Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ed FitzGerald accuses Gov. John Kasich of pay-to-play politics: PolitiFact Ohio

The 2014 race for governor is off to a punchy start.

PolitiFact Ohio told you Wednesday about the early attacks that Republican allies of incumbent John Kasich hope will stick against his likely Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald.

Essentially, the GOP has
seized on FitzGerald’s bystander status in the federal investigation of Cuyahoga County government and wrongly branded the first-term county executive as corrupt. It’s an attack that cuts directly at FitzGerald’s efforts to project a law-and-order image.

But FitzGerald is using similar rhetoric in his attempt to draw contrasts with Kasich.

"We need a governor who will stand up for middle-class families, for women’s rights and for good paying jobs," FitzGerald wrote last month when inviting supporters to his campaign kickoffs in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. "Ohioans want an end to pay-to-play politics, rampant cronyism and wasteful spending of our tax dollars on corporate donors and political perks."

Jon Thompson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, pointed to that statement this week as PolitiFact Ohio was evaluating his group’s claim that FitzGerald, the former mayor of Lakewood, represented a "brand of pay-to-play and corruption politics."

The he-started-it defense is not acceptable when dealing with dishonesty. The RGA statement earned a Pants On Fire rating on our Truth-O-Meter. But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so PolitiFact Ohio today is taking a closer look at FitzGerald’s "pay-to-play" claim.

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