Just two days ago, 5 leaders within the social service community that deals with the effects of drug addiction made a request to Ohio’s candidates. They asked that politicians work on bipartisan solutions, and for all sides to refrain from making political attacks over the issue. The letter was sent to Governor Kasich, Ed Fitzgerald and many other candidates. The entire letter can be viewed here, but below are excerpts:
As is happening throughout the United States, Ohio families are facing the terror of drug abuse and addiction. While policy makers will inevitably have differences of opinions on this important issue, a spirit of unity and bipartisanship has traditionally dominated our state’s
approach to ending drug abuse. As a result, Ohio families, governments, faith communities, law enforcement, prevention and treatment providers, educators and business community have been able to come together to make real progress.
Now, as Ohio approaches its 2014 elections, we urge all candidates to focus on solutions and avoid politicizing the serious issue of drug abuse prevention and treatment. All too often we have seen the polarizing, trivializing effect that heated campaign rhetoric can have on serious issues. It is our hope that all candidates will avoid that approach to drug abuse and instead address this important issue with the respect and thoughtfulness it deserves so that Ohio can continue on its constructive path of bipartisan cooperation in this area.
On behalf of the Ohioans struggling with addiction, the Ohioans we hope to save from addiction and the families and friends who have lost loved ones to this disease, please do not turn drug addiction prevention and treatment into a political issue that divides Ohioans or its
leaders. This issue is too important. Only when we work collaboratively in a united fashion can we hope to succeed. The mission is large and the stakes are high. We welcome everyone to join us in this fight, and ask that you check politics at the door.
How did the Democrats respond to the letter?
.@FitzGeraldForOH & @DavidPepper on @JohnKasich & @mikedewine8 too little too late approach to heroin crisis on WSYX pic.twitter.com/G0usros3XI
— Lauren Hitt (@LaurHitt) May 20, 2014
Never mind that Ed Fitzgerald’s Cuyahoga County has also been hit particularly hard with a record number of heroin overdoses, and that the governor started addressing the issue before Fitzgerald started his “initiative”.
The Ohio Democratic Party has repeatedly mocked the governor when he speaks to groups about the problem of addiction. Leaders in the community pleaded with them to leave politics at the door, and got the finger from ODP in return.
Ohio Democrats don’t want to work on a bipartisan solution to address this issue. They want to point fingers.
Ohioans know that people don’t get themselves addicted because of a politician. But Fitzgerald and Pepper apparently don’t care. They prefer to create blame.
I’m doubting that Ohio voters will reward their bickering in November.