I am Ed FitzGerald the County Executive of Cuyahoga County, former Mayor of Lakewood and before that I served the public both as a prosecutor and as a special agent with the FBI.
Most importantly, I am the father of 4 children, my two sons will be in college this fall, and my two daughters will be in high school. My wife Shannon and I want them to live in an Ohio that is rich with opportunity.
But like many of you we worry that Ohio is slipping – that my children and many others will be forced to look outside of Ohio to realize their dreams and fulfill their potential.
So I am running for Governor to help ensure all Ohioans have a reason to be optimistic about the future.
In his State of the State address Governor Kasich outlined his agenda for Ohio. The Governor explained where he has lead our state and the direction he wants to take it.
Some of what the Governor said sounds reasonable and some pieces we even agree on, but, as is too often the case, what this Governor says he will do and what he has done are worlds apart.
This Governor has forgotten about the vast majority of Ohioans — its families, police officers and firefighters, teachers, and seniors.
And while I am hopeful that the governor’s pledge to address the despair of those living in poverty will be kept — his record is what we have to go on — his administration did not help the poor, instead it cut aid to the people striving to keep their families from falling deeper into poverty.
And Governor Kasich’s agenda for Ohio has too often benefited the well connected and privileged few, while everyday Ohioans remain anxious about the future, living pay check to pay check, worried about saving enough for retirement and putting too little in the college fund.
And this Governor offers no solutions. Just promises.
Most troubling is the Governor’s continued failure to address Ohio’s most pressing challenge: Four hundred thousand Ohioans looking for work and stagnant job growth that has Ohio ranked 45th in the nation in the creation of new jobs.
That is unacceptable. And Ohioans deserve better.
This Governor points with pride to how he balanced his budgets, but he is counting on Ohioans to forget that he balanced those budgets by shifting the financial burden to the middle class and already suffering communities, and he ended a bipartisan agreement, that for decades, kept property taxes down and local communities fiscally stable.
The way Ohioans balance their own budgets is by setting priorities and living responsibly within their means.
Governor Kasich balanced his budgets by passing the buck down to you and his tax system raised taxes on middle class families, while the most well off received thousands in tax cuts.
As a County Executive I balanced budgets, created a surplus and cleaned up government by cutting wasteful spending and working with all stakeholders — labor, management, business leaders and local communities — and together we fixed what was broken, discarded what was redundant and worked together to make county government better.
This Governor can even sound good on education, but then there is the reality.
Governor Kasich cut over $518 million dollar in K -12 education and then told us that educators were the problem.
The Governor’s education solutions? More mandates from Columbus.
His education agenda is a fundamental threat to Ohio’s future economic viability and potential. We must invest and invest wisely in the education of our children otherwise they will never be prepared for the jobs ten and twenty years from now. And if we don’t have an educated workforce business will not invest in Ohio.
And the solution is not as Governor Kasich has done, outsourcing the teaching of our children and management of our schools to for-profit, unproven and failed corporations.
Our schools are stronger when local communities partner with parents, educators, business and community leaders, not as John Kasich has done by pushing to the side local expertise in favor of his chosen corporate friends.
A simple example of how this Governor just doesn’t see the real Ohio is that he actually doesn’t go and see it.
When given the opportunity to sit down with the 1000 Ormet workers and their families who just lost their jobs, their Governor, John Kasich, refused.
That is both a failure of leadership and an absence of compassion — two qualities the people of Ohio deserve in their Governor.
Sadly, the Governor’s decision to ignore those Ormet families is his rule not the exception
Whether it is in Hannibal or Youngstown, or Cincinnati or Toledo, the Governor doesn’t like to see first hand the very real consequences of his failed policies — policies that are rigged for the benefit of the few.
As your Governor, we will see to it that things will be different in Ohio — it starts with policies that reward working families and invest in education and infrastructure. There will be transparency in your government, women’s rights and health care decisions will be respected, communities will not be used to balance the state budget, voting rights will be protected and, most importantly, we will ensure that every hardworking Ohioan sees their hard work pay off.
My vision for Ohio is one where each of our residents has the opportunity take part in the benefits of economic growth, not because of your connections, but because you are an Ohioan.
That is my vision. Thank you very much.