The biggest breakthrough bringing President Barack Obama to Sandusky just occurred.
For months, I’ve communicated with people linked to Obama’s re-election campaign.
Through emails, snail mail and telephone calls, I’ve alerted dozens related to the campaign why Obama should visit the area sometime before November’s election.
Now, to my benefit, a former high-ranking state official has become aware of my efforts.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who served in the role from 2007 to 2011, recently spoke with me for about 20 minutes on the telephone.
Strickland, an advocate for affordable and attainable education during his political tenure, is one of two chairpersons on the president’s re-election campaign in Ohio.
Even though voters ousted Strickland for Republican Gov. John Kasich in November 2010, Strickland didn’t want to fade away from the government scene.
“I believe it’s my responsibility to be politically involved,” Strickland told the Register. “It’s the responsibility of all citizens, regardless of their political parties, to really engage themselves in our democracy.”
Strickland, however, is now channeling all his political energy into explaining why Obama deserves another four-year term.
“Our democracy is at risk,” Strickland said. “We have really powerful individuals and interest groups that can control the political agenda and can determine our public policy.”
The 2012 election has highlighted many problems with political action committees.
Among the backlash: How specific groups can raise an unlimited amount of funds while finding loopholes to surpass government-imposed budget caps of roughly $5,000. Officials from PACs also use the publicly raised money for personal reasons rather than for political purposes.
An April Arizona Republic study determined 5,000-plus political action committees exist nationwide and have collectively raised $785 million in 2012 at the time when the article printed.
Strickland believes Obama can remedy this free-for-all spending.
“It’s really important that President Obama is re-elected,” Strickland said. “He will fight that movement.”
For as much as Strickland favors Obama, a stark contrast arises when he contemplates Romney’s platforms.
“I fear that Mitt Romney will take us back to the Bush policies that led us to this recession,” Strickland said, referring to the stock market and housing market plummeting while oil prices and consumer good costs soared.
Romney, according to Strickland, will also cut Medicare and Medicaid funding, privatize Social Security, eliminate scholarship opportunities while continuing to provide tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
“We didn’t get into the recession quickly, and we won’t get out of it quickly,” Strickland said.
Presently, Strickland is touring various areas in Ohio to enlighten people on Obama’s policies with concentrations on economic development, job creation, education and health care.
Strickland also keyed me in on what it’s like to be face-to-face with the president.
About three months ago, Strickland discussed political policies with Obama in Washington, D.C., during a lunch where staff served soup, salad and “really good bread.”
“He is very personable and makes you feel comfortable,” Strickland said.
Hopefully I experience a similar feeling in the coming months.
Strickland in Sandusky
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said he’ll come to Sandusky for an interview sometime later this summer.
The Register is inviting area residents to submit questions to ask Strickland, in regard to Obama’s campaign. Email all questions to reporter Andy Ouriel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each presidential election year the Register chooses two reporters to keep tabs on the national candidates and attempt to reel them in for a visit to our fine Northern Ohio home. This year reporter Andy Ouriel is following President Barack Obama's re-election campaign while reporter Emil Whitis gives his attention to the GOP race and candidate Mitt Romney. They update readers regularly on their progress in a series we call "Chasing the President."