FitzGerald slams Kasich

Register exclusive: Democratic candidate goes on offensive during local campaign stop
Andy Ouriel
Apr 27, 2014

The leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate blasted his Republican opponent, blaming him for cutting public education, handcuffing middle-class Ohioans and shielding government from open records laws.

Democrat Ed FitzGerald slammed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, during a campaign stop Saturday at Sawmill Creek Resort.

Before facing Kasich in November, FitzGerald must first win a primary against Democrat Larry Ealy in May.

But if he defeats both challengers, FitzGerald vowed to weave his anti-corruption public policies into office.

In his current post as Cuyahoga County executive, FitzGerald introduced tougher ethic laws and downsized government in the wake of public corruption scandals across the Cleveland region. Before then, he worked as an FBI special agent, assigned to a task force outing corrupt Chicago politicians and making them accountable for their actions. He also served as Lakewood’s mayor.

FitzGerald answered questions about his platform to the Register in an exclusive interview:

Q: What, in your opinion, are the three most problematic failures of the Kasich administration?

EF: The big three are the economy, schools and local community services. 

Economy: Unemployment has gone down, but a lot of the jobs that have been created, there is not enough of them, and they are not paying the kind of wages that you can support a family on. The state’s economic development programs need to be focused more on small businesses. Most people in Ohio work for small businesses, and there has been very little direct help for small businesses.

Schools: They have cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of K-12. Local school districts have really ended up footing the bill for the state. Lots of teachers have been laid off, and programs have been cut. The state should start picking up more funding so it’s not all on local property tax owners like it has increasingly been.

Local community services: The state has really disinvested from local communities. They cut 50 percent of local government funds. Police officers, firefighters and service workers got laid off, services (were eliminated) and a lot of these smaller communities are feeling completely abandoned. The governor didn’t have to do that, but he did because he is financing tax cuts that are overwhelmingly benefitting the wealthiest people in the state, and it’s a mistake. We just need a government that respects local communities and shares state revenue with them in the same way almost every governor before this one has.

Q: If you are elected governor, can you share what you believe might be your greatest accomplishments as a state leader?

EF: In the broad sense, I want to run government for the benefit of the average person in Ohio. I think, right now, it’s being run for the benefit of a very small group of people. My priority would be working for the average, working-class, middle-class person in this state.

Q: You are not the first candidate running for office to promise transparency. Many times, those promises aren’t kept. If elected, how will you keep that promise?

EF: It’s not just something I’m saying. Sometimes candidates say that because it’s a talking point. But I’ve implemented it before, and I’ll implement it again. I received some national recognition at the county level for making government more accountable and more transparent. Not only has the governor never done that, and never said that (more transparency) is one of his goals, but his administration has sponsored and signed into law provisions that make government more secretive. JobsOhio is shielded from a (review of finances) from the state auditor. This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That is just bad government.

Q: Given the multiple investigations by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the Fremont and Sandusky County areas paired with complaints from many area families about local police and sheriff deputies, if elected governor, how will you solve this problem and help these families?

EF: Without getting into the specifics of the cases, it’s very important for the justice system to move expeditiously. As a prosecutor, I saw that when cases were delayed, (there was a saying that goes) ‘justice delayed, justice denied.’ It ends up soaking up resources, and it’s important for the wheels of justice to move as effectively as they possibly can. I would certainly be open to looking at each one on a case-by-case basis to see if there is something that can be done to expedite the cases. The fact that I have a law enforcement background and Gov. Kasich does not would be helpful.

Comments

YoMamma

So you want to give more money to schools. Where will it come from? Don't say lottery, that's just legal money laundering through the general fund.

Darwin's choice

Pot/kettle

IT'S ME

All this guy does is bash kasich, he NEVER offers any insignt in how he plans on doing things different. Check out his Facebook page, 90% of his post are about how bad kasich is, it's a joke. How does he expect to win?

Larry

He was part of the task force to clean- up Chicago ? He did a great job at that ! We don't need his mud slinging, it's real easy to criticize, when you have no plan other than higher taxes.

Ralph J.

If ex-FBI agent Fitzgerald takes credit for exposing Chicago corruption, why was he silent during the Cuyahoga corruption? While I am no fan of Kasich, the Dems could have picked a better candidate.

Babo

Fitzgerald was hired by and worked for Bill Mason Cuyahoga County prosecutor during the boom years of county corruption. Mason and Fitzgerald both claim they were "clueless" as to the massive corruption occurring right under their noses.

Somehow Mason avoided federal indictment and was able to land safely at a big law firm he awarded millions in contracts to over the years because he and his staff (including Fitzgerald) were not competent to defend the county.

Over 40 lawyers and two judges were indicted and convicted in the Cuyahoga County public corruption case. At the present time a Bedford Municipal Court Judge and a Bedford's law director are under indictment for accepting services from prostitutes in return of legal favors including case outcomes. Legal corruption in Cuyahoga County has not disappeared on Fitzgerald's watch if anything it is worse as the Feds have backed off.

Pterocarya frax...

"Legal corruption in Cuyahoga County has not disappeared on Fitzgerald's watch if anything it is worse as the Feds have backed off."

Got anything to back that up, or is it just more partisan hackery?

Babo

I'm not a member of either party.

Current examples include:

1) Bedford Municipal Court problems and larger problems county wide with private law firm as law directors.
2) Extensive questions concerning excessive force investigations with Cleveland Police Department and failure to turn those over to the Feds
3) Suspect contracts and payments in Beachwood, no investigation because Mayor has political connections.
4) Cleveland Fire Department payroll scandal which should have been turned over to the Feds and got whitewashed by the County.

Pterocarya frax...

1) City of Bedford---not Cuyahoga County, of which FitzGerald is the County Executive.
2) City of Cleveland--not Cuyahoga County, of which FitzGerald is the County Executive.
3) City of Beachwood--not Cuyahoga County, of which FitzGerald is the County Executive.
4) City of Cleveland--not Cuyahoga County, of which FitzGerald is the County Executive.

Babo

All are prosecuted or not prosecuted by the county of which Fitzgerald is the Chief executive officer. Before you come back with Tim Mc Ginty is the county prosecutor not Fitzgerald; the point is the problems in Cuyahoga County are cultural, systemic and long standing from one party rule and need to be reviewed by the Feds through a continuation of the Fed probe that stopped short of pursuing the real power brokers.

wasthere

In typical democrat fashion. Blame and blast.

The Big Dog's back

Yep, Repubs never blame anyone. 9/11 they blamed Clinton. The Great Recession of 2008 they blamed Dems. Nope, never blame.

There you go again

Yep. and I blame you, so there!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

What's a "middle-class Ohioan"? Some kind of bird? I sure hope he isn't referring to human beings with words like that. It'd be quite tragic if he lumped living, thinking, feeling citizens into nonexistent categories in order to placate the intrinsic psychological desire to be "normal" despite the myriad of lifestyles, interests, experiences, etc. they have accumulated.

The Big Dog's back

What is your problem with the term "middle class"?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please feel free to define who this "middle-class" is. It is a word used by many, defined by nobody, yet supposedly includes everybody. It's garbage, disingenuous, and disrespectful. Who is anyone to classify you or me in such a way? What gives this man some free pass to ignore the "lower" and "upper" and focus on the middle when no middle is even defined!

Do you see?

Here's some more examples: "It sure is weather today. I hope good things occur because of stuff. People are in moods they and/or I enjoy because of reasons. It would be bad if bad stuff happens because that's bad."

The Big Dog's back

When you focus on the middle, it helps both ways, upper and lower.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

When there is no middle upon which to focus, nobody is helped in the worst case or everyone can only ever be average in the best.

I

What a weenie. The only votes he'll get are the automatic ones because he has a "D" attached to his name and a few other non-thinkers who yearn for a return of the good old Teddy Strickland era and it's $8billion debt!

OMG.LOL.WT_

I wanna know how come he gets two capital letters in his name.

The Big Dog's back

The choice is simple, a Lehman bros. crook or an ex FBI agent trying to put these crooks in jail.

I

Dog, for you, the choice is even more simple...he has a "D" by his name, he has your vote. Deny?

The Big Dog's back

I vote for the people with the ideas close to mine. Do you do the same?

I

Dems pretty much think the way they're told. Republicans tend to think more for themselves. I don't expect you to understand.

The Big Dog's back

Republican and think for themselves don't belong in the same sentence.

I

So, you don't see a difference between the tea party types and the libertarian types and the rino types? There used to be dems called blue dogs. They no longer exist. What is left are those who think the way you do.

Dr. Information

He won't come close to winning.

Darkhorse

Fiztgerald is a dreamer if he thinks we are going to elected someone from Cuyahoga County, the most corrupt county in Ohio.

Ralph J.

I have thought the same about certain candidates who won elections, especially the ones with a "D" behind their names. Some Dems just follow along and vote how they are told to vote. They cannot think for themselves to choose the best candidate. Same with the Reps. Anyone from Cuyahoga should be put under a microscope, dissected and looked at again and again.

KURTje

Whilst are talking parties & the Cleveland area, check on Lew Wasserman. Lew went to Cali & bought a failed actor to work for him....... "the rest is history."

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