Dawn of the Planet of Attack Ads (Plus: FitzGerald Driving with Temps?)

click to enlarge Dawn of the Planet of Attack Ads (FitzGerald Driving with Temps?)
Sam Allard / Scene
The most recent Ed FitzGerald controversy — a sultry, wee-hour Westlake Rendezvous from 2012 — didn’t appear in political attack ads which were excreted upon the airwaves yesterday. But John Kasich and his campaign operatives have painted the Democratic challenger as a “risky” choice for guvna.

In Kasich’s ad, a woman reads about FitzGerald’s credentials on “a computer” and is stunned to discover that the Cuyahoga County Executive gave a government contract to his former campaign manager’s lobbying firm, used a county employee to vet his political donations, and refused to release records related to his time at the office.

“FitzGerald for Governor? Sounds risky,” the woman concludes.

FitzGerald’s press corps issued a response Tuesday morning which called Kasich far riskier, citing various examples of nepotism among the governor’s appointees and listing prominent folks who “cashed in” on their relationship with him.

They also continued to attack the Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges, a 32-year-old scumbag who’s already been convicted on corruption charges and who reached out to FitzGerald on Twitter (Fitz claims) advising him to “come clean” to his wife and children in regards to the Westlake hullabaloo from last week.

 But FitzGerald’s response didn't mention the incident directly. He and Joane Grehan, an economic development professional from an Irish trade delegation, were theoretically interrupted, “just talking,” by a Westlake police officer at 4:30 a.m. in October, 2012, in an industrial complex’s parking lot near Crocker/Bassett. A late-night worker had called police when he saw the vehicle rocking back and forth and wondered, not unjustifiably, if people were having sex in there.

FitzGerald maintains that he and Grehan were merely “getting their bearings” and mapping a route back to an unknown hotel after being separated from a larger group. The narrative is so phony and full of holes that there’s not point dissecting the details here.

But a new and frankly hilarious twist has emerged in what we can ironically call "the scandal" or maybe "GrehanGate": At that time in 2012, FitzGerald didn’t even have a proper Ohio Driver’s License. He was cavorting around with his learner’s permits! FitzGerald, for the record, was then 44 years old.

The Columbus Dispatch first uncovered that juicy bit of intel, and here’s what it means: For all Fitz’s ranting and raving and swearing that the Westlake incident didn’t even result “in a minor traffic ticket,” the moment he eventually dropped Grehan off at her hotel and drove home, he was in violation of Ohio law. Temporary permits require that the driver be accompanied by a licensed driver.

Through a spokesman, FitzGerald has apologized for his mistake and assured voters that since November, 2012, he's had a regular Ohio Driver's License.

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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