Looking for a New Governor

While we wait with not-too-bated breath for video or a transcript of Governor Kasich's State of the State speech in Lima tonight, I've been perusing another speech delivered today in Cleveland: county executive Ed FitzGerald's annual State of the County address.

As pretty much every political observer knows, FitzGerald is openly exploring a run for governor. He's been traveling around the state, making high profile appearances at various Democratic gatherings. He says he'll make a decision by March.

How would he be compared to Kasich? Well, his speech is organized and coherent, for a start. It's full of clear descriptions of how he has worked in cooperation with various groups, including unions, to make county government more efficient, with the Justice System Reform Task Force to upgrade people's trust in the justice system here, and with the county's 59 municipal entities to end costly poaching of businesses across city lines.

He talks about fiscal responsibility, employee performance reviews, and making county government oversight permanent by amending the charter to make the position of inspector general permanent — something the much-vaunted charter did not do, because of course it was never really intended to prevent corruption. Ed did that on his own.

He also talks about Pre-K, college scholarships, prisoner re-entry programs and service consolidations.

What he does not talk about is "philosophy" or a rigid ideology of any kind. He doesn't bluster or call out opponents. He talks about working with diverse interest groups to find solutions to problems. We haven't seen that in the governor's office sine Ted Strickland packed up and went home. And it's what we need.

You can read Ed's speech here:

http://executive.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/021913-State-of-County.aspx

There's also a PowerPoint presentation.

I assure you it's a lot more uplifting and positive and a lot less stomach-churning than whatever Kasich said this evening.

We'll see in the next couple of months if any other candidates step up to challenge Kasich. But now is a good time to get to know anyone who is interested in running and what they have to offer.

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