While watching Ed Fitzgerald’s press conference this afternoon regarding the most recent highlighting of his poor decisions, my initial response was humorous. His excuses were amateur at best. I hadn’t heard the “I was a designated driver for the Irish delegation of ONE woman and we got lost in a parking lot at 4:30 am for a half hour” excuse since high school.
I figured the “we were just talking” line was next.
After digesting the events for a few hours, I am now angry at the hypocrisy Fitzgerald demonstrated today. I was already aware that Fitzgerald was a hypocrite. He is a practicing Catholic who is a firm believer in abortion. He also sends his children to Catholic schools yet doesn’t believe in School Choice for children who can’t afford it.
But it really bothered me how he blamed Governor Kasich, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges and the Republican Governors Association for it being reported today that police were called two years ago to find him in a parking lot in Westlake with a woman. He called it “dirty politics”and even accused Westlake Mayor Clough of using government resources for political purposes.
Fitzgerald either has a distorted view of reality or he has a memory problem. In 2010, Tom Ganley was the Republican challenger to then Congresswoman Betty Sutton. Ganley was well known throughout northeastern Ohio for his string of successful car dealerships. He offered a distinct difference from Sutton who created the idea of the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
Ganley also had received the FBI’s highest civilian award for wearing and utilizing surveillance equipment to take down the mafia in Cleveland. Given the political energy in 2010 and the quality of the challenger, this usually solid Democratic district was a toss up for a while.
And then 5 weeks before the general election, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging misconduct against Ganley. She never filed a police report. She asked for money or said she would sue. And when Ganley didn’t cave to her demands, that is what she did. The optics of this changed the dynamics of the race.
Cuyahoga County was already ripe in corruption. The FBI’s investigation was still ongoing and would later lead to dozens of convictions. Then County Prosecutor Bill Mason, a fellow Cuyahoga Democrat, actually brought charges against Ganley. Two weeks before the trial, the charges were dropped.
This was seen in political circles as retribution for challenging a powerful Democrat.
Fitzgerald never protested Ganley being smeared without evidence. There wasn’t even a police report filed or a 4:30 am parking lot incident. Why wasn’t Ed fighting these truly slimy political tactics which were being maneuvered by his colleagues?
The press is entitled to report on these issues. That is protected under the First Amendment. And Mayor Clough was simply fulfilling a public records request. But Fitzgerald seems to think that completing a FOIA request is more politically dirty than having someone arrested and later dropping the charges.