As Ohio confronts the myriad challenges brought on by the national economic recession, the need for steady, proven leadership has never been greater. This is not the time for experimentation.
In his four years as governor, Ted Strickland has shown that careful, deliberate decision-making is necessary to establish a solid foundation upon which Ohio can rebuild its economy.
Strickland, a Democrat, is seeking re-election on Nov. 2 and has earned the support of Ohioans. The Vindicator endorses the governor without reservation.
Strickland’s chief opponent is Republican John Kasich, a former member of Congress and a former director of Lehman Brothers. He is personable and engaging, but when it comes to some of the ideas he has espoused on the campaign trail, we wonder whether he’s simply pandering to the voters.
Kasich, an intelligent, knowledgeable former chairman of the House Budget Committee, has proposed the elimination of the state’s income tax, but admits he has not analyzed the state’s operating budget and has not figured out how Ohio’s government will operate without 46 percent of its general revenue.
He also has called for privatizing the department of development, again without delving into the legal ramifications of placing taxpayer dollars in the hands of corporate executives.
Kasich has said that the executives would be paid what they’re worth and would get bonuses, which could be secret. The notion that a government entity should be able to operate in the dark is at once surprising and disturbing.
Can governments at all levels become more efficient and do more with less? Of course. That message resonates with Ohioans.
Strickland’s record is there for all to see. Working with Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature he developed two balanced budgets; increased funding for primary and secondary education by 5.5 percent; contained the cost of higher education; reformed Ohio’s schools; created a consortium of state colleges and universities; secured $400 million in Race to the Top education funding from Washington; secured $7.8 billion in federal stimulus money for 7,810 projects, and cut business taxes.
When he ran for governor four years ago, Strickland made a pledge to the Mahoning Valley that residents had heard many times before: I won’t forget you. Like most people, we were skeptical.
By any objective standard, however, it is clear the governor not only has paid a great deal of attention to this area, but has delivered on his promise to help revive its economy.
General Motors’ Lordstown assembly plant with three shifts working to produce the Chevrolet Cruze, the $650 million investment by the French company Vallourec to build a new state-of-the-art steel making facility in the Youngstown/Girard corridor, financial support for the Youngstown Business Incubator, the creation of the Eastern Gateway Community College, major funding for research initiatives at Youngstown State University, are evidence of the attention paid by the governor.
Strickland has served the region and the state well.
The Vindictor urges his re-election.