Your request for information regarding how Ken Blackwell will help Jews in Ohio was forwarded to me, the campaign’s Jewish outreach coordinator in Cleveland.
The short answer to your question is that Ken is likely to support vouchers for private school tuition, economic growth that would allow the Jewish community to grow and children to stay in or return to Ohio, and policies that generally reflect his experience and understanding of state government.
In addition, Ken has a better record of supporting Israel than most Jewish politicians and as governor of Ohio in 2008 would be well placed to support pro-Israel presidential candidates. He’s been active on behalf of Israel internationally, first on Teddy Kollek’s International Jerusalem Committee in the 80’s, then as a diplomat at the UN teamed with John Bolton to get the Zionism=Racism resolution of the General Assembly repealed. Since then he’s been a board member of JINSA, lately working to foster a tripartite alliance among the US, Israel and India.
A prominent member of the AIPAC national board told me that his opponent, whose name still remains unknown by many Ohioans 50 days out from the election, has about as good a record on Israel as Ken, so he considers this issue a wash between the candidates. True to his form as the 402nd most effective member of the House, however, Ken’s opponent has sponsored not one item of legislation highlighted by AIPAC. I think this belief may serve chiefly to excuse even the staunchest pro-Israel liberals from feeling obliged to support Israel’s real friend in a race without direct foreign policy implications. The indirect implications are dire, however, as the governor in Ohio may influence the outcome of 2008, and it is important to have a true friend of Israel in such a key position. A measure of the importance placed on Ohio by the Republican presidential aspirants is their early endorsement of Ken in the primary, notably McCain and Giuliani, whose positions on social/values issues do not match Ken’s.