Monday, February 24, 2014

Gov. John Kasich leaves politics bubbling beneath the surface in State of the State speech: Analysis

MEDINA, Ohio – Ed FitzGerald equates the path to the November election with a retailer’s return counter. Voters, the Democrat says, are lining up to make an exchange.

Republican Gov. John Kasich, whom FitzGerald is working to unseat, doesn’t deal in such analogies. Nonetheless, the final State of the State address of his first term was the equivalent of hopping on the in-store intercom to make a case for four more years.

Kasich’s speech was not overtly political. He has yet to utter FitzGerald’s name in public, let alone engage the Cuyahoga County executive directly, and he wasn’t about to start here Monday. But as far above the fray as Kasich hopes to appear, it’s impossible to evaluate his remarks outside the context of his campaign for a second term. It’s almost as tough to consider them outside the context of a possible run for president in 2016.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pausing for a moment to observe the politics of Ed FitzGerald's final State of the County: Analysis

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has had his eyes on Gov. John Kasich’s job for a long time – since before either man began his term.

That thought was inescapable Wednesday as FitzGerald delivered the annual State of the County address before a packed ballroom at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Someone else will give this speech next year. FitzGerald, who chose to challenge Kasich rather than seek re-election this fall, will be sitting in the governor’s chair or, if he loses, perhaps a law firm. And he treated the forum as an hour-long highlight reel. Literally. Sprinkled throughout were four videos – a novelty that began wearing off after No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, the Democrat also sprinkled in some politics. So setting aside the policy initiatives front and center in the speech, what political undertones were present?

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ohio Democratic Party is Ed FitzGerald's biggest donor -- and his biggest expense: Ohop Politics Roundup

Here’s another way to look at the substantial contributions that the Ohio Democratic Party has made to Ed FitzGerald’s campaign for governor.

For FitzGerald, it’s only a net gain of about $65,000.

That’s the difference, according to a Northeast Ohio Media Group analysis of fundraising data, between what the party spent on FitzGerald and what FitzGerald spent on the party.
Confused? It breaks down like this.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Will 'War on Women' messaging work for Ed FitzGerald and Democrats in 2014? Analysis

Abortion is a medical issue, women’s rights issue, family issue and moral issue. And early in this year’s race for Ohio governor, it is the issue.

Democrats and their likely candidate, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, have made it so with their moves and their messaging in the first weeks of 2014.

The state party’s new ground game coordinator spent 2013 in Virginia, where she assisted a winning gubernatorial bid that emphasized the Republican candidate’s hardline positions on abortion. FitzGerald’s new running mate, Sharen Neuhardt, ran twice for Congress but is known as well in political circles for being an abortion-rights activist.

And with Neuhardt on the ticket, the Democratic statewide slate chose for its first group appearance an endorsement event at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.

The pieces weave together to form a “War on Women” narrative against Republican Gov. John Kasich. But the strategy brings some risks and no promise of rewards.

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