Ted Strickland, a Democrat former congressman and former governor under whom Ohio lost nearly 375,000 jobs, took the helm at the activist arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Strickland, who served as an Obama for America national co-chair in 2012 despite losing his own 2010 reelection bid, was a key attack dog against GOP nominee Mitt Romney and a champion of the GM and Chrysler bailouts.
President Obama rewarded Strickland by nominating him as an alternate United Nations representative last year, but the nomination was never confirmed by Congress.
In addition to serving as president of CAP Action Fund, Strickland is now “counselor” to CAP. Both organizations were founded by John Podesta, a current Obama adviser and former chief of staff to President Clinton.
A March 19 CAP Action release stated that Strickland “will focus on policies that build an economy and a country that work for everyone, including economic inequality, poverty, climate change, and health care.”
“We are thrilled to have Gov. Strickland lead the work of the Center for American Progress Action Fund,” said CAP President Neera Tanden. “At a time when a growing number of Americans are struggling to move up the economic ladder, his experience at the center of domestic policy debates at the state level give him unique insights.”
CAP paid Tanden $287,671 in 2012, and CAP has raked in millions from left-wing foundations while attacking the wealthy.
Since 2008, CAP has received over $3 million from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, $8.4 million from Ford Foundation, $6.3 million from Rockefeller Foundation, and $4.7 million from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Labor unions have given CAP more than $3.8 million since 2005, the first year U.S. Department of Labor records were easily searchable.
CAP reported $39.2 million in revenue and funneled nearly $3.9 million to CAP Action in 2012. The Washington Free Beacon has done extensive work uncovering the groups’ influence-peddling.
Only by “progressive” standards is Ted Strickland fit to lead a national organization that focuses heavily on economic policy. Under Governor Strickland — who served from January 2007 to January 2011 — Ohio lost 374,400 jobs.
More important to CAP is Strickland’s populist reputation, built on years of berating job creators, defending Big Labor, and cheering deficit spending.
Strickland’s most noteworthy accomplishment as governor was the 2008 enactment of costly renewable mandates on electricity generation. In 2010, a federally-funded passenger rail project was a centerpiece of his failed reelection campaign.
That’s not to say Strickland is a perfect fit for CAP Action, whose ongoing projects include the fringe-left blog ThinkProgress.
In 2010, Strickland was endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). At the 2012 Democrat convention, he stood dumbfounded as the crowd booed after he proposed that God and Jerusalem be restored to the party’s platform.