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Incompetence or corruption: take your pick, Dems

Ed Fitzgerald’s poor decision making skills, inability to draw crowds of more people that he can count on his fingers and his overall failure to generate any excitement possibly has earned him a primary challenger.

What makes this interesting is not only the fact that potential challenger, Todd Portune, has more experience than ODP favorite, Fitzgerald, but also that C. Ellen Connally is mentioned as Portune’s possible running mate.

Connally is the President of Cuyahoga County Council. Cuyahoga formed a new government which began as a result of the massive county corruption investigation in which Cuyahoga County Commissioner and Democratic Party Chairman Jimmy Dimora was found guilty and Ed Fitzgerald was named as Public Official 14.

How Connally was elected as Council President is a story in itself. Residents of Cuyahoga were fed up with the corruption and backdoor shenanigans. The newly elected Democrats didn’t seem to learn from their predecessors whose mug shots adorned the papers and TV news. Connally was essentially elected in a private meeting in Councilman Julian Rogers’ kitchen far removed from public scrutiny and the “transparency” they all campaigned upon.

Most of the candidates for Cuyahoga County Council made frequent use of the word “transparency” during their campaigns. But it seems that some of those elected on Nov. 2 don’t know what the word means.

Six members-elect — Julian Rogers, Dale Miller, Pernel Jones Jr., Sunny Simon, C. Ellen Connally and Dan Brady — met in private on Friday to hash out a deal on who would be council president. The new county government takes office in January.

To add insult to injury, Connally said, “Leadership is not the public’s business.”

The arrogance — or is it the stupidity? — of this six-member cabal is breathtaking. All of them during their council campaigns paid lip service to the importance of restoring trust in county government, a process that anyone with an ounce of common sense knows will require openness, transparency and a commitment to ending business as usual.

Instead, we get Connally defending the secret meeting as legal because the council members hadn’t taken office yet, so they were just private citizens getting together. Even more remarkably, she told Krouse that there could not be a Sunshine Law violation because, “We were not discussing the public’s business. Leadership is not the public’s business.

Leadership is not the public’s business? This quote could have easily come from Jimmy DiMora himself. Sounds like the same old Cuyahoga County to me.

Evidenced by the fact that she is openly discussing running on the ticket against him, Connally isn’t exactly a cheerleader of Fitzy. When asked about his tenure as Cuyahoga County Executive, she said “uh … yeah.”

Asked by The Dispatch if she felt FitzGerald was doing a good job as county executive, Democratic Cuyahoga County Council President C. Ellen Connally said “uh … yeah.”


So with Fitzgerald scrambling to find another running mate and facing a possible expensive primary, it will be interesting to see what his campaign finance report reflects. Are big donors rewarding poor decisions? It seems the Democrats may have an interesting primary pitting an incompetent Cuyahoga Democrat against another Cuyahoga Democrat with a tin ear.

So those are your choices, Democrats. More backroom corruption or the astonishing incompetence of Ed Fitzgerald.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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