News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Knight Foundation

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


FitzGerald, Kearney's departure and where Ohio Democrats go next
Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the hunt for a new running mate
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
FitzGerald says he and Kearney discussed Kearney's tax problems at length.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Senator Eric Kearney has stepped down from next year’s Democratic ticket after continuing criticism over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid back taxes. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has the latest from the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

LISTEN: Kasler on the Kearney fallout

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:41)


LISTEN: Kasler on Kearney, shorter

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:00)


Almost from the moment of the announcement Senator Eric Kearney of Cincinnati would be Ed FitzGerald’s running mate, there was trouble.

Soon after, reports of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tax liens against Kearney and his wife regarding the publishing business they own started to trickle out.

Conference call signals problems
Last week, the trickle was a torrent adding up to as much as $825,000 in unpaid back taxes – plus a credit card debt and questions about unpaid workers compensation premiums. But when asked in a marathon conference call about his tax problems with reporters last week, Kearney made clear several times his determination to remain Ed FitzGerald’s running mate. 

“I’m in it," Kearney said. "We’re in it all the way and we’re going to see this through.”

Kearney soon stepped down as Senate Minority Leader concentrate on the campaign, and said on that call that FitzGerald stood by him, though he wasn’t on the call with him.

That signaled trouble for some critics, and the chorus of voices calling on Kearney to step aside or for FitzGerald to replace him grew. On Tuesday, Kearney announced he was stepping down. He talked with Ann Thompson of WVXU in Cincinnati. 

“I don’t want to be a distraction," Kearney said.  "I don’t want our business, the Cincinnati Herald, to be the focus of the campaign. Rather, I want issues, so that’s why I made the decision.”

Kearny, FitzGerald made decision together
Kearney has said that he told Ed FitzGerald about his financial issues, and in an interview Tuesday night, FitzGerald confirmed that. And he said he and Kearney together made the decision that Kearney had to depart the ticket. 

“Senator Kearney and I, we’ve been in constant contact throughout this whole process," FitzGerald said. "He and I both decided within the last 24 hours that it had reached a fever pitch where it was really becoming an obstacle to having that conversation that we need to have with the voters around the state.”

The Ohio Republican Party issued a statement saying that FitzGerald put Kearney “in an impossible situation for weeks before finally abandoning him in an attempt to save his own campaign.”

FitzGerald says he’s comfortable being judged for the decision he made in putting Kearney on the ticket, because he says Kearney is a well-respected public servant, but also because he thinks Governor John Kasich has made a lot of bad decisions as well.

Moving forward in race for governor's office
FitzGerald says now that the Kearney issue has been resolved, he wants to turn the debate to the differences between the Democratic ticket and the Republican one. 

“We have a long time to make that case," FitzGerald said. "We’ve already made a lot of progress. All the polls have shown the race getting closer and closer and closer, and I think they know that. And I think we have enough time to get our feet back on the ground and start talking about the issues that people really care about.”

Replacement not expected soon
FitzGerald says while the selection of Kearney wasn’t rushed, he won’t announce a replacement for Kearney till most likely a few weeks before the filing deadline in February. As for Kearney, he says he will continue his work as a legislator. 


“I will continue to serve in the Ohio Senate and enjoy the work that I do there and hopefully push some of the issues that I’ve been working on like children’s health issues to the forefront,” Kearney said

In its statement, the Ohio Republican Party said FitzGerald should consider leaving the race, and that “his lack of judgment and honesty will haunt him for the remainder of this campaign.”

Democrats have repeatedly noted the tax troubles of Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges, and FitzGerald hints that the criticisms Republicans had for Kearney and his tax troubles will come back into the campaign.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

U.S. Postal Service plans to close its sorting center in Akron
May as well close the center. I don't understand why they didn't do away with saturday mail a long time ago. We don't get our mail until sometimes 8pm, and in ...

The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University