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Are Dems headed for 1994 crash?

Published: Sun, July 6, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

It’s the kind of story that causes political operatives to have sleepless nights, party leaders to play the low-expectation game, and the candidate to hope there’s enough time to turn things around.

Last week, the Columbus Dispatch published a story about the city of Streetsboro, one of Ohio’s new political bellwethers, with the following paragraph that must have made Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic nominee for governor, squirm:

“But an afternoon in this community about 40 minutes southeast of FitzGerald’s office in downtown Cleveland found that, at best, many [residents] had barely heard of the Cuyahoga County executive, much less plan to vote for him ….”

FitzGerald, who is challenging Republican Gov. John Kasich in the November general election, has had a persistent problem since he began his quest last year: Too many Ohioans don’t know who he is.

Huge advantage

Thus the question: Can the challenger and the Ohio Democratic Party overcome Kasich’s huge advantage of incumbency and money?

Polls continue to show the governor, who is completing his first four-year term, with a comfortable lead.

Four years ago, Kasich defeated Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland by a narrow margin, but the GOP swept every statewide race.

President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), was responsible for the Democrats getting a political drubbing around the country.

Last week, a major poll was released that placed Obama as the most unpopular president since World War II, and there’s nothing to suggest that the public’s attitude will change between now and Nov. 4.

That isn’t good news for the Ohio Democratic Party.

In January 2011, one of the Mahoning Valley’s most prominent Democrats, Harry Meshel, told state party Chairman Chris Redfern to “Get lost” because of the beating suffered by the Democratic candidates.

Meshel, former president of the Ohio Senate and now a member of the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, had a personal reason for kicking Redfern when he was down.

In 1994, Meshel was chairman of the state Democratic Party when the nominee for governor, Rob Burch, was politically destroyed by then-Gov. George V. Voinovich, a Republican.

Voinovich received 72 percent of the 3.3 million votes cast, while Burch managed a meager 25 percent. There also was an independent candidate in the race.

Democrats around the state and nationally were in shock, and Meshel was blamed — by Redfern.

The then-Ottawa County commissioner called the chairman’s office with a message that was delivered to Meshel on a “While You Were Out” slip. It read: “Ask you that you resign.”

The Valley’s elder political statesman is still holding a grudge against Redfern, even though he may not admit it publicly.

However, should the statewide Democratic ticket led by FitzGerald go down in flames, it’s a sure bet that Meshel will be the first to demand Redfern’s head on a platter.

Unless there’s a reversal of fortunes, Gov. Kasich and most of the Republican statewide officeholders will win re-election.

Riding high

In 2011, Democrats were riding high after they, along with their labor union allies, killed Kasich’s collective bargaining reform law. The governor and the GOP-controlled General Assembly rammed through the reform bill that was aimed at state public employees.

The law stripped state union workers of bargaining rights that had been on the books for decades. Democratic Party leaders and union bigwigs still licking their wounds from the 2010 election, pounced. A petition drive to place the collective bargaining reform law on the general election ballot garnered 1.3 million signatures.

In the election, more than 60 percent voted for repeal. And Democrats believed they had found an issue that would resonate in this year’s election. They were wrong.

There had been talk about Republicans putting a right-to-work constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot, but the governor nipped that idea in the bud.

Thus today, Democrats are desperately looking for an issue to energize the base — as the clock keeps ticking.


1republicanRick(1497 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Today's Democrats are so far left that the middle class is leaving them in droves. Nutty, no growth environmentalists, Hollywood elites, and out of touch college professors now drive the party.

Union and working families are turning toward the Republicans to provide jobs, economic growth, and family support.

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2NoBS(2311 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I said when FitzGerald was first named as the Dem candidate for governor that name recognition (or lack thereof) was going to be a huge hurdle. The state Dem party should have been getting FitzGerald's name out there in the public's eye.

They could list accomplishments he's made, they could attack Kasich's job performance, they could do a lot of things.

Thanks to the bungling of the state Dem party - who apparently isn't committed to FitzGerald - we're going to have King John for another term.

More's the pity for Middle Class Ohio.

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3Roger_Thornhill(951 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago


Ed Fitzgerald: Public official 14

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4redeye1(5260 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

We can only Hope that they are!

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5steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

John Kasich is the man!!!

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6steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

This is not just happening in Ohio, it is the whole country. The country is sick and tired of this Liar and his lying. When the Republicans take over the Senate in November, the Liar need not send anyone up for confirmation and the Senate will be in session at all times.

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7steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

"The first time he ran he stated he does not support public education and has preceded to tears it down" - No he didn't, but he is not on favor of more freebies for freeloaders.
"he stated he did not support union workers and got one of his flunkies to push SB 5 thru." No he didn't, but he is not ion favor of more freebies for freeloaders.
"So he let you people know he is and unindicted Lehman brothers thief who got away with millions of taxpayers dollars" No he isn't, but he is not in favor of more freebies for freeloaders.
"who doesn't care about people" Yes he does, but he is not in favor of more freebies for freeloaders.

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8steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

"He has never denied making these statements."
He doesn't have to deny them just because a Dumocrat dreams them up.

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9republicanRick(1497 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

gdog, you went off your medicine again, didn't you? You promised your mom you would keep taking them. Now march right back down to your basement bedroom and take those pills. You have time, the Jerry Springer show was taped by mom.

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10valleyred(1102 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Kasich is well on his wait to a rout of Ed Fitzgerald. Kasich has a fairly large lead in the polls and as Ohio's economy continues to improve, more swing voters will back the incumbent.

Furthermore, ysuforever I wish you would look at the facts, rather than spew talking points from the left.

FACT - In Governor Kasich's approved budget (H.B. 483), Kasich doubled the earned income tax credit from 5% to 10% of the Federal credit.

FACT - In Governor Kasich's approved budget (H.B. 483), Kasich increased the state's personal exemption from $1,700 to $2,200 for families making less than $40,000 per year.

FACT - In Governor Kasich's approved budget (H.B. 483), Kasich increased the state's personal exemption from $1,700 to $1,950 for families making between $40,000 and $80,000 per year.

FACT - In Governor Kasich's approved budget (H.B. 483), Kasich moved up the 1% tax cut from 2015 to 2014. Furthermore, starting last Tuesday (July 1), withholding tax rates fell across Ohio. Combined, these two actions will provide a 10% personal income tax cut for Ohioans per published reports.

It is clear Governor Kasich cares about everyone, not just the 1% as ysuforever likes to state. Look at the facts folks... Kasich is doing a tremendous job and he deserves 4 more years.

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11steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Other than the people with their handout looking for a freebie, the people are going to vote in Kasich in a landslide. Maybe not in your mixed up world where they are expecting the State of Ohio to prop up YSU so the employees can pull down bigger and bigger raises. Instead of expecting the State of Ohio to support YSU, why not do something about campus security and the enrollment will increase on its own.

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12papa1(711 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

ysuforever, I couldn't have said it better brother.

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13steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

"Kasich for President in 2016!!" If only he hadn't allowed the Medicaid expansion in Ohio, I would be in your camp.

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14steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Spoken like a true Dumocrat. Is there even one program (think real hard for just one) that you would not favor spending tax dollars for?

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15jojuggie(1608 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Ytown prefers a Democrat govenor, and a Democrat mayor of Ytown. Always does & always will. Can you imagine what the state of Ohio would would loof like? Ohio would probably look like lower Market st or better yet, Detroit.

These Ytown union guys better fear a Right to Work State - it's coming, guys. When it comes, you can all move to the state of California, & help those Democrats pay off that state's debt, they caused, which runs into the billions.

Yeah, did you hear about a chief of police, in a small CA city, who receives a yearly pension of $471,000, & says he is undser paid?

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16lajoci(636 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I can think of several programs I would not favor spending tax dollars for -- anti-missile defense; corporate welfare in the form of subsidies for big oil; the U.S. Forest service, which exists ONLY to benefit the timber industry; coal subsidies; natural gas subsidies; more corporate welfare in the form of crop insurance subsidies for giant agribusiness.

Matter of fact, we should stop corporate welfare in general, in the form of tax subsidies allowing wildly profitable companies to pay NO TAXES on their earnings!

What is up widdat?

Wildly profitable companies use public services just like individuals, maybe even more so, and yet dozens of them pay NO INCOME TAXES ON THEIR INCOMES. So they are, in Steivo's astute phraseology, moochers, getting freebees from the rest of us while they wallow in their record profits, whine about employee pay, cut workers' wages, slather their executives with fatter compensation packages, and cry the blues about how rough they have it!

Yes! These are some of the programs, otherwise known as CORPORATE WELFARE, that we need to stop throwing money at!

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17steivo(540 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Straight from George Soros.

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18lajoci(636 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

"George Soros"

Code for "I have no clue about how to answer the previous post. It is way too over-my-head, so I'll just sling a slogan I heard Rush or Bill-O, or Hannity mention, because that's all I'm capable of."

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