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Rankin's past record shows where he'll go

Tim Rankin helped lead a small, vocal group of social conservatives in Upper Arlington on a series of divisive wedge issue campaigns that divided our community. These included an attempt to ban gay-oriented newspapers from the Upper Arlington Library, supporting a creationist for the UA Library Board of Trustees, and hand-picking then endorsing a far-right social conservative candidate for UA City Council.

Tim Rankin, candidate for the Ohio House 24th District, says he stands on his record. And that concerns us.

We've followed Rankin's divisive tactics, agenda and voting record as a City Councilman in Upper Arlington for several years now.

Divisive Politics

Rankin's far-right ideology made him a polarizing figure in our community --- leading to gridlock and infighting on Council.

Were he to be elected to higher office, the polarizing effects of Rankin's Bush-style divisive political tactics would be greatly amplified.

By the end of his term as a Councilman, Rankin became so unpopular with UA citizens that he held his endorsement of two City Council candidates -- even the one he had handpicked -- until the day before the election to avoid the inevitable letters-to-the-editor pinning Rankin's controversial agenda on their foreheads. With the lightning speed communication of the Internet, the endorsements still became the kiss of death, and both of Rankin's candidates lost to moderates.

Rankin is a far-right social conserative, and his beliefs do not reflect those of the mainstream voters of the 24th District. Here are three examples: library censorship, predatory lending and creationism.

Library Censorship

In Upper Arlington, there was a growing intolerance of others’ views by a small, vocal minority influenced by outgoing Council member Tim Rankin. One of the most egregious examples is the 2005 dispute about the distribution of gay publications at the Upper Arlington Public Library. A group of conservatives tried to sway the Library Board with the claim it was protecting children.

During the effort to censor library holdings, Rankin is quoted in the September 14, 2005, Upper Arlington News as declaring that “There is a lot of talk about doing what is legally right … it’s up to the board to do what is morally right … If we have to put people on this board who reflect the values of this community, we’ll do that.” (This Week, Sept. 1, 2005)

Predatory Lending

Even in the face of the credit crisis faced by so many Ohioans, Rankin is siding with the banking lobby pushing to increase interest rates on payday loans from the currrent cap of 28% to 391%! This would trap even more Ohioans in a debt trap and further erode Ohio's economy.

Unlike Rankin, Ted Celeste joins nearly every major newspaper in Ohio, the governor, the speaker, the senate president, big-city mayors and city councils, and religious, business, civic and social leaders in preserving the current 28 percent rate cap on these short term loans.

Creationism

And guess who he then supported for the Library Board of Directors? Bryce Kurfees, a proponent of intelligent design.

This winter, Kurfees sponsored a presentation at the Upper Arlington High School of a “young earth” creationist who argues that the world is less than 10,000 years old. According Kurfees’ invitation, the speaker also offered “potential curriculum for public schools to use in order to better address this topic via encouraging more critical thinking in the classroom.” (Our emphasis.)

The Ohio School Board and the Ohio Department of Education have determined that this “critical thinking” curriculum is an unscientific philosophy not suitable for life science instruction.

Why does Rankin think Kurfees’ creationist stance reflects the values of our highly educated, well informed community? And do we want a state representative who would entertain the idea of mixing church and state?

We don’t.

Vote for Ted Celeste.

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