Monday, April 17, 2006

Strickland endorsed by the Columbus Dispatch & Youngstown Vindicator

Congressman Ted Strickland received two large newspaper endorsements over the weekend from The Columbus Dispatch and the Youngstown Vindicator.

The endorsements speak for themselves.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

While the GOP race is competitive, the Democratic race is expected to be a runaway. U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland is waging a bona fide statewide race and his opponent, former state Rep. Bryan E. Flannery of Strongsville, is not.

Strickland, an ordained Methodist minister and psychologist who lives in Lisbon, in eastern Ohio, has made improving Ohio's economy and education funding his campaign themes. He rolled out a plan titled Turnaround Ohio, which is intended to make the state more competitive through investments in broadband networks.

In an effort to get traction, Flannery has attacked Strickland personally. This unseemly tactic appears to be born of poll-induced desperation.

From The Vindicator:

Strickland vs. Flannery

Strickland's only opponent in the May 2 primary is Bryan E. Flannery, 38, a Strongsville businessman and former member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Flannery left the House when he chose to run for Ohio secretary of state, a race he lost to Kenneth Blackwell, one of two Republicans seeking that party's gubernatorial nomination.

Flannery is focusing his campaign on Ohio's educational funding system, which has been found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, but hasn't been adequately addressed by the General Assembly. Perhaps Flannery could have best fought that fight had he kept his seat in the House. He chose instead to pursue a losing quest for statewide office.

The campaign he has run so far does not indicate he is any better positioned now to win against Strickland in May or, more importantly for Democrats voting in a primary election, against Blackwell or the other Republican hopeful, Jim Petro, in November.

"Strickland's proposals are Taft's proposal," Flannery says, in an effort to tie the Democratic congressman to Bob Taft, the state's Republican governor whose approval rating is lower than Vice President Dick Cheney's. It would be a damaging accusation in a Democratic primary, if there were a kernel of truth to it. (emphasis added.)

Why Ohio?

Strickland, 64, sees Ohio as a state in decline, with a growing national impression that is not positive and with a need for a break from the past. No doubt, he says, the state is being severely impacted by the global economy, yet so are Michigan and Pennsylvania, but those states are coping better.

Ohio has to trade on its central location and its strong transportation infrastructure, as well as those natural resources that helped make it great — its fresh water and its coal.

He shares Flannery's concerns about education, but takes another direction. He says that even as President Nixon could go to China, while a President Humphrey or McGovern could not have, Strickland believes he is the best candidate to approach public education unions to discuss innovative ways of improving the state's schools.

Both editorials confirm what most political observers have said all along. Congressmen Ted Strickland is the Democrat's best and only hope to take back the governorship and put Ohio back on the right track. It also confirms that Flannery's smears of Congressman Strickland has cost him credibility and legitimacy as an alternative candidate.

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