Ted Strickland’s Report Card

May 9, 2007 at 5:50 pm (abercrombie, al sharpton, biden, blanco, chirac, clinton, colmes, conyers, democrap, democrat, dodd, edwards, feingold, Feinstein, franks, green, hillary, jefferson, jesse jackson, kennedy, kucinich, labor union, lampson, leahy, levin, liberal, matsui, McDermott, murtha, nagin, obama, pelosi, politics, rangel, reid, sanchez, sanders, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, ted strickland, Uncategorized, waters, waxman, webb, woolsey)

Ted Strickland Report Card – The First 100 Days

Tuesday, April 17, 2007































Ted is a nice person. But his performance has been disappointing so far this year. He appears to listen well, and he likes to make friends by handing out a lot of goodies.  But he hasn’t made much progress in key subjects.  The expectations for his work were a lot higher than what he produced.


Education – Grade: F


Promised to make school funding a top priority if elected governor but still has no plan after his first 100 days in office.


·         Strickland last year:  “He provided no details [on school funding], and asked afterward when he would unveil those details, Strickland said, ‘I will do that if I win this election.’” (The Columbus Dispatch, 8/18/06)


·         Strickland this year:  “After nearly a year of campaigning, voters should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from a Gov. Ted Strickland. But it could be a year or so before they know exactly what the Democrat plans to do about school funding.” (Toledo Blade, 1/07/07)


·         Why wait?  “Strickland constantly cited fixing funding as a top priority during the campaign. If it’s so important, why wait? … All this Statehouse maneuvering leaves many wondering whether Strickland is a wise policymaker or a governor unsure of how he wants to lead.” (Editorial, The Plain Dealer, 2/21/07)


·         High Expectations: “Democrats are holding up Strickland as a savior of Ohio’s ailing school-funding system.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 3/15/07)


·         No Results:  “Where is the education plan he promised during his campaign, when he told us to trust him, it would all be revealed after he was elected? Strickland has offered nothing but a lame attempt to put a big tax increase on the ballot.”  (Peter Bronson, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/20/07)


Rather than making school funding a “priority,” Strickland unveiled a budget that gives no additional support to nearly half of Ohio’s school districts.


·         No increase:  “Under the terms of the governor’s State of the State address, 302 of the 613 school districts in Ohio will receive no increase in state dollars in the 2007-08 school year, which runs concurrently with the first year of the biennial budget.  The financial news from Columbus doesn’t get any better for another 242 school districts that will see no increase in state funding in the 2008-09 school year.”  (Akron Beacon Journal, 3/16/07)


·         Disappointing & Misleading:  “Disappointing is the claim that his budget would accomplish far more than it would. The assertion is misleading, far removed from the transparency in school funding that he has promised.” (Editorial, Akron Beacon Journal, 3/20/07)


Strickland used his first budget to wage war on school choice, depriving thousands of low-income, often-minority students of a choice in their education.

·         Denying Opportunity:  “We’d have thought that with Ohio’s many other problems, a new Governor would have better things to do than deny opportunity for poor kids to escape the worst schools in the state.”  (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 3/29/07)

·         Inflexible:  “For the good of Ohio’s students, Gov. Ted Strickland should rethink his determination to shut the door to proven charter schools while the entire system is revisited. This inflexibility will hurt students and undermine community attempts to reform education.” (Editorial, The Columbus Dispatch, 04/10/07)


·         Wrong:  “[Strickland’s] solution — a moratorium — is wrong…Ohio’s public schools are better today because of the competition charter schools and vouchers have created.” (Editorial, Dayton Daily News, 03/25/07)


Strickland’s war on choice even impacts 45,000 Ohio college students, who would lose their higher education grants and therefore dramatically cut the budgets of Ohio’s colleges and universities.


·         Hurts Middle-Class Families:  “About two-thirds of Ohio students who currently receive state aid for attending private colleges or universities would no longer be eligible for the program under Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposed budget. … The idea is sending chills up the spines of private college financial aid officials, who say it will hurt middle-class families the most.”  (Dayton Daily News, 3/26/07)



Math – Grade: F


Strickland had to pull his budget projections after his school funding calculations didn’t add up.


·         Miscalculations:  “Gov. Ted Strickland’s budget office is reviewing projected funding for Ohio’s 613 school districts in the next two years after analysts discovered a few miscalculations that shortchanged some schools and overpaid others.”  Strickland’s numbers “give one district a $2.5 million windfall.  Another district is shortchanged by $300,000.” (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/06/07)


Much of Strickland’s budget is built on “accounting maneuvers” and “one-time” money.


·         One-time money: “Despite Strickland’s common-sense rhetoric, his budget appears to spend one-time money – billions of dollars Ohio gained in a legal settlement with tobacco companies – on every-time costs.” (Tom Suddes, The Plain Dealer, 3/18/07)


·         Don’t be fooled:  “Ted Strickland would like Ohioans to believe that his two-year state budget plan achieves a remarkable feat. …Don’t be fooled.” (Editorial, Akron Beacon Journal, 3/20/07)



Government – Grade: F


On his first day in office, Strickland and Democrats illegally violated the state constitution by vetoing legislation that had already been enacted into law, prompting a court challenge by Republican legislators.


·         “The Republican argument centers on the idea that Democrat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner did not have the legal standing to honor Strickland’s request to return the bill to him.  It is a compelling point. …Paraphrasing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, the Republicans have a good chance, they have more than a good chance, of winning the lawsuit.”  (
Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 2/04/07)



Economics – Grade: F


Strickland repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that “no tax increases are needed” to fund his agenda, but less than 100 days after taking office he changed his tune.


·         No New Taxes:  “Gov. Ted Strickland would consider going to the ballot to ask for a tax increase to fund schools if other options for improving the state’s education outlook fail, the Democrat said Thursday.”  (
Associated Press, 2/16/07)


Strickland told voters he had “no plans to raise taxes,” but his first budget increases the tax burden on Ohioans.


·         Calls it ‘Raising Revenue’:  “Already having promised not to raise taxes or increase fees, Strickland said eliminating some tax breaks for businesses or individuals is one way to raise revenue.”  (
Associated Press, 3/13/07)


·         Really Means ‘Raising Taxes’:  “[Strickland] said he intends to propose eliminating some ‘tax breaks.’ That would mean higher taxes for some businesses and individuals…”  (Editorial, Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/14/07)


Strickland even opposes a Democrat-sponsored tax cut for Ohio’s low-income taxpayers.


·         Won’t Cut Taxes:  “A Democratic state representative is pushing for income tax breaks similar to federal credits to the poor, but Gov. Ted Strickland said Wednesday that he is withholding support to protect the state budget.”  (
Associated Press, 1/31/07)


Strickland’s budget eliminates a sales tax allowance for 192,000 businesses in Ohio, creating $37 million a year in new costs for retailers and consumers.


·         Hurting the Economy:  “A coalition of leading Ohio business advocates today said Governor Strickland’s proposal to cut the vendors’ allowance on sales tax collection and remittance would hurt Ohio’s retail industry and the state’s economy.”  (Release, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, 3/29/07)

Despite promising to “turnaround” Ohio’s economy and focus on job creation, Strickland has been criticized by campaign supporters for his inaction.


·         He’s Liberal:  “[Ohio Council of Retail Merchants] President John C. Mahaney Jr. said he still considers Strickland an honorable man but thinks the governor has devoted more of his energy to social issues than to the economy. ‘He’s a very good guy, he’s quite sincere, he’s liberal, he wants to take care of people, and there’s nothing wrong with that,’ Mahaney said. ‘What I have yet to see is the same intensity to restart Ohio’s struggling economy.’”  (The Columbus Dispatch, 4/15/07)



Social Studies – Grade: F


Despite the fact that teen pregnancies have dropped more than 20 percent in Ohio since 1997, Strickland declared war on abstinence programs, claiming they don’t work.


·         Peter Bronson, Cincinnati Enquirer: “Let’s face it: Kids will smoke, drink and use other drugs anyhow, so let’s forget about telling them to ‘just say no’ and teach them how to use ashtrays, aspirin and ‘safe drugs’ properly.  If that sounds like a page from the Michael Jackson Guide to Parenting, why is Gov. Ted Strickland using the same lazy logic to kill abstinence education in Ohio?” (Cincinnati Enquirer, 04/05/07)


Just weeks into office, Strickland the Methodist minister generated national criticism by announcing he would not open Ohio to war-torn Iraqi refugees.


·         “Gov. Ted Strickland manages to look both petty and ill-
informed when he says Ohio doesn’t want an influx of Iraqi refugees. …The governor is not just being narrow-minded, but also apparently acting in ignorance of his own party’s position.” (Editorial, The Plain Dealer, 2/18/07)


·         “The deeper question is about more than numbers. It’s about what obligations the United States has, particularly to Iraqis who have risked so much to help the U.S. venture.  Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland last week had one answer. It was as thoughtless as it was heartless.”  (Editorial, USA Today, 2/18/07)


·         “While he was running for office, the words ‘Strickland’ and ‘Methodist minister’ were inseparable in news stories. So it’s fair to ask: What kind of minister slams the door on desperate people who are legally coming to America?” (Peter Bronson, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/20/07)


·         “…The governor needs to be more forward-thinking in his approach to current problems, rather looking to blame someone for past mistakes. Finger-pointing is not how problems are solved. The people of Ohio voted for change in 2006 and change is what they expect. We wanted to rise above partisan bickering and take care of the problems our state faces. We deserve better.”  (Editorial, The Lantern, The Ohio State University 2/19/07)


·         “Demonstrating his disagreement with the Bush administration by shunning needy refugees is an unworthy act of callousness.” (Editorial, Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/17/07)



Ethics – Grade: F


·         Strickland last year:  “U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland told a closed-door Toledo audience over the weekend that he would hire ex-convicts for state government jobs if Ohioans elect him governor in the fall.”  (Jim Tankersley, Toledo Blade, 3/08/06)


o   Strickland this year:  “Gov. Ted Strickland, who ran for office promising to fight the culture of corruption in state government, has decided to ask fewer questions than his predecessor, Bob Taft, about potentially embarrassing or problematic secrets of employees destined to fill the bulk of 5,681 patronage jobs in his administration.”  (
Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 1/21/07)


·         Strickland last year:  “If anyone thinks they’re going to give a contribution to Ted Strickland and have that in some way affect any official action I might take as governor, they are going to be in for a huge, huge disappointment,” Mr. Strickland said.  (Toledo Blade, 6/11/06)


o   Strickland this year:  Asked the State Controlling Board to give no-bid contracts to 18 consulting firms whose PACs or principals (individual donors) made $2,000 or more in contributions last year to the Strickland campaign or to his inaugural committee.  (Campaign Finance Reports, Ohio Secretary of State)


·         Strickland last year:  “[Strickland] said he will set an example of following not only the letter of the law but the spirit, as well, and hire people of top character and integrity who possess a ‘Peace Corps spirit.’”  (
Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, 8/27/06)


o   Strickland this year:  “A former governor’s aide once accused of lying to a grand jury that was investigating state hiring practices is among the new hires of the Strickland administration.”  (The Plain Dealer, 4/14/07)


·         Strickland campaigned on ending the “culture of corruption” in government, but 100 days into office his friends and contributors are cashing in.


Former Strickland campaign fundraiser David Leland has become a registered lobbyist.  “Leland, a Democrat and a former state party chairman, has something the others don’t: the ear of Ted Strickland, Ohio’s new governor.” (The Plain Dealer, 4/01/07)


Former Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, a Democrat, is also using his Strickland connections as a new lobbyist: Luken got to know Strickland and his top aides well when he played Republican gubernatorial opponent Ken Blackwell during Strickland’s months of debate rehearsals. “It’s fair to say business picked up in the last few months,” said Luken, whose clients include FirstEnergy Corp. “The new administration has meant good things for me, more business activity.”  (The Plain Dealer, 4/01/07)

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