Ohio Democrat Thinks He’s Running Against Koch Brothers

Ed FitzGerald
Ed FitzGerald

Ohio Democrat Ed FitzGerald’s campaign for governor demonstrates his party’s increasing reliance on a few narrow “progressive” themes: FitzGerald is running on a pro-abortion, pro-union, anti-Koch brothers platform.

In the past week alone, 5 FitzGerald campaign emails have slammed Charles and David Koch, prominent donors to limited-government groups who are reviled by leftists nationwide.

“This is what it looks like when the Kochs buy Ohio,” warned FitzGerald campaign manager Nick Buis in a June 25 message titled, “They bought Kasich.”

“It’s time to send a message to the Koch Brothers: You don’t own Ohio, and you sure as hell won’t own Ed FitzGerald when he’s Governor,” Buis wrote after asserting that a $12,155 donation from David Koch this spring is what prompted Republican Gov. John Kasich to sign “the job-killing SB 310.”

Senate Bill 310 (SB 310) put a two-year freeze on “green energy” mandates passed in 2008 under Democrat Governor Ted Strickland. Conservatives sought a repeal of the mandates, but Republican leadership instead proposed a freeze and Kasich demanded that the freeze be reduced to only two years.

A June 26 Friends of FitzGerald-Neuhardt email sent in fringe-left U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s name was titled, “Ed vs. Koch brothers’ agenda.”

“Ed’s opponent, John Kasich, has made the Koch brothers very happy during his time in office,” Brown wrote.

“There’s no doubt the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and other anti-worker forces are targeting Ohio,” warned Buis in a June 29 email hearkening back to Big Labor’s $40 million smear campaign to kill government union reform in 2011.

Harris v. Quinn was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation — an extreme anti-union group funded by none other than anti-union billionaire Charles Koch and his wealthy friends,” FitzGerald wailed in a July 1 message.

“Even Kansas, the Koch brothers’ home state, hasn’t sold out to them like Kasich has,” Buis wrote in another message about SB 310 sent today.

Promoting FitzGerald’s plan to increase taxpayer spending on alternative energy, Buis added, “the Koch brothers and other special interests will try to hold Ohio back, and they’ll attack Ed’s plan to do it.”

Ohio’s economy has fared much better under Kasich than under Strickland, putting FitzGerald in a tight spot on the perennially important issue of jobs.

Combined with Kasich’s spirited support for the Obamcare Medicaid expansion and his refusal to endorse SB 310 until it was watered down to a brief freeze, this has forced FitzGerald to stretch to the left end of the spectrum to differentiate himself from the incumbent.