Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Taking Stock of Blackwell

I'm going to turn my attention today to Ohio's gubernatorial race, mainly because I think "gubernatorial" is a cool sounding word that I just don't get to use enough. (Other favorite words include "zeitgiest" and "benighted"--the latter, which means "in the dark", is one that I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunity to use in writing about politicians.)
Anyway, this here story appeared on The Columbus Dispatch's site today:
For those of you out of state, Ken Blackwell is Ohio's Secretary of State, aka The Guy In Charge of Overseeing Elections, which includes deciding which voting machines to use, and Diebold manufactures voting machines and the former head of the company has been widely and famously quoted as having promised to deliver Ohio to Bush in the last presidential election. So, you can see why Blackwell owning Diebold stock might look a little fishy to some people.
The article states that "...Blackwell said his investments were handled by a financial manager without his advice or review, and after he discovered during the past weekend that he owned stock in Diebold Inc., he sold his shares yesterday at a loss. "(In other words, Blackwell was "benighted" concerning the contents of stock portfolio. Hah! Told you!!)
At the very least, Blackwell hired the wrong financial manager. Doesn't it seem like common sense that you don't expose your client to charges of possible conflict of interest by, oh, let's say...buying stock in a voting machine company for a Secretary of State?
To tell you the truth, I believe Blackwell... I do not like Ken Blackwell and I most definitely do not want to see him become governor of this state, but I will give the man credit for not being stupid. At least not stupid enough to put himself at risk of investigation and political ruin by knowingly investing in a company that his office does business with. Apparently his judgment in hiring--financial managers, at the very least--is a little questionable, however.

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