Last night we shared a column from Mark Naymik of the Plain Dealer, which called on State Senator Eric Kearney to step down from the ticket.
State Sen. Eric Kearney, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, should drop out of the 2014 gubernatorial race for his own sake.
The Plain Dealer is of course Ed Fitzgerald’s hometown newspaper. Today, the editorial board weighed in, and it’s ugly for Fitzgerald and Kearney. Most of them agree with Naymik and call for Kearney’s ouster from the ticket.
Sharon Broussard, editorial writer, Northeast Ohio Media Group:
Kearney must go and he must do so by his own volition. Not just because he’s burdened down by long-term, unpaid debt — although that’s bad enough — but because he made the foolish calculation that he could sweep the whole mess under a rug and no one would notice.
Step off the gubernatorial campaign trail while there is still time to redeem your career, Mr. Kearney, and Ed Fitzgerald’s.
Thomas Suddes, editorial writer:
FitzGerald’s Democratic challenge will be anything but vigorous if questions are raised — as they have been, will be, and should be — about Kearney’s circumstances. He should remove himself from the Democratic state ticket.
Kevin O’Brien, deputy editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer:
But his failure to properly vet a running mate could and should hold some long-term damage to the FitzGerald brand, and the clumsy efforts at spin since Kearney’s money problems hit the headlines aren’t helping. Kearney will keep his local base, but FitzGerald has damaged his statewide appeal by playing directly into the suspicions that he’s not ready for prime time.
Peter Krouse, editorial writer, Northeast Ohio Media Group:
If somebody can’t handle his own affairs, how can he handle the state’s. Kearney needs to vacate the ticket before he sheds any more embarrassment on FitzGerald. If not, FitzGerald needs to punt Kearney. Public officials don’t have to be perfect, but they must have integrity, and it looks like Kearney has a problem in that regard.
Christopher Evans, editorial writer, Northeast Ohio Media Group:
I admire Eric Kearney — he’s articulate, personable and doesn’t pay taxes. I would love not to pay taxes. And here’s the kicker: Not only does Kearney make the IRS work for a living — our taxes pay his salary in the state Senate!
Elizabeth Sullivan, opinion director, Northeast Ohio Media Group:
If the Democrats want to keep their hopes alive in next year’s gubernatorial race — slender as their chances already are — they better pressure Kearney to do a fast exit to end this public dog-and-pony show about his taxes. Kearney looks terrible for failing to get his house in order, whether or not some of the debts are disputed. FitzGerald looks terrible for being caught so flat-footed on the finances of his running mate. Shame on them both.
What a disaster. When even the liberal members of your home newspaper are shaking their heads in disbelief and telling you he needs to be off your ticket, you know it’s bad.