In 2006, Ted Strickland won 75% of the vote in Scioto County.
After the story published in this morning’s Dispatch, I think it’s safe to say that number won’t be quite as high in November.
A Russian steel company is unlikely to follow through on plans to build a plant in southern Ohio, state officials are saying, marking what may be a quiet end to a project announced with fanfare three years ago.
Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, known as MMK, was part of a joint venture that was going to spend $1 billion to build a steel mill that would employ 500 workers in Scioto County.
“We have not heard from MMK in some time,” said Kimber Perfect, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Development.
This is something the elected representatives of Scioto County, where the mill was due to be built, have a duty to investigate.
And it starts at the top.
When this deal was announced “to fanfare” in 2007, did Strickland’s Department of Development cease contact with the firm? Did they continue communication with MMK to help facilitate the process? What happened? How does a billion dollar deal just vanish into thin air?
This isn’t just a political embarrassment for Governor Strickland, this is a real-life disaster for the people of Scioto County. As the Dispatch states, the county is suffering from an unemployment rate of 14.2%. That is the definition of a Jobs Crisis.
The Appalachian region is Strickland’s bread and butter. And he failed them. Will they remember in November?