Former State Treasurer and State Attorney General, and former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chairman Richard Cordray – a candidate for Governor alongside his runningmate, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton – came to speak before the Licking County Democrats on January 23rd, 2018. In that meeting, he answered a series of questions. Here are some highlights as to his responses (paraphrased as best as I can, according to memory):
- He said that his campaign is “the best ticket for the working class”, made it a point to highlight that this includes both “organized” and “unorganized” labor. Later, when asked where he stood on a “living wage” and whether he supported such being attached to inflation, he expressed that he strongly believes in a living wage and likewise feels that it should be chained to inflation. He pointed out that the current minimum wage standard in Ohio is far too low and that another measure may need to be placed on the ballot. Also, he expressed his solid opposition to “Right to Work”.
- In response to a question which asked whether he supports an Ohio approach to a “Public Option” or if he prefers a market approach he said that he is open to “suggestions” on how to improve our healthcare in Ohio. Expressed his belief that healthcare is a “right” and that he would like to focus on preserving the Medicaid expansion, work on “affordability”, and improve our presentation of the “Healthcare Exchange”. He repeatedly mentioned throughout his visit the need to deal with the opioid epidemic.
- On local issues and how the state impacts such: Cordray expressed his opposition to what the Kasich Administration has done to the local government fund – for example, the changes stripped $2 Million annually from the city of Newark – and that he believes educational funding needs to be the number one priority. He then went further on education, highlighting the recent scandal involving ECOT and how the current State Auditor’s office seemingly dragged feet in dealing with such. Finally, he said that he and even a growing number of Republicans feel that some serious changes are needed for our educational system to help deal with the “skills gap” and perhaps to reduce the immense pressure for constant testing.
- Responding to a question pertinent to how he would go about working with the likelihood of a Republican-controlled legislature, he referenced his track record of working with Republicans and noted that he will have to find common ground. He also noted that it will be easier if we can flip a handful of State Senate seats to give him leverage to eliminate the veto-overriding supermajorities the Republicans presently enjoy.
- With respect to his answers on questions relating to winning over the voters; Cordray conveyed that he doesn’t see people as “Trump voters” or “Cordray voters”, but as “Ohio voters”. He assured the audience that he feels a segment of citizens whom voted for the current president can be persuaded if we reach out to them and hear them out. Also, he noted that engaging younger voters largely requires exploring “strategies” to “inspire” them, by giving them something to turn out and vote for.
- On party unity, he simply noted his belief that the party will – and MUST – come together, because a united party is a party which can win. He also took a moment to respond to a question which involved a reference to Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s campaign. In this respect, Cordray noted that he acknowledges Kucinich’s passion for the issues, but he sincerely believes Kucinich is unelectable.
- On wedge issues: Cordray was not hesitant in conveying that he is pro-choice, and he pledged to fight for restoring state funding for Planned Parenthood. Regarding guns, he said he believes in the Second Amendment and opposes the idea of any state-oriented gun control as he believes it would be virtually ineffective. In his opinion, implementing measures to deal with the gun show loophole and to create stronger background checks are the territory of the federal government. He expressed his desire to stick to economic issues and to avoid the divisive politics which accompanies these more controversial cultural debates.
Immediately following this post will be a SEPARATE opinion critique regarding this meeting, as composed by the author: Daniel Crawford.