by Frank Lewis
Recently I got a flyer in the mail for a fundraiser for Lakewood Mayor Ed FitzGerald, which is interesting, because I live on the other side of town. He’s asking for some pretty small change as far as these events go: $35-$100. But the flyer was impressive: an 8.5-by-11, full-color, four-page glossy affair with two big pictures of his adorable family.
What's really eye-popping, though, is his “Friends of FitzGerald Fundraiser Host Committee.” This list contains more than 75 names from across the county — not only his own city council but mayors, city council members, school board members and ward leaders from East Cleveland to Strongsville. The list is headed by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, and both of the county’s congresspeople, Dennis Kucinich and Marcia Fudge. It includes two of three county commissioners (Tim Hagan and Peter Lawson Jones, but not Jimmy Dimora, head of the county party). County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, County Recorder Lillian Greene and Cleveland City Council President Marty Sweeney are also on the list, along with a dozen names with “esq.” after them. The most noticeable omission is FitzGerald's former boss, County Prosecutor Bill Mason.
Nowhere does FitzGerald mention what he’s running and raising money for, and his website isn’t any more forthcoming. FitzGerald was elected in November 2007, after being elected to Lakewood City Council three times, and he isn’t up for re-election until 2011. Rumors says he’s mulling a bid for state auditor, the office currently held by Republican Mary Taylor. The huge host committee of powerful “friends” he’s assembled for this fundraiser certainly gives strength to those rumors. — Anastasia Pantsios