The year was 2006, and at the time, Ted Strickland was campaigning against health care insurance mandates…what we now refer to as “Obamacare.” In response to Strickland’s legitimate attacks on such a proposal, Ken Blackwell’s campaign took a cheap shot:
Strickland said the insurance requirement would impose a $7 billion mandate on Ohioans over the next four years, based on the requirement that the more than 1 million uninsured Ohioans pay monthly premiums that Strickland put at $150.
Blackwell’s plan did not include the $150 figure and Strickland did not acknowledge the proposed subsidies in Blackwell’s plan.
Blackwell campaign policy director Tom Norris called Strickland’s numbers “chicken coop economics,” a reference to Strickland living briefly in a chicken coop as a boy when the family house burned down.
Strickland campaign spokesman Keith Dailey called the “chicken coop” reference “insulting to working class Ohioans and rural Ohioans.”
Was that fair? Ted Strickland- with his support of prevailing/minimum wage, endless unemployment benefits, and tax increases- certainly is lacking in an understanding of economics. But chicken coop economics? What is that?
Fast forward to 2010…. Ohio’s unemployment has doubled since Ted Strickland took office, which translates to more than 400,000 people out of work.
Here is a breakdown of employment trends in major urban cities:
Unemployment in Ohio’s Major Cities:
Dec 2006 May 2010 Change
Cleveland 7.0% 11.3% 4.3%
Columbus 4.5 8.7 4.2
Cincinnati 5.6 9.9 4.3
Toledo 6.4 12.1 5.7
Dayton 6.8 12.3 5.5
Akron 6.0 11.0 5.0
Youngstown 7.9 13.3 5.4
And Strickland, who lost running Lee Fisher and his hair plugs to the US Senate race, picks a new running mate: an unknown social worker- Yvette McGee Brown, who- rumor has it- is black, which apparently is what make her highly competent to speak to urban issues.
Yesterday, Team Kasich showed some guts and fired back at Strickland’s pathetic urban record:
Indeed, former Rep. John Kasich’s campaign to unseat Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland took direct aim at the governor’s modest origins, when spokesman Rob Nichols accused Strickland of mismanaging Ohio’s cities because he grew up “in a chicken shack on Duck Run.”
The comments came in response to a speech on urban policy by Strickland’s running mate, Yvette Brown, who recalled: “When Ted Strickland led a congregation in his small Methodist church, he put up a sign. It read, ‘Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever color you are, you are welcome here.’”
“And that’s exactly who he is. Ted didn’t grow up in city, but he fights for our cities every day,” Brown said.
Kasich’s campaign wasn’t buying it, and responded in a statement from Nichols to Ohio’s Capitol Blog: “Not until Ted Strickland feared needing their votes did he give urban Ohioans a second thought. Having grown up in a chicken shack on Duck Run, he has all but ignored our cities’ economies and their workers. It’s a disgraceful record whose pain for urban Ohioans can’t be swept under the rug with a bunch of pretty speeches.”
And today, Ted Strickland is offended. Strickland Campaign Hack Aaron Pickrell, an infamous racist, used the comment in a fundraising appeal, claiming outrage. Friendly media outlets and blogs have picked up on the story on a nation. And just a day after Democrats picked Kasich’s Lebron James comments, Ohio Democrats had some more trivial silliness to harp on.
However, the problem is, the Strickland administration oversaw skyrocketing foreclosure filings in urban cities, while their cities continue to decline. According to OSU’s Kirwan Institute, black unemployment hovers in the 16% range and Strickland has spent years in office raising the income tax, increasing fees, and supporting policies which price unskilled workers in urban environments out of the market. The Democrat platform is quite anti-poor and anti-urban, and Strickland has shown himself to care about as much about urban areas as he does about his former congressional district, which remains one of the poorest in America. And that’s just fine with Ted Strickland, as long as urban voters never stop voting for Democrats.
So what’s more offensive? Pointing out Strickland’s detachment from urban life or double digit unemployment?
And what’s more offensive? Mocking Strickland, or noting that in black communities, almost 1 out of every 2 babies are murdered before they are born?
Ted Strickland doesn’t care about urban areas, and it’s about time someone pointed out his poverty-inducing, birdbrained policies.