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Attorney General Cordray is deserving of a full term

Published: Thu, October 14, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s challenger in the Nov. 2 general election, former U.S. Sen. Mike De-Wine, says that voters don’t need a compelling reason to elect him instead of the incumbent.

“The question is who can do a better job,” DeWine, the Republican nominee, argues.

We strongly disagree. The issue in the race for attorney general is about performance, and in this regard Democrat Cordray passes with flying colors.

No one knows whether DeWine can do a better job because it has been three decades since he was involved in the full-time practice of law. That was when he was Greene County prosecutor. He went on to the Ohio Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, served as lieutenant governor and was in the U.S. Senate. He now runs his family business.

Cordray, who won a special election in 2008 to fill the unexpired term of disgraced Attorney General Marc Dann of Liberty Township, served as Ohio’s first solicitor general, U.S. Supreme Court attorney, state treasurer, state representative and Franklin County treasurer.

But, it is his record as Ohio’s attorney general that sets him apart from DeWine.

The office was in the hands of Ohio State University Law School Dean Nancy Rogers for five months after Dann resigned because of an extramarital affair with a staff member and after three of his aides were fired or forced out when an investigation found evidence of sexual harassment and other misconduct.

While Rogers restored order in the office and prevented its collapse, Cordray had to rebuild the credibility of what had become a dysfunctional operation under Dann.

He has done that, and more.

As attorney general, Cordray has been aggressive in dealing with issues that affect the people of Ohio.

For example, in the Mahoning Valley, where the attorney general has an office in downtown Youngstown, Cordray was actively involved in the Forum Health bankruptcy and ensured that the interest of the public was protected in the sale of North Side Medical Center, Trumbull Memorial Hospital and Hillside Rehabilitation. He also was very involved in the General Motors/Chrysler bankruptcy and has gone to bat for the Delphi retirees.

Cordray’s willingness to take on major cases with national and international implications has received wide attention.

The New York Times had this to say:

“Mr. Cordray in two years in office has demonstrated a willingness to sue early and often, filing lawsuits against global financial houses, rating agencies, subprime lenders and foreclosure scammers. He has wrested about $2 billion so far, a string of gilded pelts: a $475 million Merrill Lynch settlement, $400 million from Marsh & McLennan and $725 million from the American International Group.

“Last week, he filed suit against GMAC Mortgage, accusing the loan servicer of filing fraudulent affidavits in hundreds of Ohio foreclosures.

“His office has returned money to investors, pension funds, schools and cities. And he has directed millions to agencies fighting foreclosure.”

How do you ignore such a record? You don’t.

BCI operation

As for DeWine’s contention that Cordray has mismanaged the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation’s laboratory, we believe the incumbent when says that major strides have been made to improve the operation and productivity of the lab.

BCI has long been the subject of criticism, and the backlog of chemical, DNA and forensic biology testing has long existed. Cordray has data showing that there has been reduction in the cases since he took office in November 2008.

The Vindicator strongly endorses Cordray for a full term as attorney general.

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