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.

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  • Otterbien62

    Sometimes morons can be so wise, for instance when Sarah Palin says “lamestream media”. She certainly has a point, especially in Ohio!

  • woktrap

    And why should we believe Harry Gomez? Simple. They want us to stay home. This type of yellow journalism will continue until the election. I can’t name five people who even visit Cleveland.Com for news. The Republican bubble is real, and I think the race is still winnable.

  • SlapFat

    It might be tough to come to grips with but if things remain as they are Kasich has this election by at least 5 points. The economy is healthy enough that voters are content with it (while erroneously crediting the governor with the “recovery”) and it’s the midterms. Those two factors alone are often enough to settle most elections.

    Regarding Fitzgerald, well, it’s somehow an unforgivable sin in the mind of the media and Ohio public that he had the nerve to ride in a vehicle with a woman to transport her somewhere. I have no idea how that was converted into a controversy in the 21st century. Why this is the most “exciting” part of Fitzgerald’s campaign is also beyond me.

    Was anyone ever all that interested in Fitzgerald before this?

  • anastasjoy

    Amen, brother! But keep in mind that the Plain Dealer is acting virtually as an arm of the Republican Party, crafting and promoting the narrative that Ed FitzGerald has “self-destructed.” No, the media very deliberately destroyed him, acting as a mouthpiece for GOP oppo research. They should really have to register as a PAC and list their coverage as donations.

    Since that is the case, I take this Gomez story with a grain of salt. Not ONE of these “activists, operatives, local party leaders and elected officeholders” would speak publicly? Then they are not of any significance — or they don’t exist. And any savvy politician or activist would fully understand that if Ed doesn’t win, no one will (with the possible exception of Connie Pillich, only because her opponent has wrecked his own name). Period. You cannot abandon the top of your ticket — a strong, appealing gubernatorial candidate with all the right positions — and expect people to get excited about voting for your auditor candidate. We win together, or we won’t win. Without a coordinated campaign, it’s not going to happen. If any actual Democrats told Gomez this stuff, they are traitors, giving assistance to the enemy, and they should get out of our way.

  • anastasjoy

    I don’t know anyone who thinks the economy is healthy. You must be talking with Kasich’s cronies and donors. Midterm falloff is a problem. But it will be a bigger problem for the downticket races — they can’t win without rallying behind Ed. And I will hereby issue a public warning: if I again hear one of them ignoring him at an event, they will not get my vote. Thanks to Kenny Yuko and Armond Budish for their very pointed and dead-on defenses of Ed.

  • Think.

    The Columbus Dispatch is in on the destruction as well. Fortunately, central Ohio readers pay very little attention to the CD as a source of legitimate news.

  • dmoore2222

    Wasn’t this the same kind of republican narrative that had Mitt Romney winning the presidency? Remember all the panic after the first debate? The republicans were joyous thinking that they had crushed Obama. The polling throughout that entire race was faulty. Look. The people who will vote Frackin John, the Ohio Miracle worker, out don’t read the stinkin Dispatch or Plain Dealer anyway. They made up their minds nearly four years ago when they realized lazy democrats, who didn’t show up at the polls, handed the governorship to this creep. And he hasn’t accomplished one single thing that he can campaign on. His jobs record is a total bust. In the mean time, even republican voters have come to realize they got screwed by this chump’s budget and tax policies. THEY are the one most likely to stay home this time, or maybe even cross over. I’ve said all along, the girls are the ones who will decide this election anyway. All they need to do is look at their paychecks.

  • dmoore2222

    I agree. The republican party is totally out of step with the electorate. Women especially. Ohio’s economy has not recovered and lots of people know it. But the republican echo chamber makes them think that these so called scandals are going to change the minds of people who decided long ago that this fool has to go. Eric Cantor was defeated against all odds by a no name candidate with no money. The reason: Cantor abandoned his constituency to court the wealthy donor class. Sound familiar?

  • Misnomer Thom

    Like it or not, Fitz was always the weakest link in the Dem lineup this year. To win for governor, you need a well oiled organized machine and Fitz never had to campaign hard in the past. His inexperience showed from the get go with the LG debacle.

    His poor name recognition is another issue. Even in his home county, few know who he is. My wife who has a doctorate and is a registered Dem had no idea who he was when she first saw his ads. And yes, we live in the county. But in many ways, that’s on Ed’s campaign. We haven’t received any mailers from his campaign. The only thing I’ve gotten are unsolicited emails begging for money. Compared to Strickland who had ppl on the ground almost a year ahead of time, the whole campaign has been disorganized. It’s night and day and it’s always showed in the polls. If you don’t get your name out there from the get go, you have nearly zero chance in the state as the head of the ticket.

    In the end, Ed put ambition over sense. He’s trying to move up too fast. He’s been a good exec but there’s much left to be done. When he won the job, he faced a weak field especially in the primary which is part of the reason he doesn’t seem to do a good job networking or raising money.

  • SlapFat

    “I don’t know anyone who thinks the economy is healthy.”

    Ahh, you missed a word at the end there, and that word is “enough.” There is a world of difference between “healthy” and “healthy enough.”

    Nope, the economy ain’t great. But it’s good enough for alot of people stuck at their Walmart/Dollar General gigs and with the sad money coming in from fracking it’s an equation that gets the incumbent elected. Ohio just kind of likes doing this to itself and sloppy kissing the state-level GOP. Voters just don’t know any better.

    Your line about talking with Kasich affiliates was fun but doesn’t really merit a response. The governor sucks but most likely will get re-elected.

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