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Why Strickland must win

Published: Sun, October 31, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

If you haven’t made up your mind, at this late date, for whom to vote in the race for Ohio governor, or you’re a Democrat who has decided to sit this one out, here’s a number for you to consider: 62 (sixty-two).

That’s how many times Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has visited the Mahoning Valley on official business since taking office in January 2007.

No governor in recent memory, Republican or Democrat, has come close to spending the amount of time in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties that Strickland has, and neither will his Republican challenger, John Kasich, if he wins.

Kasich isn’t from here. He’s Columbus, Franklin County, national cable television talk show host, Lehman Brothers. He’s not us.

And that matters.

Why? Because as the country slowly recovers from the economic recession that began when Republican President George W. Bush was in charge, the competition for limited state dollars will continue to be intense. The Three Cs — Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland — will get the big slices and the Mahoning Valley will have to settle for the crumbs.

All politics is local

That’s why Ted Strickland must win re-election. All politics is local, and from a purely selfish standpoint, we need someone in the governor’s mansion who clearly understands that this region must be a priority.

Before winning the governor’s race in 2006, Strickland represented the 6th congressional district, which includes a portion of Mahoning County and Columbiana County. He knows us. He feels our pain. And, he has done everything possible within the structure of a very tight state budget to assist in the region’s job-creation effort.

(To understand what the governor has meant to the Valley, read The Vindicator’s endorsement editorial of him on www.Vindy.com).

But there’s another compelling reason Strickland deserves to win a second four-year term: Bill Clinton.

The former Democratic president, who has become one of the most popular politicians in America since leaving office 10 years ago, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of Democratic Party faithful Saturday morning at Mr. Anthony’s banquet hall in Boardman and made us understand why politics can be a higher calling.

In an era of sound bites, negative campaign advertising and the ridiculous notion that thoughtful discourse is elitist and that simple-minded solutions to complicated problems are all that are needed, Clinton gave a 35-minute analysis of what’s going on politically in Ohio and the country that would be heard in the hallowed halls of Ivy League schools (there’s that elitism again).

But, his presentation was in the language of the people — and the crowd responded.

Clinton did not equivocate in his support of Gov. Strickland and put forth a powerful argument for why the statewide Democratic ticket should win Tuesday.

It’s about which political party has a better vision for Middle Class Americans, Clinton said, adding that the state of Ohio will never have a better governor than Strickland “who knows what needs to be done.”

The former president’s speech was red meat for the party faithful and was designed to energize the base and encourage the precinct committeemen and women to pull out all the stops in the remaining days of the campaign to get out the vote.

Anyone who has been involved in the political ground game knows that turnout wins elections. In Mahoning County, for example, the Strickland campaign is hoping that 108,000 registered voters cast ballots this year, and that Strickland garners at least 72 percent of the vote.

Chairman Betras

That’s why Clinton came to Boardman — at the behest of county Democratic Party Chairman David Betras, who was hosting his first pre-election breakfast for party executive and central committee members, officeholders and other party members who are now expected to hit the streets.

Strickland obviously knows that a huge vote from Mahoning and Trumbull counties will given him the push he needs to overcome Kasich’s advantage in heavily Republican counties.

“You hold the key to our victory,” the governor told the crowd.

It’s a key that must be used to unlock many doors in this Valley to ensure Strickland’s re-election.


1Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The Strickland Record = higher taxes (Ohio now 7th highest taxed state), job losses and huge deficits.

A vote for Kasich is a vote for job growth and lower taxes and reduced spending.Kasich balanced the federal budget as chairman of the US House Budget Committee.

The Vindy's motivation for supporting failed Democratic-Socialist candidates is the hope of a bailout for a dying print media industry.

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2Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I can tell you why Strickland has been here 62 times.

He is horrified at how bad he is being beat in the rest of the state, so he comes here to shore up his base to get as much turnout as possible to make up for the beatings he is taking elsewhere.

Way to pretty much endorse the Democratic Party Vindicator.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

A Strickland victory also means The Chamber of Horrors... excuse me commerce is exposed as the fraud that it is.

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4saddad(655 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Kasich has an "F" rating with the NRA and there is good reason for that.

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5unclebill(23 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Been here 62 times. Show me the list of what has been done.

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6valleyop(14 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Stop already! Betras didn't have anything to do with Clinton's visit. DNC, ODP and the Governor's office yes, Betras, nothing. Period.

Wake up Bert and smell the hummus, Betras is a fraud. Betras has promised the world to his minions and can't deliver.

The real democrats, (who have been around for longer than two minutes), inside the party already know this, look for a major shake up after the election.

See ya Dave!

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7NYR1(19 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Bertram and the Vindicator are just plain sad. The best thing that they can say in their never ending Democrat endorsement: we need Strickland because he has come here 62 times! That is because we are the only area in Ohio that is dumb enough to vote for such a pathetic candidate who has done nothing for us but come here to get photo ops for things which he did nothing to do with. And our incredibly biased newspaper spits out baseless endorsements for anyone with a D after their name. Does anyone remember the Vindy's unconditional endorsement of Timmy Pelousy the weekend after Traficant got put back on the ballot? In it they stated that Timmy's fingerprints are on everything good going on the Valley. Lordstown's third shift and V&M's expansion are always the first thing mentioned. No informed person can take the Vindy seriously. Lordstown brings back their laid off third shift and V&M builds a plant based our proximity to the 2nd largest natural gas find in the world and Obama and friends roll into town to take credit for it. And the Vindy jumps on their baseless PR wagon.

And now one more display of our area's sheeplike mindset. Our most advertised local ambulance chaser brings in Bill Clinton to fire up the troops before the slaughter. And locals and our newspaper treat him as a hero. Why can't anyone remember that he was the one who stopped the federal payroll facility from coming to town right after his first election? That would have changed the whole economy in this area. It would have brought 4000 to 7000 real career jobs to the area. Not the $9/hour call center jobs that come here now. This guy ruined our future and gets treated like a hero.

So as not to sound to negative (ala Bert DeSouza) I am going to finish on a positive note. I want to congratulate Bert on making it through a whole politically based column without mentioning Traficant. It must have been hard.

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8chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


(1) 400,000 lost jobs
(2) Couldn't balance state budget without raiding the tobacco fund
(3) His merry band of past supporters, namely, Marc Dann, jimmy Dimora, the Cafaros, Sciortino, Frank Russo,
(4) His aides attempting to subvert the investigation by the Solictor general,
(5) His failure to keep a reign on his staff
(6) Not turning Ohio around as promised
(7) Supported Obama's hhigh cost health care plan
(8) faled to publicly denounce cap and trade
(9) Favored Card check to take more money from the non-union workers in the form of dues, and the workers have no say on how the funds are used


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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Strickland is now desperate to hold on to his job . The fact of the matter is that once elected again his priority will once again be , COLUMBUS, CINCINNATI and CLEVELAND . Just remember in the past we got the crumbs and they got the prizes . He does however value us for the tax dollars that we send to Columbus .


His support for OBAMACARE which cut five hundred billion out of medicare to help the seniors die faster is not forgotten either .

Yep, it's time for a change !

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10valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Strickland is a joke. Yes the polls have tightened, but Kasich has been up ALL ELECTION season. FiveThirtyEight.com has a good prediction on this race:

He has Kasich up 51-47% AND gives him an 80% chance of winning.

The race that will be close is down in OH-6 where Charlie Wilson is going to get UPSET by Republican Bill Johnson: http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/for...

538 has Johnson up by a half point and gives him a 52% chance of winning.

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11Jerry(861 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I thoroughly agree with the writer, that simple minded solutions to complicated problems are indeed ridiculous:

Simple minded notions like:
- The government can effectively manage healthcare for all.
- Government spending can bolster the economy
- More thousands of pages of laws and regulations that no reasonable person can read or understand are needed.
- Wind and solar energy are “free”
- Creating a fanciful trading system and artificially assigning value to “carbon credits” is meaningful

These are among some of the most ridiculous simple minded notions I have heard.

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12walter_sobchak(2726 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Taxes are sky high in this state, govt. employees are overcompensated for their production, the education system funding is still unconstitutional not to mention the education output is dismal, businesses are leaving the state in a rapidly increasing rate, but, vote for Strickland because he has visited the valley 62 times! Hopefully, we can grab on to the govt teat and become nourished. Maybe the govt will extend unemployment benefits for more weeks.

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The most ridiculous simple minded notion is re-electing Strickland !



His support for OBAMACARE which cut five hundred billion out of medicare to help the seniors die faster is not forgotten either .

Yep, it's time for a change !

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14youngspartanrepublican(92 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Bertram, you do realize Kasich was born and raised in McKee's Rocks, PA, not too far from here in Beaver County. He didn't move to Columbus until college where he attended The Ohio State University. Strickland was moved into our area by redistricting, not because he actually came from here!

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15Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

McKees Rocks is not entirely unlike the Mahoning Valley. Kasich has more in common with us with his roots than Strickland ever did. Case in point, look at his last name.

As for Dave Betras, how is that 80% looking for you? Even 72% is ridiculous Bertram! What numbers are you looking at?

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16csky(10 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Do the Vindicator editorial writers even read their own editorials? They spend weeks railing against public employee excesses then endorse the candidate of the party of public employee excess. Makes sense to me.

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17rcerritelli(1 comment)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

If John Kasich was born at St. Elizabeth hospital, grew up and graduated from high school in Youngstown, graduated from YSU, married a girl from Youngstown, raised his family and sent them to schools in Youngstown and still lived in Youngstown, Bert and the rest of the lefties would still say that Strickland is the better candidate. It's not that Kasich "is not us"...it's that he's not you. Try an original thought now and then Bert.

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18theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Ha-ha, NYR1 UR2Kool! Keep up the good werke, comrade.

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19theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Alright. If you insist here's a poem:
We're close to our computers to get the reports, but far from where the battles are being reported. So we fight a war of words..taunts and inuendos and that's what we can easily do. And this because we're unemployed and pissed and frustrated..bored. Get up, write a poem/ right a wrong, go back to sleep. Wake up and vote, go back to sleep. Let's celebrate whatever's gonna happen next.

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20Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

To fairandscrewtheworkers
All you want is for other people to lose their job . You are sick go get help

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21theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Traficant. Yes he can!

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22frank(9 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Typical vindicator....endorse all levies in last Sundays paper and then begin to write articles bashing what state employees earn starting in next Sundays paper. Why dont you guys investigate anything before you print it. Must be nice to be the only paper in town

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