"Ted Strickland is The Repository’s choice to be the next Ohio governor. We urge readers to elect him on Nov. 7.
"Ohio has been through a lot in recent years. An anemic Democratic party has contributed to one-party Republican rule. Too much of one thing for too long led to sloppiness, excess and criminality. The scandals in state government were the result. The same could have happened under one-party rule by Democrats. It is a function of too much unchecked power.
"Voters have a sense for knowing when enough is enough. That is why public opinion favors so many Democrats in their races for statewide office. Heading this change is Strickland, a veteran U.S. congressman who has a good record of accomplishment by cooperating with Republicans, the majority party in the Congress, to solve problems for his district.
"This ability will serve him well if he becomes governor and has to work with a legislature that probably will remain in Republican control.
"Strickland’s opponent, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, is a hard partisan with extreme views, often about the control he should be able to exert over local matters. His Tax Expenditure Limitation amendment, which might have been on the Ohio ballot this fall if his fellow Republicans had not saved Blackwell from himself, is an example. Not only would it have limited Ohio state government spending, but it also would have imposed a straitjacket on local governments.
"Fortunately, knowing that TEL would be a political catastrophe, the Legislature gave Blackwell his controls on the state but declined to impose spending limits on townships and villages and school boards. Blackwell withdrew TEL.
"More ideas involving exercise of state power over local matters are in Blackwell’s briefcase. One of them is his assertion that 65 percent of every school dollar should be spent in classrooms. In many cases, the percentage already exceeds 65 percent, yet elected school boards, not education bureaucrats in Columbus or Blackwell, ought to make local spending decisions.
"Blackwell’s ties to the religious-political right wing of his party, in Ohio and nationally, make us nervous. Strickland, while an ordained minister, doesn’t flaunt his faith or exploit the political fringes. We think Ohio is fed up with that kind of politics anyway.
"This is a time when Ohioans need to be invited toward a moderate middle place where the extremes don’t dominate debate and serious people of good will can solve the state’s education, economic and social problems. Strickland is the leader for this effort."