Monday, August 28, 2006

Ohioans Still Concerned About Republican Corruption

Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, Ted Strickland, is making his way through Ohio. Along the way he gives speeches, shakes hands, and listens. Apparently Strickland has been hearing quite a lot from voters and it doesn't sound like they're happy with the culture of corruption created by Ohio's Republicans. Here are some excerpts from an article in the Akron Beacon Journal:

...They want to talk about Bob Taft, the first governor to be found guilty of ethical charges while in office, or Tom Noe, the Republican fundraiser and the coin collector who received more than $55 million in unbid contracts and is scheduled for trial in October.

Some ask about the $200 million-plus lost through sweetheart deals at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation or U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, and his golf trip to Scotland with Jack Abramoff, the convicted federal lobbyist. Others raise the specter of the war in Iraq and blame President Bush for misleading the American public.

``It's invading the consciousness of the people,'' Strickland said....

...Ohio's economy is almost stalled; the unconstitutional school-funding system has gone unaddressed; public university tuition is skyrocketing; and in nearly two decades of decline one party has controlled almost all of state government....

...Strickland believes a political culture fueled by arrogance of power and freed from checks and balances has developed, allowing individuals to game the system.

He blames Blackwell for not watching the public funds during his tenure as state treasurer, before becoming secretary of state in 1999.

``The best thing you can say for some of them is they just sat by and said nothing,'' Strickland said.

And the Democrat said Blackwell's recent meeting with more than 60 contractors and the Ohio Department of Transportation's director, Gordon Proctor, is a sign that the pay-to-play culture in Columbus will not change if the Republican is elected governor.

Strickland said these contractors contribute millions of dollars to political campaigns and, in return, often receive lucrative state contracts, many unbid.

``For me, it's unethical behavior that borders on illegal,'' Strickland said, adding state officeholders are desensitized to public perceptions and that the people of Ohio are angry about this behavior.....

Yes, we are angry. Ohioans are sick and tired of the corruption, loss of tax money, and mismanagement of the state government. It is time for change in Ohio.

People in the 15th congressional district are wondering why they haven't seen much of Deborah Pryce during this recent congressional recess. Apparently, she can only be seen by campaign contributors at fundraisers. She has not been seen at many public events. Is she trying to hide from her record and her constituents?