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Published: Friday, 2/16/2007

Blackwell joins think tank as public-policy scholar

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU
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COLUMBUS - He may have lost the gubernatorial election, but Ken Blackwell's conservative voice will continue to be heard around the halls of the Capitol as a contributing scholar to a think tank that regularly weighs in on such issues as taxation and government spending.

Mr. Blackwell has joined the Buckeye Institute of Public Policy Solutions as a Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow, focusing on such issues as taxes, energy, education, and health-care reform.

"Ohio will again be the focus of national attention during the 2008 presidential election," said Mr. Blackwell. "The Buckeye Institute's research and analysis will play an important part in shaping the public policy discussion."

Mr. Blackwell and the Buckeye Institute most recently worked together in the aborted attempt to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2006 ballot that would have limited growth in the state budget. The backers ultimately pulled the issue from the ballot after lawmakers enacted a less-restrictive alternative.

The two-term secretary of state, one-term state treasurer, and former Cincinnati mayor will receive a stipend as a contributing scholar, but the institute's executive director, David Hansen, declined to reveal the amount.

"The guy has a vision for Ohio, and a lot of people supported it, especially in the Republican primary contest," said Mr. Hansen. "We're going to turn him loose on the things where he thinks he can make a difference."

Mr. Blackwell's conservative message helped him win Ohio's Republican primary, but he lost the November election to Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.



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