Ted Strickland made a big deal out of his pro-gun past in the 2010 gubernatorial election. John Kasich has a spotty record of defending gun rights, and while in Congress, Strickland certainly did vote on the side of gun owners and sportsmen.
It was a smart move and was very successful. Strickland managed to get endorsements from not only from the NRA, but Ohio's 2 largest pro-2nd amendment groups, Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), and Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC), as well. No doubt, the closeness of the race was due in part to this strategy, as he undoubtedly pulled some voters over to his side who would normally have voted for a Republican.
Many of the rank and file members of these groups, however, were not convinced, and in fact, very angry over the endorsements. They pointed out that Strickland had done little as governor to promote their cause, and that no endorsements should have been given in the race. Quite a few cancelled their memberships. It became a very divisive issue within BFA and OFCC.
So how did Ted Strickland repay these groups, who almost helped to propel him to reelection against a massive red wave? He stabbed them in the back. On December 10, he appointed his running mate, F-rated Yvette McGee Brown, to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Of course, BFA feels betrayed. BFA Vice Chairman Chad D. Baus wrote,
"Despite a 100% pro-gun record, and despite having nearly ridden that wave of pro-gun support to victory once again, as one of his last official acts as governor, Ted Strickland made an unquestionably anti-gun political appointment. When gun owners needed a friend in the OSC appointment to ensure a qualified justice without a personal agenda, Governor Strickland looked the other way and appointed his former running mate and anti-gun advocate to the bench. Friends and politics have once again won out over principle."
And while OFCC has remained silent on the matter, their members have not.
At least we can finally put to rest the assertion that Ted Strickland was a pro-gun governor. He got a lot of mileage out of his congressional votes, earning himself those endorsements. But in the end, he turned his back on Ohio gun owners by refusing to publicly urge his own party to allow a simple vote on 2 pro-2A bills that were very important to the groups who endorsed him. Then, he flat out gave them the finger.
Thanks for nothing, Ted.