By DAVID SKOLNICK
The Democratic mayors of three Mahoning Valley communities praised Gov. Ted Strickland, a fellow Democrat, for his assistance to the area during hard economic times, while criticizing John Kasich, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, for what they called his “Wall Street values.”
The Wednesday press conference took place outside Youngstown City Hall on the two-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. With $600 billion in assets, it was the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history.
At the time of the bankruptcy, Kasich was one of about 700 managing directors for Lehman, a major financial services company.
Lehman’s collapse “was part of the trigger to what’s been deemed the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression,” said Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams.
He was joined Wednesday by Warren Mayor Michael O’Brien and McDonald Mayor Glenn Holmes.
Kasich repeatedly has said that to blame him for the collapse of Lehman and the economy is wrong and unfair.
The Youngstown event was among 12 organized by the Ohio Democratic Party on Wednesday to criticize Republicans, particularly Kasich, for his Wall Street ties.
The mayors complimented Strickland for his involvement in helping Mahoning Valley businesses, including V&M Star and the General Motors complex in Lordstown.
As for Kasich, Williams said the Republican “will always stand on the side of Wall Street and big corporations at the expense of everyday Ohioans.”
Kasich’s campaign referred comment on this matter to the Ohio Republican Party.
“Gov. Strickland has embraced the financial services industry throughout his entire term as governor, and Ohioans just aren’t buying his newfound hatred of Wall Street,” said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine. “It’s time to give up these ridiculous tactics and start focusing on what matters to the people of this state, and that’s creating jobs.”