motivation for subverting these elections were to protect the unborn.  He was that ardent in his Catholic beliefs.

While Blackwell loves to sell himself as the strictest pro-life go-to guy, I am not sure that it’s his driving reason in his long battle to suppress voters.  To cite another YouTube video he probably doesn’t like, Ken Blackwell takes more positions than a porn queen.

Maybe Ken Blackwell will go see Mike Connell’s widow, Heather, whose life has also been threatened.  Blackwell himself signed the incorporation papers for Heather’s company, GovTech.  By setting up GovTech in Heather’s name, this allowed Connell to juggle IT responsibilities for the GOP either as a government contractor, or work on campaigns under his other company New Media, without a “technical” conflict of interest.

Maybe Ken can spend the holiday with their four children, who will be having the worst Christmas of their lives, and tell them stories about how he and their daddy worked hard to empower the kind of terrible people who might do such a thing as steal elections and kill to cover it up.

Or, they could just watch movies.  Any suggestions?

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