The worst lieutenant governor rollout in history ran off of the rails starting last week and is still…still… crashing and burning.
In addition to being delinquent on federal taxes, and state taxes, and having liens in the neighborhood of $1 million, Eric Kearney, Fitzgerald’s choice for a running mate, was also sued by American Express for owing over $14,000. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
A review of Hamilton County court records shows Democrat Eric Kearney, who is Ohio Democratic Governor Candidate Ed Fitzgerald’s Lt. Governor pick, had credit card troubles in 2012.
He has since settled the case with a promise to repay the $13,107 debt.
According to court records American Express filed a lawsuit in January of 2012 claiming Kearney owed $14,449. Kearney settled the case five months later, promising to make $500-a-month payments, plus pay 3 percent interest on the $13,107 that was still outstanding.
This morning, Jake questioned whether Fitzgerald may be better off cutting his losses and dropping Kearney. Seems we weren’t the only ones. Ohio reporters were asking the same question. From Henry Gomez of the Plain Dealer:
Republican supporters of Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor already are pouncing on Kearney’s past. But is Kearney in danger of being dumped from the ticket?
“Absolutely not,” FitzGerald spokesman Matt McGrath said Wednesday.
“I think a lot of people across the country and in Ohio have these types of credit card issues,” McGrath said of the most recent revelation. “It’s a fairly ordinary thing.”
Really? This is all ordinary?
Ed Fitzgerald the super FBI agent brought down the Capone gang but couldn’t vet his own running mate?
The total disaster of this last week has most politicos in Ohio shaking their heads in disbelief. According to the Dayton Daily News, here’s what John Green, who heads the University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, had to say about the debacle.
“Picking a running mate is one of the few and most important decisions someone running for governor makes,” he said. “It reveals their decision-making process and their priorities and sends a signal about their basic competence. It is clear that FitzGerald failed to fully think through his decision or fully vet his running mate.”
Green said FitzGerald chose a running mate nearly a year before the November 2014 election, and that may turn out to be ill-advised.
“There can be some benefits to that, but what we’re seeing here is perhaps some of the cost,” he said. “This will subject the ticket to ridicule long before the campaign begins.”
He’s right. This speaks volumes about Ed Fitzgerald’s priorities. He was more interested in reacting to criticism about his issues with black Democrats than picking a quality candidate who would best serve Ohio if he was to be elected.
That smacks of immaturity. That may fly in Democrat dominated areas like Cuyahoga County. But it isn’t what we need running Ohio.