Taylor criticizes Strickland

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Gov. Ted Strickland’s “mismanagement” of state government is an obstacle to Ohio’s economic recovery, said Auditor Mary Taylor, the Republican lieutenant-governor candidate.

“Some of the decisions made in Columbus, you couldn’t have made in your business and still be in business,” Taylor told The Vindicator on Tuesday after a discussion with 13 local business owners at the Culinary Arts Center in Boardman.

Taylor said if she and John Kasich, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, are elected in November, they would eliminate unnecessary regulations and policies that adversely impact businesses as well as cut waste in government.

“Being a governor is not what Gov. Strickland has done best,” Taylor said.

In response, Allison Kolodziej, a Strickland campaign spokeswoman, said: “As governor, Ted has accomplished what [ex-]Congressman Kasich only talks about: cutting the size of government, reducing regulation on small businesses and growing the economy across Ohio with projects like V&M Star.”

Government needs to be more efficient, Taylor said.

When asked for examples of efficiencies in the auditor’s office, Taylor said the agency is saving paper and time by releasing audits electronically to government entities and school districts.

Also, the office compiles backup documents for those audits on computer rather than paper.

The state has reduced its number of employees by about 5,000 since Strickland took office in January 2007.

But Taylor contends more would have left just through attrition.

Taylor said the state must live within its means.

“I don’t think that’s been done” under Strickland, she said.

The state must also “over time look at bringing down our tax burden,” Taylor said.

The state has taxed businesses too much, forcing some to leave the state, she said.

During the discussion with business owners, Taylor asked if there have been problems with the state’s job-training programs and the working relationship between businesses and universities. The business owners said no.

Taylor said she and Kasich have heard the opposite during discussions with business leaders in other parts of the state.

Kasich’s time in Congress, in which he helped balance the federal budget, and his “great experience in the private sector” makes him the best person to serve as governor, Taylor said.

The Strickland campaign sees it differently.

“Kasich supports the unfair-trade deals that have shipped Ohio manufacturing jobs overseas and benefited Wall Street at the expense of Ohio workers,” Kolodziej said.

“His only private-sector experience was at the failed Wall Street investment firm Lehman Brothers, where he helped pitch doomed investments to Ohio pension funds, while the company financed corporations that sent even more American jobs overseas,” she said.

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