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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Republican John Kasich Didn't Bother Signing Letter Pledging To Support Law Enforcement: No Time For Ohio's Cops

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- GOP candidate for Ohio governor John Kasich snubbed Ohio's Fraternal Order of Police earlier this year.  He didn't send a personal letter expressing support of law enforcement -- a form letter from a campaign worker was all Kasich mustered.  That's an odd lapse at best, an insult at worse.  Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman says he enthusiastically supports law enforcement.  Portman is playing up his endorsement from the Ohio FOP, which represents 26,000 cops (active and retired) around the state, including Cincinnati. Another Republican at the top of the GOP's statewide ticket this year, Maureen O'Connor, also is reveling in FOP support as she runs for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Jay McDonald, president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, has written letters to Ohio newspapers praising her as a top-notch administrator and judge.  But the cops are backing Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, in part because Kasich wouldn't give them the time of day.  Usually, the FOP's support is coveted.  The FOP's newsletter had this to say about Kasich's snub:

"Mr. Kasich did not interview with the political screening committee, he did not attend the conference to make himself available to our members and answer their questions in person, as Governor Strickland and every other candidate for statewide political office did.  A letter was sent expressing Mr. Kasich's support of law enforcement, but that was not even signed by Mr. Kasich, it was signed by a campaign worker.

"Without the participation of Mr. Kasich, we were left to press reports to get his political platform, which includes the abolition of the Ohio Income Tax and the privatization of public employees, both issues opposed by the FOP.  Also, Mr. Kasich's running mate has suggested to municipalities that they consider contracting out their law enforcement work to the Sheriff in her current role as Auditor of State."

FOP state president McDonald -- a Marion, Oh., police officer -- points out that the organization is non-partisan -- four Dems and four Republicans got its support this year.  McDonald has been on the road, where he notes that Kasich is pushing policies that would devastate public safety.  And McDonald said Kasich wants to privatize police and fire jobs.  In Lima last week, McDonald said about Kasich:

"He has repeatedly said if you can find it in the phone book, you can privatize it.  For-profit companies should not decide who goes to jail, who stays in jail, or be guarding the people in jail.  For-profit prisons are a detriment to public safety."

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