By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2005, 6:09pm PT  

What is it about "The Rule of Law" that these Republicans just can't seem to keep straight?

The letter which Ohio's Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell (supervisor of fair and free elections in Ohio, as well as Ohio Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) apparently asked supporters for illegal corporate donations, according to AP:

The state's chief elections officer, accused of mishandling the presidential vote in Ohio, sent a fund-raising letter for his own 2006 gubernatorial campaign that was accompanied by a request for illegal contributions.

A pledge card with the letter from Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired the Bush-Cheney election campaign in Ohio, said "corporate & personal checks are welcome."

Corporate donations are illegal in Ohio.

As we reported earlier in the week, the letter in which Blackwell takes credit for "helping deliver the great Buckeye State for George W. Bush" along with hitting every Christopublican Hotbutton Phrase in the Karl Rove "How to Win Elections and Influence Gullible Americans" handbook, was created to raise funds for Blackwell's gubernatorial bid even while recounts in Ohio were still ongoing. (We have recently updated that original report to include the text of the entire letter, by the way).

Then there is the matter of the official-looking letterhead used in the fundraising letter (the outside envelope refers to him, apparently without irony, as "The Honorable Ken Blackwell"):

While we're fairly certain that the use of official letterhead to raise funds for an upcoming campaign would be a no-no, we're not certain about the use of this official-ish letterhead, and the official-ish looking version of the Great Seal of the United States along with it.

We had hoped to look into the requirements for the legal use of the Great Seal this week until several items distracted us. Amongst them, live coverage of only the second time in well over one-hundred years that an arcane Constitutional provisional had to be invoked in Congress, thanks to Mr. Honorable's Ohio Election calamity, and, of course, the business of final preparations for America's Velvet Revolution which we hope to officially get underway on Monday.

In the meantime, we welcome any thoughts, research or other contributions via comments here on the letterhead matter from any of you crime-hating freedom-lovers out there on the Internets. Crime-justifying, GOP-apologists need not apply.

UPDATE: It should be noted that the letter reported on by AP, included in the Democratic House Judiciary Committee's 102-Page report of evidence suggesting fraud and/or malfeasance in Ohio's election, and blown up for use behind Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) during his speech last Thursday in the historic Congressional debate on the Ohio Electoral challenge was originally discovered and reported by RAW STORY.

AP chose not to give the Internet-only News Source the proper credit for their excellent original reporting. The reasons for that we will leave to the reader to discern. We don't wish to make the same mistake ourselves, however. We linked to them in our original story on the matter several times, but should have credited their hard work in this report as well!

UPDATE: 1/12/05 "Blackwell Ignores Rule of Law! Twice in Same Letter!"