For months now, Senator Kevin Coughlin has been leading an effort to oust Alex Arshinkoff from his Summit County GOP chairmanship. though he’s been vociferous about his opposition, Coughlin’s been mum about who he’s putting up against the party godfather.
Today, Coughlin finally put that matter to rest. Carol Klinger announced that she would be the brave soul vying for Arshinkoff’s seat. “I did this for the love of my party,” she says. “It was time for a change. We need to restore a standard of ethics to our party that have long been missing.” …
Klinger has served as an at-large councilwoman in Cuyahoga Falls. She also has a 25 year history in the financial sector, from her early days as an accountant to her job as Goodyear’s vice president of finance. “She has a very strong record of fiscal accountability,” Coughlin says. “Which is just what the party needs – someone to come in and clean up the books.”
Coughlin describes Klinger as Arshinkoff’s antithesis. While Arshinkoff charges the party for his monthly Audi lease, Klinger seems to be less flashy when it comes to the GOP’s checkbook. “We really need to look at how we’re spending money,” she says. “There’s a lot of financial house cleaning that needs to happen.”
And where Arshinkoff is often more than happy to engage in conflicts of interest, Klinger tends to avoid any sense of financial impropriety. Last year, when the Falls City Council voted to seize property through eminent domain, Klinger abstained because Goodyear had a shop in the same strip mall.
Klinger also condemns Arshinkoff’s pay-to-play politics, claiming that for too long the party has been exclusive rather than inclusive. “We need to pull people from all walks of life,” she says. “We need everybody involved, from booth workers to contributors. We can no longer be the party that excludes people.”
Klinger most recently earned headlines for introducing a law that cracks down on predatory lenders, severely limiting their presence within her city. “She’s well-respected in the community,” Coughlin says. “A confident, decent face for years to come is exactly what we need right now.”
A red-headed version of SNL’s Molly Shannon, she’s also much better looking than that gay dude in the fat suit. – Denise Grollmus