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Is Gov. Strickland eyeing U.S. auto czar post?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published December 6, 2010

Untitled document

While Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams continues his quest for the high profile U.S. auto czar position, another name has surfaced — albeit unofficially — that could make for an interesting contest: Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

The governor lost his bid for a second four-year term in the November general election and since then speculation has been rampant about his future. A person who had been involved in the campaign called to say that word in Columbus has Strickland going to Washington as the auto czar. When it was pointed out that Mayor Williams has met with officials of the Obama administration about the job and that FBI background checks have reportedly begun, the political insider suggested Strickland may have an inside track.

“I know you had originally blogged about the mayor being interested and I thought you’d like to know there could be someone else eyeing the position,” the insider said.

It’s possible the information about Strickland is being shared to gauge public reaction to the governor going to Washington after he leaves office in January.

Details about Williams being approached by Obama administration officials to fill the position of director of recovery for auto communities and workers was revealed in this space several weeks ago.

The position was created by President Barack Obama, who appointed Ed Montgomery in March 2009 to guide the recovery of the auto industry. Montgomery has left to become dean of public policy at Georgetown University.

Auto czar is a high profile position designed to ensure that displaced employees and struggling communities have access to federal stimulus money and assistance for job re-training and other such initiatives. Williams would be in a position to advocate for the Mahoning Valley and to ensure that the General Motors Corp.’s Lordstown assembly plant is on the White House’s radar.

A presidential appointment would be a big deal — for Williams and for the Mahoning Valley. If an offer is made, he will accept because the positives outweigh the negatives. However, if Strickland is a serious contender, then all bets may be off.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Wait a minute Bert, I thought Marc Dann was in the running? Or was it Charlie Wilson? Maybe it was John Boccerri? Didn't your souce say maybe Jim Traficant? Maybe it's really Kelly Pavlik, who isnt in rehab but secretly taking courses at Harvard? Could it be Philomena? Maybe he will rize from the dead like Lazarus?

Maybe Jimmy Hughes after he retires?

Maybe Anthony Traficanti if he decides NOT to run against Bill Johnson.

Seriously, we all know it's going to be David Betras and everything else is just a smokescreen.

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2Photoman(1249 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Each of these "czars" is building another little empire within our already huge government with all of the typical staffing and expenses at a cost to each of us. To the best of my knowledge, there is little accountability for their actions though they supposedly wield substantial power. Every single one of these "czars" must be removed from their positions.

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