Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dolan, FitzGerald exchange punches over corruption, family ties

Matt Dolan and Ed FitzGerald think they've found each others' weak spots.

Dolan's on the air with an attack ad that tries to tie FitzGerald, the Democratic front-runner for county executive, to the county corruption scandal.

Dolan's ad notes FitzGerald got campaign contributions from several figures in the scandal -- a fact first reported on this blog and in Cleveland Magazine's September-issue coverage of the county executive race. It doesn't say FitzGerald has given most of that money to charity. It cites FitzGerald's cameo appearance as PO14 in Dimora's indictment and slams him for opposing the new county charter.

FitzGerald has put out his own ad touting his anti-corruption bona fides as a former FBI agent.

He's also punching back. This morning he's holding a press conference at the county administration building, attacking Dolan, his Republican opponent, for a conflict of interest. Dolan's father owns the Indians, yet as county executive, Dolan would have to appoint members of the Gateway board, which oversees Progressive Field. From FitzGerald's press release:

Dolan has described his personal financial interest as being a "beneficiary to a trust" that owns a portion of the Cleveland Indians. The new County Executive will be involved in appointing 3 of the 5 members of the Gateway Economic Development Corporation, the landlord for the Indians and the Cavs. Gateway sets financial terms with the sports teams, often involving large sums of money. ... In addition, candidate Dolan has received $430,000 in campaign contributions from his father Larry, owner of the Indians, and uncle Charles Dolan.

Dolan has asked the Ohio Ethics Commission to offer advice on the Gateway issue. He's also said he'd recuse himself from Indians-related matters (which might not be easy). {Update, 10/20: Here's my new post about how Dolan says he'd handle this.} He went online Tuesday with a letter defending his family's donations to him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dolan, unfortunately, is making a HUGE, HUGE mistake by not attacking Fitzgerald's loooong record as a city councilman, and his brief record as mayor. There is a pattern of inaction and poor leadership that is more damning than any of his weak ties to the corruption probe. At this rate, Dolan's campaign geniuses are going to lose a winnable battle.