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.

Akron Children's Hospital

NOCHE

Hennes Paynter Communications


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

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

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