Politics

Published on October 14th, 2018 | by Anna Siriano

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Why Mike DeWine Won’t Debate Rich Cordray in Toledo

In the final moments of the third and final Ohio gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidate Rich Cordray publicly called on Republican candidate Mike DeWine to hold just one more debate. This one in Toledo.

“I think the people and voters of Toledo deserve that,” said Cordray.

The next day, DeWine met with the Toledo Blade editorial board and refused Cordray’s offer with the excuse that it does not fit the tradition of past gubernatorial races, which have capped debates at three. 


DeWine, though, has good reason to refuse a debate Toledo: he would be forced to confront regional issues that he’d rather forget.

Freshest in the memory is the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow, often known as the ECOT scandal. ECOT, which was created in Lucas County, lied about enrollment for years, yet continued to siphon up to $590 million in state funding away from public school districts.

Click here to find out how much money your school district lost to ECOT

When the scandal finally broke, Mike DeWine – who still has $36,000 of his running mate’s campaign contributions from ECOT in the DeWine Husted war chest – waited months to take action to recover $79 million in state money. Some critics say he could have exposed the corruption years ago.

The ECOT scandal cost Toledo Public Schools $9,590,036 schools and Lucas and Wood counties’ school districts $16.5 million.

But, this isn’t DeWine’s only case of questionable ethics.

Mike DeWine targets Toledo in his war on reproductive rights

This year, Attorney General Mike DeWine brought Toledo’s last surgical abortion clinic to court. When Justice Pat DeWine, his son, presided over the case and ruled to close the clinic, the court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed an ethics complaint against Justice DeWine for sitting on a case for which his father was the state’s attorney.

Months later, the clinic was able to fulfill the transfer requirements needed to reopen its doors, but DeWine continues to battle the clinic – most recently with a $40,000 fine.

DeWine’s Pollution Problem

Finally, DeWine would be put to the test on a distinctly regional issue that Toledoans will never forget. Mostly because they are reminded of it every summer when nasty green algae plagues their shores and their health is, once again, at risk. In 2014, Toledoans were left without drinking water for 3 days because a harmful algal bloom had crept into their water system.

It’s well known that the chief cause of toxic algae is agricultural pollution. Yet, DeWine has taken no action to hold large factory farms responsible for polluting the Maumee River watershed. In fact, during the water crisis, DeWine’s response was to tell strapped local health departments that it was their problem.


Even worse, just a year later DeWine sued the U.S. over a water rule within the Clean Water Act that would have empowered Ohio to better protect the water bodies feeding Lake Erie. 

Mike DeWine’s record suggests that he doesn’t care about Toledoans. But if they hadn’t already figured it out, his denial to hold a debate made his opinion on what Toledoans “deserve” very clear.

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One Response to Why Mike DeWine Won’t Debate Rich Cordray in Toledo

  1. Pingback: Health care is on the ballot in Ohio's race for governor - Swing State Voices

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