The Ohio Republican Party is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to force Cuayhoga County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald to release key-card data showing when he enters and leaves county buildings and parking facilities.
The FitzGerald campaign calls it a political stunt. Democrats have suggested FitzGerald's refusal to provide the records is similar to the Kasich administration's decision to block release of records detailing threats against the governor, because both involve security issues. The justices are currently considering a challenge brought by a Democratic-leaning political blog over the threat records. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.
The Republicans want the swipe records from the key card FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive, uses to get into his office. And the GOP also wants FitzGerald’s parking records for the past two years. FitzGerald refuses to provide those, citing security concerns. FitzGerald says there have been death threats against him and adds the Cuyahoga County Sheriff says those records, if released, could put FitzGerald’s own security at risk. Chris Schrimpf of the Ohio Republican Party doesn’t buy that argument.
Schrimpf – I suspect what you would actually find and the real reason he is holding these records is that there is no pattern to what Ed FitzGerald is doing. He’s either not showing up for work at the County Office building or he’s showing up at strange times that he doesn’t want people to know about. Where he lives, where he works, where he’s going to be today and tomorrow – the public knows those things. There is no reason the public shouldn’t know when he was doing his job two years ago.
FitzGerald says the real reason the Republicans are hammering away on this issue is that their own candidate, Governor John Kasich, has been weak on the issue of accountability.
FitzGerald – This is a strategic move on this part to try to take something where they’ve had a very checkered record and try to say on a very sensitive security issue that should be beyond politics ….how do we politicize this….to try to make it appear as if one side is open and the other is not. The Governor’s security staff is not going to give you information on everything you ask for, nor should they and neither will the county sheriff’s office and my office nor should they.
FitzGerald says Kasich has not provided an accounting of all of his whereabouts over the past couple of years either. And FitzGerald says it’s Kasich who created JobsOhio, the state’s non-profit job development company, that now, under state law, is able to keep much of its information private.