Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Corruption In Ohio


Joe McNamara-- fighting for progressive values and against political corruption

2013 will be a critical year for progressive across the country, as there are many important races, even beyond New Jersey and Virginia, that will help to build the Democratic bench for the future. Ohio is no different, although perhaps in more dire need for solid progressives who fit the independent-minded Sherrod Brown mold. And no down ballot race in the Buckeye State is more important, or offers such a clear choice, as the Mayor’s race in Toledo.

Despite Toledo giving President Obama over 70% of the vote last November, the city’s current Mayor has endorsed the Tea Party Governor of Ohio’s regressive budget and S.B. 5, which attacked workers right to organize in Ohio. Governor Kasich fondly refers to Mayor Bell as his “buddy,” and this race will be Kasich’s first test for 2014. Toledo voters, who probably see as much Michigan media as Ohio media-- and are well aware of the toxic nature of the Tea Party/GOP agenda for working families-- need to replace Bell with a progressive Democrat.

There are two Democratic candidates in this race. One, Joe McNamara, has been a strong progressive champion on the City Council. He has been a longtime supporter of marriage equality, fought for green jobs, and even sued former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell when he initiated Tea Party style voter suppression tactics back in 2006. Joe’s strong progressive record is why former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has stepped up and endorsed him.

His Democratic opponent is the County Auditor, Anita Lopez. Lopez is exactly the type of Democrat that progressives have been fighting against for years. She is a career political climber who has refused to take a stand on any important issue. Worse, corruption and political cronyism surround her time in the Auditor’s office.

The latest scandal to break involve 7 of her top political advisers (who also happen to work in her Auditor’s Office). They were all given huge raises totaling $131,147.73 out of the county budget. And most of these were right after these advisers worked on her 2010 election. Coincidence... I don’t think so. That’s an average raise of over $18,000! A politician who is using her elected office as a way to dole out cushy jobs to her political staff is not someone we can afford to promote to the Mayor’s office.

The cronyism continues today. Lopez’s current Campaign Manager works in her Auditor’s office. How much prior auditing experience did he have? You guessed it, 0. The person handling her fundraising received a $22,000 raise on the taxpayer’s dime. The individual handling her social media, an $11,000 pay raise. She gave the extremely politically-connected daughter of the former (and also scandal tarred) Party Chairman a $34,000 raise. If you work hard on the campaign like one staffer did, than you can get a raise of $22,497. Or if you want to just make a $2,500 donation to her campaign you will receive an $11,000 raise as one lucky staffer did. That sounds like quite the deal, but when it’s the taxpayer’s money why should Lopez care?

Ohio Democrats and the folks who live in Toledo need a progressive mayor of the Democratic bastion, not a corrupt politician who is running her campaign from the County Auditor’s office while rewarding staff who help her political ambitions with huge pay raises. This race is shaping up very much the way "former" Republican Wendy Greuel went head to head with progressive champion Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles this month. Despite massive support from every corrupt corner of the Democratic Party, Greuel lost-- and lost badly... and then said it was because voters are a bunch of sexist pigs and has been whining about a "glass ceiling." Odd in a state with TWO female women senators and 18 congresswomen. Maybe EMILY's List told her to say it. They poured resources into her race as well as the abysmal advise to go negative-- which is what actually cost her the election.

Please consider making a contribution to Joe McNamara for Mayor, and sign up to receive updates on his campaign. Lets help Ohio take on a nice healthy blue hue-- starting in Toledo. You can follow Joe on Twitter and Facebook if you'd like.

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