Lt. Gov. Sharen Neuhardt called Gov. John Kasich the Wizard Oz and a man who doesn’t care about the average Ohioan.
“John Kasich is the man behind the curtain. He’s the Wizard of Oz. He wants us to believe that if he says it enough that people in Ohio are going to believe we really are recovered,” Neuhardt said.
Neuhardt’s comments came on Thursday during at speech at the Clark County Democratic Party’s Annual Freedom Dinner.
She told the crowd of about 65 at the Quality Inn on East Leffel Lane that the average Ohioan is still struggling with the rising cost of food, gas, and worry about maintaining gainful employment or whether they will be able to retire.
Connie Wehrkamp, communications director of the Kasich campaign, wrote in a statement that Kasich cleaned up the mess that Democrats created and the state needs his continued leadership.
“While John Kasich is hard at work cleaning up the mess left by Ohio Democrats - balancing their $8 billion budget deficit, improving our state from 48th to 5th in job creation, and landing the biggest single-project jobs win in over a decade - the Democrats continue to tear down the progress Ohio is making for nothing more than political gain. It’s clear Ohio needs John Kasich’s continued leadership and not the Democrats’ continued failures,” she said in the statement.
Clark County Republican Party Chair Lynda Smith said Kasich’s record speaks for itself.
Smith said Democrats have a lot of rhetoric, but if Ohioans look back at where things were when Kasich took office to today they will see change.
Smith said the Kaisch balanced the state budget and jobs are coming back to Ohio.
“We’ve turned the corner and we’re going in the right direction,” Smith said.
Neuhardt said Kasich balanced the state budget on the backs of local governments and schools and that he erred when he cut taxes for the rich thinking that it would trickle down to others.
“John Kasich has done this really nice job of bringing the recovery to just the wealthiest folks in Ohio. All of these tax cuts that he has done have benefited the upper income bracket, while average Ohioans are paying more. Paying more in sales tax, paying more in school tax levies, income tax levies, you name it,” Neuhardt said.
She also said when the average Ohioan who is struggling hears Kasich talk about Ohio’s “miraculous recovery” they think they did something wrong and that the recovery passed them by.
“The truth is they haven’t done anything wrong. They have been doing everything right. They just have a governor who doesn’t (care) about them. He (cares) about the people who will write him the $12,000 checks,” Neuhardt said.
She told the crowd Ohio is one election away from change by voting her and Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald into office.
“The biggest difference between Ed Fitzgerald and John Kasich is Ed Fitzgerald is going to get up every single day and his No. 1 priority is going to be helping the average working class, the average Ohioan get ahead,” Neuhardt said.
Clark County Democratic Party Chairman Dale Henry said officials wanted Neuhardt to speak in Springfield about her top priorities for the state.
Henry also said local party members want to do what they can to help the Neuhardt and Fitzgerald ticket replace the current administration.
“We have a lot at stake. We want to make sure our position is improved with Neuhardt (as our lieutenant governor) and Ed Fitzgerald as our governor,” Henry said.
By Tiffany Y. Latta - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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