Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Wednesday, September 27

Ohio House 57th: Lundy (D) Challenges Martin (R) On Jail Vote and Charter Schools

Challenger Matt Lundy (D-Elyria), target of a misleading attack ad on behalf of incumbent Earl Martin (R-Avon Lake), is hitting back hard in the 57th Ohio House District race. The ad accuses Lundy of raising county taxes while serving as a city council member, an outright impossibility. Martin justifies the ad by pointing to a city council resolution in 1995 that cited the critical need to expand the county jail in order to stop early release of inmates. That resolution lent support to a sales tax increase for jail expansion, proposed by the county commissioners and approved by county voters.

A week ago Lundy challenged Martin to disclose his own personal vote on the jail expansion initiative. “I think voters deserve to know whether he supported locking up criminals or allowing them to roam our neighborhoods," Lundy said. "If he feels so strongly about this matter to attack me, he should at least disclose why he voted the way he did.”

Between 1992 and 1994 the Lorain County jail prematurely released more than 3,500 criminals to avoid overcrowding. "I stood up and took a tough stand to keep criminals out of our neighborhoods and convicted drunk drivers off of our roads," Lundy said. "What did Earl do? Did he support keeping criminals behind bars or releasing them back into our neighborhoods?” Martin only wants to attack and doesn’t want to talk about his record, Lundy continued. "He has failed our families on school funding, affordable tuition and jobs. He’s been nothing more than a rubber stamp for Bob Taft.”

Lundy's counterattack continued yesterday with a press release charging that Martin "supports siphoning off $250-million dollars a year from our public schools to show his loyalty to the for-profit charter schools in Ohio. He’s bought and paid for by David Brennan the king of charter schools in Ohio.”

Campaign finance reports show that David Brennan of White Hat Management has contributed $2,000 to Earl Martin’s campaign. Lundy challenged Martin to return the contribution and to stand up for public education by cutting funding for charter schools in Ohio.

“Earl Martin would rather fund charter schools than invest his time to come up with better funding for public education. Our property taxes are rising under an unconstitutional school funding formula and he is sitting there doing nothing about it,” said Lundy. “This is another example that his loyalty is to his contributors and not to our schools. This is why Ohio and our schools are in such bad shape. For Martin and the Columbus Republicans, it’s all about the money and not about our kids.”

Lundy vowed that if elected he would work to eliminate funding to charter schools and direct the money instead to public education in Ohio. “I will stand up for our schools and our kids. I believe our kids can compete with the best in the nation and the world. But we have a responsibility to properly fund schools in Ohio," said Lundy. "I represent real change for Ohio.”

Martin has so far refused to accept Lundy's challenge to engage in a debate.