Fitz-Neuhardt Goes Full-On Disingenuous With Latest Campaign Messaging

The corrupt Cuyahoga County Facebook addict better known as Public Official 14 spent the weekend introducing Ohio to his most recent choice of runningmates, Dayton-area lawyer and abortion advocate Sharen Neuhardt:

FitzSharon

Kind of ironic that a man that cares so much about the spelling of his name can’t get the spelling right for his runningmate.  I would have thought he’d misspell Newhart first…

Poor social media skills aside, Ohio Democrats have been actively defending the choice as a refocusing of the campaign on “women’s issues” and not just pro-abortion.  Unfortunately for them, Democrat leaders’ actions speak much louder than their words.

The state’s most influential Democrat elected official is an accused perpetrator of domestic violence.  It’s easy to talk about violence against women, but it’s completely disingenuous to then go and violently lay hands on a woman.  This is simply a non-starter with me—if you abuse a woman, you will never, ever get my vote.

ObamaFemalePayThe nation’s most influential Democrat elected official pays his female staff $0.87 for every $1.00 he pays his male staff.  It’s kind of hard for Ohio Democrats to wave the “equal pay” banner when our nation’s Democrat president refuses to pay women equally to men in his own administration.

And under the Obama economy, women are settling for mediocre (at best) jobs, if they can find work at all.

When the actions of elected Democrats run contrary to their rhetoric, it’s hard to take them seriously on the women’s issues.  And anyone with a political pulse knows that’s not the direction the Fitz campaign is headed when he chooses someone like Neuhardt.  Just take a look at the media coverage:

“A twice-failed candidate for Congress known as a staunch defender of abortion rights, Neuhardt replaces State Sen. Eric Kearney…” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The selection of abortion-rights activist Sharen Neuhardt as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s new running mate…” – The Columbus Dispatch

“…Ed FitzGerald has chosen Yellow Springs attorney Sharen Neuhardt as his running mate, likely hoping to leverage her abortion-rights advocacy background.” – The Cincinnati Enquirer

“Ed FitzGerald on Friday picked a Dayton-area lawyer and abortion-rights advocate as his running mate…” – The Toledo Blade

Make no mistake about it: the Fitz-Neuhardt campaign, like every other Democrat in the state, does not care about women’s issues—they care about abortion.  This is a campaign without ideas, and they’re going all out to promote the ability to terminate a pregnancy.

Given the record of elected Democrats on womens’ issues, it’s their only talking point.  And any suggestion to the contrary is disingenuous.

Neuhardt Pick Exposes Fitz As A Candidate Without Ideas

As was reported last night by an apparently clairvoyant Henry Gomez, Edard Fitzgerald picked Sharon Newhart as his (2nd pick) for Lt. Gov.:

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Democrat Ed FitzGerald reset his campaign for governor Friday, selecting Dayton-area attorney Sharen Neuhardt as his new running mate.

A twice-failed candidate for Congress known as a staunch defender of abortion rights, Neuhardt replaces State Sen. Eric Kearney, whose business-related financial problems became a distraction to the campaign and forced him from the ticket last month.

Neuhardt is a twice failed Congressional candidate, with no other campaign experience.  She’s so grossly unqualified to hold Ohio’s second highest office, that members of the media questioned why Fitz made the pick:

SkolnickNewhart

The truth is, she doesn’t.  The pick was made for two reasons, and two reasons only: (1) Fitz needs someone from the Southwestern corridor of the state, and (2) she’s a staunch abortion advocate.

In other words, Fitz has tipped his hand on his campaign messaging: full-blown “war on women” rhetoric.  All designed by an all-male ODP staff:

Capture

 Funny how that works, huh?

But more to the point, Neuhardt has no redeeming political advantages outside of her aggressive advocacy for terminating pregnancies.  She’s white, which doesn’t help with Eddy’s problems with minorities.  She’s a corporate lawyer, which actually hurts his messaging.  And she’s never won any political office, which makes you wonder if she knows how to win a city council race, let alone a gubernatorial campaign.

Her only quality—the only thing she can possibly bring to Eddy’s campaign—is her defense of those who kill babies.

If Fitz picked her, a woman with only one talking point, then he’s officially adopted that as his only talking point.  From now until November, all the Fitz campaign will push will be abortion on demand.

At a time where our nation is struggling under the weight of aggressive overregulation, a healthcare law that is killing healthcare in America, and an economic environment that simply hates on job creators, Fitz is making his campaign about the “right” to kill unwanted children.

How that is a winner is beyond me.  Worse yet, Fitz might as well just come out and declare his campaign will be about one issue and one issue only.  With the Neuhardt pick, everyone knows it.

Including potential primary opponents.

With all the speculation surrounding a possible Kucinich/Portune ticket, the Fitz pick could be what they need to tip the scale in their favor.  Both Kucinich and Portune can and have addressed numerous issues, not just the ability to terminate pregnancies, many of which are far more important to Ohio voters.

Add to that Kucinich’s national support network, and even with the ODP going all in on Fitzy, you have a recipe for a primary upset.  If Kucinich and Portune can put their egos in check and figure out how to coexist as runningmates, I’m not sure Fitzgerald could compete, particularly given the new, singular focus of his campaign.

Even in a vacuum, Neuhardt is an odd pick for Fitz.  But given all the issues he faces going forward, it shows he’s got only one messaging point.  And that’s a candidate that’s tough to support—even in a party primary.

And this is just Day 1.  As the primary season ramps up, it’s a virtual certainty more will come out.

That’s not a good sign for a candidate without ideas.

Financial, Other Issues Haunt Newest Republican Primary Candidate

Eight days ago, the Ohio Liberty Coalition-backed candidates, Ted Stevenot & Brenda Mack, backed away from challenging Governor Kasich in the Republican gubernatorial primary.  Presumably, this can be attributed to Mack’s legal problems.

And, as Nick reported earlier, the OLC seems to have regrouped behind a new candidate team of Donald Allen & Kelly Kohls.  One would have thought the OLC would have learned its lesson, but, as if it were Groundhog Day, legal issues seem to haunt the OLC candidate team, yet again.  From the liberal blog, Plunderbund:

Would it surprise you at all if I told you Kohls also has financial issues?

While Kearney and Mack both have tax liens that they are actively paying off, Kohls took a different path to resolving her money issues.  In 2010, she and her husband declared bankruptcy with nearly $1 million in unpaid debt including three car loans and over $829,000 in mortgages on their $450,000 house.

Like Yogi Berra said, it’s like deja vu all over again.  Another OLC candidate, another set of legal issues.  A quick search of the Warren County Clerk of Court site reveals more:

KohlsBut the controversy doesn’t stop there.

Kohls, as President of the Springboro School Board, oversaw this bit of controversy as well:

Springboro, Ohio, school district community members are upset after a local tea partyer unfurled a Confederate flag at a school board meeting Thursday night.

Sonny Thomas, who is the president and founder of Springboro Tea Party, according to this website, was at the meeting to speak about summer Constitution classes that the district had been considering offering. The school board cancelled the classes, however, amid allegations that they had religious undertones and were “tea party leaning,” reports local outlet WHIO-TV.

I’m all for free speech, but these are the kinds of things that come out during political campaigns—particularly statewide political campaigns.  It’s the kind of thing that sinks a candidate, and leaves those who supported said candidate with egg on their faces.

And that’s where the OLC finds itself with this latest news: on the brink of losing any credibility that they may have left, and for what?  Trying to take down a Governor with whom they agree with 90% of the time?

It’s a good question—one that seems to be garnering more and more attention.

If the OLC is backing Allen & Kohls, this could be enough to completely blow up the organization.  And those pulling the strings behind this latest effort have demonstrated they couldn’t care less.  It all seems like some personal vendetta to them, and they’re exploiting conservatives, and all that we stand for, to achieve it.

If theses folks continue to pursue what could at best end in an incredibly small pyrrhic victory, they will have sacrificed a once-great organization in the process.

Like Stevenot & Mack before them, here’s hoping Allen & Kohls seriously reconsider the race.

Obamacare: Unfair, Unsafe & Hurts Us All

From kicking millions off of their health insurance, to causing mass layoffs throughout Ohio and the nation, Obamacare is a nightmare.  And now it’s hitting home with the folks that protect our communities:

Chief Scott Hildenbrand worries the Affordable Care Act could devastate volunteer fire and ambulance departments like the one he runs in Hambden Township.

Hildenbrand, who is president of the Geauga County Fire Chiefs’ Association, fears the new law’s employer mandate will force volunteer fire and ambulance squads nationwide to provide health insurance to their volunteers or block them from working 30 hours a week – the law’s threshold for labeling workers as full-time.

“A lot of times, a guy will work a 24 hour shift,” says Hildenbrand. “If you go by this law, he could only work one shift a week.”

There are thousands upon thousands of communities throughout Ohio and the nation that rely on the kindness of volunteer firefighters.  Having grown up in one, and having relatives serve in those honorable roles, I can tell you first hand that their dedication to service is unmatched.  But now, Obamacare threatens these community pillars of volunteer service, putting Ohio communities at risk.

  • Obamacare doesn’t target city fire departments in this way (though it is causing hour reductions throughout city employment).  That’s unfair.
  • Obamacare will cause reduction in staff, and other fire operation issues, putting the lives of our citizens in jeopardy.  That’s unsafe.
  • Obamacare has caused layoffs, hour reductions and is now threatening the very safety of our communities.  That hurts us all.

Putting it all together, Obamacare is unfair, unsafe and it hurts us all.  If that’s the criteria by which we’re supposed to measure whether a law is unfit, then it’s time for that law to be repealed.

And that’s something that even the most liberal among us can get behind.

ObamacareUnsafe

Fitz Mismanaged Cuyahoga Tax Bills

If you’re looking for any further evidence that Eddy Fitzgerald is unfit to run a paper route, let alone a state, look no further than the latest headlines coming out of Cuyahoga County:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County is blaming a vendor for failing to mail more than 108,000 property tax bills in time for residents who wished to pay before the end of the year and deduct the payments on their 2013 income taxes.

But the company’s president disputed the county’s assertions, saying the late arrival of electronically filed data from the county prevented his workers from printing and mailing bills in time for taxpayers to meet the Dec. 31 deadline…

I just don’t think it mattered to [the county] if we received the bills before the 30th,” said Kimberly Yuhas, of Solon. Yuhas said she called the county treasurer’s office the morning of Dec. 31 after she noticed her bill never arrived. She was told her bill was supposed to have been mailed on Dec. 23, she said…

Dave Maschak, of Parma, said he learned he could access his bill online after reading a Dec. 22 article in The Plain Dealer that also appeared on cleveland.com, and was able to make his payment in time. But he also didn’t receive his paper bill until Dec. 31. He said his deduction is significant — about $1,600.

“I feel like the county left me to hang out to dry because if I was relying solely on them, I wouldn’t have been able to pay it in time,” Maschak said.

Residents of Eddy’s home county—an area that he should be winning nothing but favor—feel left hanging.  Eddy’s mismanagement of these tax bills could potentially cost Cuyahoga County residents tens of thousands of dollars in 2013 income tax deductions.

And he wants to run the state?

Eddy’s in over his head, and this is just the latest example.  He’s unfit to run the office he currently holds.

Then again, what do you expect from a guy who’s “race for Governor is not about building a party, or about raising up a state –  it is, instead, about Ed.”

Loss of Stevenot Offers OLC Opportunity to Reflect, Renew

The Ohio Liberty Coalition took a hit last week, with the news that Ted Stevenot and Brenda Mack will no longer be challenging Governor Kasich in the Republican primary.  This comes on the heels of research from Nick that Mack had some legal issues that would have most certainly dominated the campaign:

We were the first to report the story of Mack’s tax problems on Thursday night. Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch published a report later that evening with other details including IRS judgments and Mack’s problems in Cuyahoga County.

Stevenot claims that his decision to back out has nothing to do with the news we uncovered Thursday night.

My decision was not based on any concerns about my running mate, Brenda Mack, for whom I have tremendous respect and admiration.

However, after much personal thought, as well as in depth discussions with family, friends, and advisors, I have made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for governor.

It’s hard to believe that Stevenot didn’t have these conversations prior to verbally committing to the race.  Those are the types of considerations you take into account before taking any steps toward pursuing public office.  If Stevenot’s being sincere, then he never took the run serious in the first place, which was his biggest mistake.

It takes serious consideration and serious resources to run for any political office, let alone Governor.  Given that, Stevenot & Mack would have had their hands full in a state legislative race.  They should have known they were in over their heads running for the state’s highest office.

That said, I hope they both remain active, and consider possibly pursuing that route at a later date—Ohio can always use another conservative legislator or two.

But for today, their campaign for Governor is dead, and with it the credibility of the OLC.  The organization went all in on a bad bet, and the result will have a lasting effect—hopefully a positive one.  The OLC was formed to fight for conservative causes, and instead has morphed into an anti-Kasich mouthpiece, controlled by a select few of its leaders, both past and present.

Need proof?  Ask yourself one question: if the Ohio Liberty Coalition was truly about advancing conservative principles, then why isn’t Workplace Freedom on the ballot?  All anyone heard about in the lead up to Stevenot’s candidacy was how OLC had ‘an army’ of supporters.  If so, why have they not mobilized to support right to work in Ohio?

I’m not arguing that the OLC and TEA party supporters throughout Ohio are somehow insignificant—they are now and always have been a force in Ohio politics—but if defeating a conservative Republican governor is a higher priority for the OLC than right to work, it truly has lost its way.

Yes, we can bicker and argue about just how conservative our current Governor is, and what his policies have accomplished.  But what is not up for discussion is that Ohio is better off now than it was under Strickland, has overcome an $8 billion budget deficit and has created tens of thousands of jobs—all while cutting taxes.

If the OLC was willing to go to war with the Governor, that’s what they would have been fighting against, as much as any other issue.  That’s not pro-conservative.  That’s anti-Kasich.

Unfortunately, over the last two years, that’s what the Ohio Liberty Coalition has become—less about advancing conservative ideals and more about disparaging a single office holder.  But as Wisconsin Governor, and TEA party darling, Scott Walker said over the weekend, we can’t continue to fight with one another:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a recall in 2012 largely due to the tea party, said Sunday that the tea party movement should target Democrats, not Republicans.

“The answer is not to take it out on House Republicans in primaries, it’s to go to Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina,” the Republican governor said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to Senate Democrats who are facing tough reelection campaigns in red states.

That’s the message this latest blow to the OLC should convey.  Stevenot’s stepping down is not welcome because it somehow spares Kasich from a primary challenge, but because it gives TEA party leaders a chance to take a step back and reflect.  Yes, the OLC has lost its way, but it can recover, if they refocus on why they got started in the first place.

I truly hope they take this latest setback as a chance to get back to the conservative principles that made them great—that made them an organization that I proudly supported.

Stevenot Officially In Amidst Liberty Council Distortions

There’s been more than a small amount of speculation regarding a possible primary challenge to Governor John Kasich.  And, according to an email from Tom Zawistowski, it looks like it will become official next Tuesday.

From their press release:

On Tuesday, January 7, 2014, state conservative TEA Party leader Ted Stevenot will make a major announcement concerning his Republican candidacy for Ohio governor. Stevenot, a past president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition and a business owner from the Cincinnati area, will be holding a press conference at 1:00 PM January 7, 2014, at the Holiday Inn Capitol Square, 175 East Town St., Columbus, OH 43215.

Stevenot will introduce conservative Brenda L. Mack of Canfield, Ohio as his running mate for lieutenant governor. Brenda Mack is the former President of the Ohio Black Republicans Association and is currently the Vice President of The Frederick Douglass Foundation Ohio chapter.

From a strictly political standpoint, Stevenot will have a huge uphill battle.  He’ll likely have little to no campaign funds and he has little to no name ID.  The one campaign resource that the OLC continues to brag about is their ground game, and it’s a virtual certainty that the grassroots will not be unified behind Stevenot.

But from a more general standpoint, it’s hard to take the OLC seriously when they seem to be trading in lies and mistruths these past few months.  And today, they got called out in the Washington Times:

…the email claims, in bold font within the email, that “the Ohio Republican Party is looking to primary these individuals in 2014 and replace them with politicians who will do the party’s bidding.”

In a text exchange with The Washington Times today, the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, Matthew Borges, was asked whether the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) is planning to primary these individuals, especially given that the ORP’s responsibility is to re-elect Republicans within the state. Borges replied, “No. We aren’t involved.” Reiterating, he wrote, there is “no truth to it.”

It’s deceitful tactics like this that make Stevenot’s candidacy even less credible.  How are we to believe anything that comes from the mouth of Stevenot and his campaign if we cannot believe anything that comes from the mouth of the organization backing him?

Furthermore, how are conservatives supposed to find Stevenot an acceptable candidate when his business openly pushes (and dare I say, profits from) Obamacare?

Fitz-Mentum… Or Not

After the Kearney disaster, gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerüld is looking to put the past behind him and move forward with new momentum going into 2014.

Unfortunately, that momentum is a bit, well, lacking:

Fitz-Mentum

Can you feel the Fitz-Mentum?!

That’s a rally for Fitz supporters in Southeast Ohio.  Seriously, there’s more tables than people.

I guess middle class, working Ohioans don’t appreciate a candidate who thinks having a tax cheat on the ticket is a good idea.

Of course, this is a just a continuation of the pitiful rallies he held earlier in the campaign, when even The Toledo Blade questioned whether Fitz was qualified to lead the state.

Given this recent photo, apparently not a whole lot of Ohioans believe he’s the person for the job either.

Dems Jettison Research Director After Kearney Disaster

And we have the first staff casualty for Ohio Democrats following the disastrous rollout of Ed FitzgÉrald’s former runningmate, Eric Kearney.  From the Plain Dealer:

A researcher assigned to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald’s campaign for governor is moving on, the Ohio Democratic Party confirmed Wednesday.

“We’re sad to see Pat Dennis leave, but he’s transitioning on to be the head of a national research team — a once in a lifetime opportunity that will put him at the forefront of the battle surrounding the White House and beyond,” said Jerid Kurtz, the state party’s communications director. “Pat will continue on with our team for the next one to two months as we increase the size and scope of our research operation.”

The party did not disclose where Dennis is heading.

Ohio Democrats denied that Dennis’ departure was anyway associated with the Kearney disaster, but the writing is on the wall.  Dennis was the guy responsible for digging in to Kearney’s background—the first step in the vetting process.  And now he’s leaving the party, and Democrats aren’t saying where he’s headed?

Yea, he was definitely let go.

Fitzy’s campaign needed a fall guy, and they’re trying to pin it on Dennis is the nicest way possible.  It’s all about damage control after one of the worst displays of political incompetence in recent memory—so bad, in fact, that national political pundit Larry Sabato agreed with us in calling it nothing short of “amateur hour.”

This is just the latest move in what has become a complete circus surrounding Ohio Democrats and their island of misfit candidates.

DListDems

Oops… Sorry.  “Happy Holidays.”  Don’t wanna upset those crazy, Christmas-hating liberals out there.

Now What? Showing Fitzy The Door Would Leave Little Else For Democrats

The FitzGeräld campaign has hit rock bottom.  From the word “go,” they’ve stumbled over the easiest of political tasks, received lukewarm support from Democrat activists, and had the worst Lt. Gov. rollout in the country.  All of this has culminated with the suggestion from a longtime and respected Democrat consultant that it’s time to end the Fitz Experiment:

In an interview with WKSU’s Karen Kasler, we learn that Austin was one of the Democrats criticizing Ed Fitzgerald for his choice of Eric Kearney as his running mate, even though he knew about Kearney’s tax issues.

One of them is retired Democratic consultant Gerald Austin, who says there’s no way to completely undo the damage since Kearney’s tax problems went public.

“It can’t. It already looks bad. The first thing you always want to do when you’re picking a running mate is not to have stories that are going on for a week about, ‘Why’d you pick him when you knew the information?’ And that’s happened now.”

Then today, the Dispatch’s Joe Vardon talked with national political pundit Larry Sabato, confirming that Fitzy is dead in the water:

“We made an early bet on Gov. John Kasich, and everything I’ve seen kind of confirms it,” said University of Virginia political-science professor Larry Sabato, who handicaps governors’ and other political races. Sabato’s Crystal Ball lists the 2014 race between the Republican Kasich and FitzGerald as “likely Republican.”

It’s been amateur hour,” Sabato said. “It’s rare to beat an incumbent in Ohio, and to beat an incumbent you almost have to do everything right. What FitzGerald has done here gives the early impression of incompetence, of not being ready for prime time.”

Amateur hour, huh?  Seems like something we’ve said before

All signs point to a huge overreaction by Fitzy’s campaign, and the entire thing smacks of political immaturity.  Watching this unfold has been nothing short of amateur hour, and one has to think that big dollar donors and other campaign supporters have noticed.

When Democrat strategists are abandoning you, and nationally respected political gurus have you pegged as Dead-On-Arrival, that’s a recipe for an embarrassing defeat come November.  Even the Franklin County Democrat Chairman agreed that this would cost Fitzy financial support:

“In the short term, there is no doubt when you’re dealing with an issue like this (Kearney) that there is a drain on donors,” said Greg Haas, Franklin County Democratic chairman.

And to cap it all off, this morning the Akron Beacon Journal—one of Ohio’s most liberal newspapers—questioned if Fitz was ready and a local Cleveland TV station opined that he’s a complete mess:

19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

 

From the ABJ:
FitzGerald pledged that with Kearney’s business taxes no longer center stage, he would devote his attention to “how we can refocus “state policies to benefit working people and middle-class families.” What Democrats have reason to ask is whether Ed FitzGerald is ready and equipped to carry the message.

As a conservative, I think I can answer that one for you: NO.  How about a quick recap of Fitzy’s campaign over the last year?

Any one of those issues make for a powerful campaign commercial—add them all together, and that’s a shipwreck of epic proportions.  Enough so, that Democrats are starting to give serious consideration to dumping Fitz§erald and starting from scratch with a more skilled candidate.

Problem is, Democrats just don’t have one, as their bench is pitifully lacking.

Democrat consultant Gerald Austin floated State Rep. Connie Pillich, but at this point, a lot of Democrats have to think that just about any quasi-prominent Ohio Democrat and he or she would be a superior choice to the mess that Fitzy’s created.  Unfortunately for them, it’s just not true.

Austin likes Pillich, so why not let her have a shot?  Because she only has about $291,000 on hand, putting her at a severe disadvantage to Governor Kasich’s war chest.  Not to mention, she’d all but kill any chance at statewide office down the road.

Ted Strickland said he isn’t running, but could he be talked back into the race?  Probably not, given the huge job losses under his administration, and his mounting health problems.

Betty Sutton stepped aside, but given the past month or so, maybe she is reconsidering?  Doubtful, as she was never a stellar fundraiser, putting her at the same disadvantage as Pillich.

There’s always Jennifer Brunner, right?  Well, other than the fact that she’s way left of the average Ohio voter, she already took a swing at another Democrat hopeful recently, so she’s probably not high on Chairman PirateBoy’s totem pole.

And then there’s Tim Ryan (untested), David Pepper (unrelatable), Lee Fisher (unfriendly), Yvette McGee Brown (unseasoned), Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (unlikable) or Marilyn Brown (unequipped).

Heck, Ted Celeste might be the next best option—he’s got better name recognition than Fitzy and he’s already run statewide.  But if he couldn’t win a congressional seat, he’s in over his head statewide (same could be said about Pillich).

Yes, the Kearney debacle was not only politically costly for Fitz—it revealed a lot about his decision-making ability and his readiness to run the state.  As the Dispatch said, it’s “glaring evidence of FitzGerald’s incompetence…” That incompetence makes him a significant political liability at the top of the ticket, and that could cost Democrats, who already have little to no electoral chances, come November 2014.

But could any other Democrat do any better?  The pickings are quite slim, and while dumping Fitz might come across as an attempt to save face, showing Eddy the door leaves little else for Democrats in 2014.

To be sure, Fitz is a bad candidate and would make an awful governor.  But he’s just about the best that Ohio Democrats can do these days.  And, wow, does that say a lot about the state of Democrat politics here in Ohio.