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Dem challenger FitzGerald: Kasich out of touch with average Ohioan

Published: Sat, March 29, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.

Governor ‘not in touch,’ Democratic hopeful says

By David Skolnick



Gov. John Kasich’s statements that the state’s economy has improved during his administration shows “he’s not in touch with the average person in Ohio,” said Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat candidate challenging the Republican incumbent.

“He was elected originally on a platform of turning the state around, and I don’t think the state has turned around and I don’t think most people think it has,” said FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive, during a 55-minute interview Friday with The Vindicator’s editorial board. “There’s been some very sweet deals for a very small group of people, but I don’t think that’s the way the state should be run.”

Kasich has declined several invitations to meet with the newspaper’s editorial board since his election in November 2010.

In the Mahoning Valley last week, Kasich touted job creation in the state under his leadership. He pointed to recent employment statistics that showed Ohio went from 48th nationally in job growth when he started as governor in January 2011 to No. 5 over the past three years.

The state is no longer in a recession, FitzGerald said, but Ohio has “had extremely tepid job growth.”

He added, “This state has not turned the corner economically” and is “underperforming.”

FitzGerald said Kasich’s nearly 50 percent cut in the Local Government Fund has caused major economic damage to cities, villages, townships and counties.

“It’s an issue where Gov. Kasich has a real disconnect,” and the governor’s downplaying the reduction “shows a complete lack of understanding what local communities have really faced,” FitzGerald said.

“The hypocrisy of the whole thing is it was a time for sacrifice, but then he’s saying on the other hand that he has a [state] surplus and giving people tax cuts while communities are making cuts,” FitzGerald said about Kasich. “The governor is just unwilling to concede that he balanced the state budget by unbalancing local budgets.”

FitzGerald will face Larry Ealy, who’s never had a political office, in the Democratic primary. It’s the only statewide race on the May 6 primary ballot.

FitzGerald dismisses Ealy, saying he will spend “gas money; very, very, very little” money on the primary.

FitzGerald acknowledged raising money for his campaign has been an issue and that he’ll be outspent by Kasich. He also said polls show about 30 percent of people recognize his name.

“Name recognition is the one political disease that has a 100 percent cure: you advertise so when we start to go up [on television] our numbers will go up,” he said.

Chris Schrimpf, an Ohio Republican Party spokesman, said, “Although there is still work to do, there’s no doubt that Ohio’s economy is recovering under Gov. Kasich’s administration.

“The governor has also made fiscal responsibility a top priority. He inherited a nearly $8 billion budget shortfall and balanced it without raising taxes. Not only that but he refilled the state’s rainy-day fund from less than a dollar to nearly $1.5 billion. He got the state’s finances back on track.”


1Knightcap(699 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

FitzGerald doesn't have a china man's chance in hell of winning by constant attacking Kasich. He needs to develop some kind of plan like Kasich did when he won. My suggestion to the democrat candidate is to take up the issue of school funding. Over 15 years ago the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the way we fund schools is unconstitutional. To me nothing has changed. Schools keep levying more and more property taxes on the single family home owner. Even to the point where home owners are forced out of their homes because of high property taxes. The property tax is the most unfair tax you can put on a Ohio resident. If someone lost their job, took a cut in pay, got sick, or is retired on a fixed income, Mike Sciortino wants his property tax or you lose your house.

FitzGerald should start rallying all school superintendents and make this an issue and then follow through with changing the way schools are funded. A more fairer way would be to use a combination of income tax (which Kasich is cutting), lottery, sales tax, fracking and injection well fees, commercial property tax (no tax abatements), renters tax, fees on open enrollment students, casino and racino proceeds. There are so many ways to go about funding schools than going after someone who owns a home. Again, this FitzGerald needs to quit attacking and come up with plans and solutions to problems we face. He is already starting off with a black eye being a democrat from Cuyahoga County.

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2ysuforever(57 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

What kind of plan does Kasich have other than attack unions and continue to destroy middle class values.Kasich is nothing more than a cheap version of Reagan with his trickle down voodoo economics .Other than Dollar stores what type of jobs have been created here.Jobs Ohio is a scam that only benefits Kasichs buddies who aren't under any type of regulations whatsoever.They don't even say who the employees are yet alone what they are paid.Kasich buddies are getting rich on the charter school and school choice issue while our public schools suffer because he wants to punish the teacher union.While students in the public schools are brow beaten into trying to do well on ill advised state mandated tests Kasichs beloved on -line schools pay their students to take the same tests.I do agree with Knightcap about the property tax issue and I blame both parties because the statehouse is full of career politicians who only care about getting reelected and then making a mockery of term limits by switching houses .And yes there are many ways to fund schools but Kasichs income tax cut will only put about 50 bucks in your wallet unless of course you are one of his wealthy donors.The guy has no shame,he likes to say he is comfortable in Mahoning Valley union halls but goes to Vegas to beg for millions from Newts best pal who is rabidly anti union.Dont get fooled Reagan made a campaign promise to rebuild our valley then we never saw the bum again ,Kasich is the same guy who wants to destroy everything our unions gained -the American Dream

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3theotherside(333 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Fitzgerald also needs to present himself as an alternative to the extremist Kasich, who will be even more extreme if he wins re-election (you hear that union members?). I tend to agree with Knightcap. What's the plan Ed? You have my vote because I could never vote for Kasich (and didn't the first time), especially after what he did with SB5. But I would vote for anyone other than Kasich for that reason. There may not be enough people who think like I do but I can't imagine the 2 million plus voters who recalled SB5 will forget about it that quickly. Kasich is toxic to Ohio politics. Ed needs to articulate an alternative plan that voters want to embrace.

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4Kernaloftruth(86 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

EF: You're out of touch with Ohioans
JK: Nuh-uh, you're out of touch.
EF: That's not true, you're lying.
JK: No you're lying.
EF: No you are lying and out of order.
JK: Your hair is out of order.
EF: Stop that!
JK: Stop what?
EF: Making fun of my hair!
JK: You started it.
EF: No you started it.
JK: Who are you again?

To think we have another 7 months of this crap.

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5ytownsteelman(628 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I think SB5 is a dead issue with Kasich. His goal originally was to get Ohio out of its debt, and public union reform was just one tool in the toolbox to accomplish that. But he found other ways to accomplish the goal, so the need to reform the public unions is now gone. And he also responded to the will the people by not continuing to push the issue.

The income tax cuts will return money back to its proper owners. If the average person is only getting a $50 cut that is because that average person isn't paying much in income tax to begin with. That average person is already getting a good deal by getting all of the state's govt. services for a low cost.

I like to see the local govt. fund cut and income tax cuts enacted. This brings money back to the people in the local area so they can support local levies directly. If the schools in your community are important to you, then pay for them yourself. Don't demand that Ohioans somewhere else chip in to pay for your school. And that is all that the local govt. fund is. Its taking tax money from people elsewhere in the state and bringing it here. Their tax money should pay for their govt. services, not ours.

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6iBuck(219 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

That looks like a typographical error. That should have been an ampersand between Fitzgerald and Kasich.

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