Columbus — Republicans want records of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ed FitzGerald’s comings and goings as Cuyahoga County executive.
Democrats want records of Republican Mary Taylor’s comings and goings as lieutenant governor.
And both sides were lobbing rhetorical bombs June 12 during morning press conferences in Cleveland and Columbus, jockeying for political position as the Kasich and FitzGerald campaigns shift toward what likely will be a heated summer campaign season.
In Cleveland, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges announced plans to file suit to force FitzGerald to release records of his county keycard usage, disclosing when he was in his office and when he was not.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group earlier requested the information, but the records were withheld due to security concerns.
Borges said June 12 that the Ohio Republican Party also has requested the records and will pursue legal remedies if FitzGerald does not release them.
“These are public records, and Cuyahoga County officials have consistently acknowledged that by releasing them, including Ed FitzGerald’s predecessor Jimmy DiMora, who is in federal prison today for public corruption crimes,” Borges said in a released statement. “… I hope that FitzGerald will not waste thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting to keep these public records secret and will instead follow the law like every other county official has done.”
Meanwhile in Columbus, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern had a press conference of his own, where he announced his intentions to file a request for keycard and scheduling details of Taylor to determine here whereabouts during workdays.
“To get onto the 30th floor [of the downtown Columbus building that houses the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor], there is a keypad, a fob pad,” Redfern said. “I’m interested in if Mary Taylor’s going to respond to our request to release her travel records in and out of the Riffe Center, in and out of the Department of Insurance.”
He added, “I look forward to the same kind of exuberance demonstrated by Mr. Borges attempting to get Mary Taylor’s travel records, if they, in fact, exist....”
The lieutenant governor has been the subject of increased criticism from Democrats in recent days after the departure of two employees, including her chief of staff, after a public records request from the liberal blog Plunderbund revealed discrepancies in their time sheets.
The administration has asked the inspector general’s office to investigate.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.