In a new chapter of, “Is Ohio Going to let Kasich Get Away with this Shit,” Cleveland.com continued their month-long obituary for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald in our great state’s Gubernatorial Smackdown, 2014 Edition.
Henry J. Gomez reports that two dozen Democratic “activists, operatives, local party leaders and elected officeholders spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss a future based on an expectation that FitzGerald will lose to Gov. John Kasich,” and the “jam the party is in and about which candidates they’re looking at for 2016 and 2018.”
On a condition of anonymity, two dozen Democratic activists, operatives, local party leaders, and elected officeholders have abandoned Ed FitzGerald’s campaign against Kasich. The stark reality of that is stupefying.
John Kasich has caused grievous harm to our body politic. Ed FitzGerald has caused grievous harm to a DMV employee’s afternoon workload.
Since January 2011, Kasich has tried to strong-arm public employees out of their collective bargaining rights, cut $1.86 billion from local governments and public schools costing thousands of public workers, police, firefighters and teachers their jobs, and signed onto cuts to addiction treatment in the middle of a heroin crisis.
In 2012 alone, $774 million was deducted from traditional public schools to fund charters, with 84 percent of children who went to them entering schools performing worse than the ones they left. If that weren’t enough, at least 20 Ohio charter schools are teaching the Fred Flintstone version of human anthropological history subsidized by public taxpayer dollars. Yabba-dabba-doo.
Kasich has privatized prisons with disastrous results. He’s privatized the state department of development and rendered it a shadowy cesspool for insider cronyism. He’s given tax kickbacks to friends at the top of the income scale who don’t need it, and won’t use it to boost consumerism, at the expense of those who would. He’s lowered progressive taxes for those who don’t require it by hiking regressive taxes on those who can’t afford it.
He rolled back Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio and disemboweled the state’s efforts to set itself up for a new green manufacturing boon. And he unraveled a constitutional education model that used evidence to prescribe best practices in favor of an incoherent, unconstitutional one that robs the wallets of most school districts while funneling even more cash to those already well-off.
Ed FitzGerald failed to get his driver’s license renewed.
And that… well, that’s too much.
Of course, the Democrats carry a heavy load of structural disadvantages: Bad demographics in a non-presidential year, the lack of an unpopular Republican president and the burden of an unpopular Democratic one, and a lackluster base.
They can’t afford unforced errors and the fact that FitzGerald’s campaign has blown a couple unnecessary air-darts into its foot has some Democrats, like those anonymously interviewed by Gomez, crying pig in a poke.
Talking to Democratic insiders they see some winnable races, down ticket, so that’s where the funding’s going.
Talking to Ed FitzGerald, he is a man who understands the unconscionable misdeeds of John Kasich, but he also has the right ideas for our state’s restoration, our resurrection from a policy ideal that prescribes cookie-cutter, hysterical conservative machinations instead of tangible, practical solutions.
So here we stand. And it’s an absurd prospect that Ohio has had a governor as openly destructive and self-serving as Kasich and would be willing to give him another four years to wreak so much more havoc.
Those of us who remember Kasich’s record have two months to remind our fellow Ohioans, and while some rising star state legislators have a heartening chance to win statewide, Bravo Company cannot disengage Kasich from our sights.
The stakes are too high. If Kasich knows he can get away with all of this when he has to answer to the people and stand for re-election, I shudder to think what he’ll try when he is term-limited.
David DeWitt is a writer and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.