Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 31 March 2014 10:03
For Ed FitzGerald, it all boils down to one questions.
|Ohio gubernatorial candidate, Ed Fitzgerald (left), addresses a crowd of supporter's Saturday afternoon at the home of Kelly Wicks in Bowling Green. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
"When you get up every morning, who do you think you work for? Who do you think you answer to?"
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate brought that questions as well as his views on education, the economy, and the administration of incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich to Bowling Green on Saturday.
FitzGerald appeared at a fundraising event hosted at the home of Kelly and Laura Wicks.
The stop was the latest in a series FitzGerald has made in the area over the last 15 months. A former FBI special agent, he is currently serving as Cuyahoga County executive.
Prior to making official remarks, the candidate said Kasich was polling at 43 percent in a recent survey, which he characterized as a difficult situation for an incumbent.
"I think that shows our message is resonating," FitzGerald said.
He opined that Northwest Ohio doesn't seem to be a priority for state government right now - though the region is facing the same kind of issues seen throughout the rest of Ohio, including cuts to education and local government funding.
"The problem in the last four years is really simple," he said in his formal remarks. "That the state of Ohio is being run by a small group of people for a small group of people."
Education spending, said FitzGerald, is currently $500 million less than it was under former Gov. Ted Strickland - though $200 million was spent on online charter schools, which he characterized as having low graduation rates.
He also noted Kasich's reticence in dealing with some economic matters, including overlooking the appeals of a failing manufacturer in Hannibal, Ohio.
The "state didn't lift a finger," he said. "The Governor doesn't think he works for them."
"We've never had a governor who's been this fiscally irresponsible," he said later, stating the Kasich administration cut the local government fund by 50 percent.
FitzGerald took questions from the approximately 70 people gathered for the event, including one expressing fears about a "mass exodus" of public school teachers due to the mandates of standardized testing.
"I've never seen a group of people that are as discouraged as the teachers of Ohio are," he said, adding later that teachers seem to be more in the background "and it's the tests that's in the foreground."
"We need to end this obsession with standardized testing."
"Every subject that's isn't tested is being cut," he said.
He also spoke in favor of the development of high-speed passenger rail in the state, saying the American economy is being beaten by foreign economies that made significant investments in passenger rail.
"The economy actually does better when we invest in these things."
Speaking further on the economy, FitzGerald said over one million people in Ohio make minimum wage, and two-thirds of them are women.
He further took issue with statements made by Kasich in which the governor characterized the current state economy as a "miracle."
"Those of us who know how most people live in this state would never say this economy is a miracle."
"He's a young, energetic guy, a family man," said Wicks of why he supports FitzGerald.
"I think he'd be perfect as the governor of the State of Ohio."
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 11:31