Kearney should withdraw from race

December 10, 2013

When Sen. Eric Kearney was announced as Ed FitzGerald’s running mate, it seemed like an inspired choice. As the Democratic Party’s leader in the Ohio Senate, he’s been a voice for expanded access to health care, for retirement security for workers, for children’s rights and for tax policies that benefit the middle class….

But below the surface lie serious problems that have already risen to obscure the issues that Kearney and FitzGerald should be talking to Ohioans about.

The business Kearney and his wife own, KGL Media Group, which does business as Sesh Communications, owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes to the state and federal governments. The amount still outstanding, including penalties and interest, could total as much as $826,000 (although some of it is still in dispute). The debts date to 2003 and were all accumulated since the Kearneys bought the business….

But staying in the race will be problematic for the ticket. For one, Kearney’s tax delinquency is serious and could undermine any debate about tax policies in Ohio. That’s a debate that needs to happen in the upcoming election as Kasich and the Republicans have cut business taxes, raised the sales tax and cut funding to local governments. Ohioans deserve a vigorous discussion on these issues free of the baggage that Kearney’s personal tax issues would bring….

That’s why Kearney should withdraw from the race, to give Ohioans a chance to have a fair debate on real issues that matter.

— The Cincinnati Enquirer