For state auditor, Ohioans will choose between two small-town attorneys — one a veteran Statehouse insider, skilled in partisan politics and the other an idealist with limited political experience and views that aren’t easily categorized.
For the breath of fresh air that is desperately needed in state government, The Dispatch endorses Democrat Zack Space.
State Rep. Keith Faber, his Republican opponent, has long been at the center of a Statehouse culture that has put partisanship and political power ahead of the interests of most Ohioans.
COLUMBUS -- Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space today reported raising $154,125.41 during the August fundraising period from August 4 to September 6, marking the fifth consecutive fundraising period in which Space has outraised Republican nominee for Auditor Keith Faber. Space received more than triple (419) the individual contributions of Faber (128) this filing period.
“Today’s filing proves that support for Zack Space’s dynamic vision for the Auditor of State’s office continues to grow amidst the backdrop of a corrupt state government,” said Zack Space for Ohio Campaign Manager Matt Hennessey. “Ohioans are ready for an independent and dynamic watchdog in the Auditor’s office, instead of a self-interested, transactional politician like Keith Faber.”
Zack Space, a former United States congressman and Democrat nominee for Ohio auditor, on Monday talked about his “Working Families First” plan during a campaign stop at the United Steelworkers Hall in Martins Ferry.
Joining Space to speak during the stop were Ohio Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga and Eran Molz, president of the Upper Ohio Valley Building and Construction Trades.
If elected in November, Space said he wants to position the auditor’s office to become a watchdog for taxpayers’ money. He plans to investigate the impact of NAFTA-era free-trade policies on the state. For example, he plans to do a special audit to measure how job losses related to free trade have impacted revenues for local government funding, along with schools and infrastructure.
MARTINS FERRY, Ohio (WTRF) - Zack Space, a candidate for Ohio State Auditor, was in Martins Ferry Monday.
Space said Ohioans lost more than 250,000 jobs due to bad trade policies in the past 25 years. He believes those trade deals benefited big corporate executives at the expense of working people and their families.
According to Space, the damage goes even beyond that.
"But what a lot of people don't think about and a lot of people don't talk about is the impact that these lost jobs have had on our communities. In the form of lost revenues. In the form of factories that have shut down. And what this means for local government revenues. The amount is staggering but it's unaccounted for. We don't really know the full extent of it," said Candidate for Ohio Auditor, Zack Space.
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Several labor unions met in Belmont County to hear from local politicians and candidates in the upcoming election on Monday.
The main topic was the impact of free trade on local communities resulting in lost jobs and less funding ...
"The ability to staff fire and police, ability to fund schools, fix roads, deal with the opioid epidemic, we have all kinds of challenges made worse by policymakers in Columbus,” Space said. “Our general assembly has decided to take more money away from our communities so they can give tax breaks to wealthy Ohioans."
Space is hoping to investigate that and help eastern Ohio as labor unions are seeking change.
The Ohio auditor doesn’t have much say over international trade, but the Democratic candidate for the office went to hard-hit northeast Ohio on Monday to highlight the toll he says it’s had on the region.
Former Congressman Zack Space of Dover held press conferences in Warren and Martin’s Ferry with other prominent Democrats to unveil his Working Families First Plan. In it, he proposes to bring “the full investigatory power of the auditor’s office to bear in determining just how much corporate globalization and unfair trade deals have impacted working Ohioans and their families.”
Ohio Democrats have been working hard to win back voters in a region that once was rich in coal, steel and manufacturing jobs. After many ditched the party for Donald Trump in 2016, the Democrats kicked off this election cycle last September by holding the first debate of the gubernatorial primary in Martin’s Ferry.
WARREN -- Zack Space, the Democratic nominee for state auditor, said if elected he would initiate a policy to investigate the impact free-trade deals have had on working Ohioans and Ohio communities.
Space, who will speak about the plan today at the United Steelworkers Local 1375 Hall in Warren, said: “Unfair trade deals have wreaked havoc upon Ohio workers for a generation now, resulting in hundreds of thousands of direct job losses and depriving our communities of essential tax revenues to fund public schools, infrastructure and essential services like police and fire.”
His proposal would include conducting a special audit to determine how much trade-related job displacement has affected local government revenues as well as an audit of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as to how it spent federal Trade Adjustment Assistance funds from 1994 to 2018.
In many ways, the greatest strength of Appalachian Ohio has also been our greatest cross to bear. Our beautiful rolling hills are blessed with an abundance of natural resources, which have formed our economic and cultural identity. Over the past 150 years, we have seen our ore quarried, our timber felled, our clay extracted, and our coal mined. And most recently, the Utica and Marcellus shale plays have enabled Appalachian Ohio to produce the cheapest natural gas anywhere in the world.
All of this, which occurred on the backs of our labor and the sweat of our brow, proved central to the United States’ massive growth and its rise to a position of global prominence.
Unfortunately — or perhaps by design — most of the profits generated from the removal of our resources went to wealthy investors, often from outside the region. The generational lack of economic diversity in Appalachia has made us uniquely vulnerable to economic changes outside of our control, with devastating impacts on families in our region.
MANSFIELD — Zack Space, former U.S. Rep. for Ohio's 18th congressional district, believes the Ohio auditor is uniquely positioned to effect positive change.
If elected this fall in the general election, the Democratic candidate for auditor of state said he hopes to help move Ohio forward by ensuring that public dollars are being spent in accordance with sound accounting principles and not subject to misappropriation or theft.
“I intend to do everything I can to work with those who receive state dollars, local governments in particular, local schools, to help provide the resources and training necessary to prevent problems before they happen,” he said …
“In addition to that, I want to use the powers of this office in a dynamic way to begin to restore faith and confidence in the institution of politics and government by ending gerrymandering and by shining a light on the corruptive influence of money on policy,” he said.
The race for state auditor is not typically the stuff of political lore.
But this year’s fight in Ohio features candidates with starkly different visions for the job. Also, they’re running against the backdrop of a massive scandal. And, as with so many races on the ballot Nov. 6, the polarizing presence of Donald Trump in the White House will factor into voters’ pick to run an office tasked with reviewing the performance of government agencies and keeping tabs on how they spend their money.
Ohio Democrats have been largely out of power this decade, but a number of scandals buffeting Capitol Square have them hopeful that will change this year. Zack Space, a former Democratic congressman from Dover sees that as an opportunity to broaden the mission of the auditor’s office to address what he believes are the big ills of our time.
LIMA — Ohio Auditor Democratic candidate Zack Space visited the West Ohio Food Bank as part of his statewide campaign to highlight inequalities he says are a result of a political system catering to “pay-to-play” lobbyists.
Space said many who qualify for food assistance are working poor who may work one or two jobs, but low wages kept low by corporate interests influencing Ohio’s politics keep them being able to purchase quality food. Roughly 60 people visited the food bank Thursday for distribution of fresh produce.
“Millions of qualified are working poor. Many of them are having a difficult time putting food on the table,” Space said. “Our experience has taught us (food banks) are never enough, and the demand seems to be growing.”
The Democratic candidate for the state auditor's office spent his day talking to people around Lima.
Former congressman Zack Space spoke to the Allen County Democratic Women about the state of politics in 2018. He also talked about what he sees as key issues in the race like gerrymandering and the influence of money in Ohio politics. He says he would like to see a return of focus on the people in Ohio rather than party politics.
"Too many Ohioans have been left behind by a political process that cares more about corporate wealth, cares more about political ambition than it does about the average Ohioan," says Space. "My campaign is all about making sure that everybody matters, everybody counts. That's the true hallmark of democracy."
COLUMBUS -- Keith Faber continues to mislead Ohio voters and the media about his long history of abetting Ohio’s for-profit charter school scam -- the biggest political scandal in state history -- which has bilked at least $80 million from Ohio taxpayers.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) acted lawfully when it ordered online for-profit charter school ECOT to repay tens of millions of dollars for unverified student enrollment. Hours later, Keith Faber claimed in the Columbus Dispatch that ODE has had the “long-standing authority to crack down on ECOT,” and that the “Department and Republican leadership properly used this authority leading to the closure of ECOT” -- both brazenly untrue statements.
COLUMBUS – Former U.S. Congressman and Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space has released the following statement following today's Ohio Supreme Court’s 4-2 decision to uphold lower court rulings that the state acted lawfully when it ordered failed for-profit charter school ECOT to repay tens of millions of dollars for unverified student enrollment.
“The for-profit charter school scam is the biggest political scandal in Ohio’s history," Space said.
"This scam – which bilked Ohio taxpayers out of at least $80 million – was perpetrated by unscrupulous and profiteering corporate executives, and abetted by the self-interested politicians they purchased with campaign contributions.”
The Democratic candidate for Ohio auditor says people have “rightfully lost confidence and faith” in the political process and government — and “the insidious impact of money on policy is something the auditor is in position to call out.”
“The most important difference between me and everybody else is that I’m really focused on one issue, one general issue and it has to do with process,” said candidate Zack Space in an exclusive interview with the Journal-News.
Space said when people lose faith and confidence in the democratic process, “they are more likely to turn to authoritarian figures, and to do things we may not like the end result of.”
COLUMBUS -- Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space today reported raising $239,331.25 during the July fundraising period from June 16 to August 3. Space’s July report is his second record-breaking filing this election cycle, and marks the fourth consecutive fundraising period in which Space has outraised Republican nominee for Auditor Keith Faber.
“Ohioans are ready to fix their broken political system, and our record-breaking fundraising numbers are there to prove it,” said Zack Space for Ohio Campaign Manager Matt Hennessey. “Zack shares the deep frustration Ohio voters feel towards their rigged political process, which for too long has been controlled by entrenched corporate interests, the wealthy donor class, and self-interested career politicians like Keith Faber.”
Former President Barack Obama took a public step back into the electoral arena on Wednesday, issuing a slate of 81 endorsements for Democrats running in the 2018 elections and giving his stamp of approval to more than a dozen veterans of his administration and election campaigns who are seeking office in their own right.
But Mr. Obama also extended his political blessing to Democrats running far down the ballot, backing legislative candidates in states such as North Carolina and Texas, as well as Democrats running for relatively low-profile offices, including secretary of agriculture in Iowa, state auditor in Ohio and lieutenant governor in California and Illinois.
Gerrymandering is a huge issue in Ohio… in fact, our state has one of the most polarized maps in the country, meaning the voices and votes of our communities go largely unheard. At the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC, we believe a fair democracy is the first step toward a fair vote on the issues we care about most, including environment, which is why we need a fair Auditor of State who will be a leader on redrawing our district lines in a more accurate way.
Space has made redistricting a top priority and will serve on the redistricting commission to draw better districts for the 2022 election cycle and beyond. As a former Public Defender and Congressman, Space has seen first-hand what redistricting does to a community, especially one that is underserved.
Down in Athens County, not far from the Ohio River and West Virginia border, lies the site of an old, abandoned mine.
If you know where to look, eventually you’ll find it, marked solemnly by a tall historical marker. A ghostly brick smokestack stretches from the Appalachian woods, reaching several stories into the sky.
87 years ago, 82 men were killed when an explosion in that very mine triggered its collapse. The Millfield Mine Disaster, as its known, remains the worst mining disaster in Ohio history.
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman and Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space issued the following statement Friday morning after the Ohio General Assembly passed two bills this week aimed at increasing oversight of e-schools:
“After allowing Ohio to become the ‘Wild, Wild West’ of charter schools, and derailing attempts at oversight for decades, Keith Faber and his colleagues in the Ohio General Assembly have decided that now is the time to care about oversight of for-profit charter schools. This is nothing more than election-year pandering and an insult to the intelligence of Ohio voters.
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman and Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space released the following statement Wednesday morning in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. The SCOTUS ruling prohibits public-sector unions from charging “fair share” fees from non-union members.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME is a victory for the wealthy special interests who at every opportunity seek to diminish and derail the organized labor movement. This particular case -- launched by a conservative governor, and decided by the inhabitant of a stolen Supreme Court seat -- proves the extent to which our broken political system is rigged to benefit corporations, the professional political class, and their donors at the expense of working people.
“A lot of Ohioans feel left behind in my part of the state, Appalachian Ohio. They are at a competitive disadvantage accessing health care, public education, technology. They don’t see anything being done for them. What they do see is a system that caters to wealth and political greed. They feel left behind because they have been.”
This is true in urban areas as well as in rural area.
That’s where his party needs to focus its attention.
In what might be a tight race for a less than glamorous job, this November Zack Space will have an opportunity to do what no Democrat has done since 1994 – win an election to the Ohio Auditor of State office.
Space, a former U.S. Representative for the 18th Congressional District – which comprises 16 counties in rural southeastern Ohio – sees the Auditor’s office as an opportunity to influence some key issues in the coming years. The office might not be as glamorous as other statewide positions but its influence is huge now and will expand soon.
COLUMBUS -- Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space today reported raising $271,147.87 during the Post-Primary fundraising period from April 27 to June 15. This marks the third consecutive period in which Space has outraised GOP Auditor nominee Keith Faber, whose sputtering campaign raised a paltry $61,507.79, the lowest total for any major party statewide candidate in a general election in Ohio since at least 2010.
“Keith Faber’s campaign for Auditor of State is in complete disarray. Ohioans are outraged with the deceitful and transactional politics that he embodies, which is why it’s no surprise that Faber raised less this period than any major party statewide candidate in Ohio since at least 2010,” said Campaign Manager Matt Hennessey.
Zack Space, a former Democratic congressman running for state auditor, is right to want further scrutiny of the failed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow and other for-profit charter schools in the state.
Space announced earlier this week that if he’s elected to the job, he’ll create a specialized task force composed of investigators, auditors and educators to look into whether Ohio taxpayers were ripped off by charter school operators.
He plans to call it the “Stop Charter Abuse and Malfeasance” Special Audit Unit.
Democratic auditor candidate Zack Space says that if elected, he’ll audit all of Ohio’s for-profit charter schools and that he’ll take a thorough look back at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — a politically connected operation that collapsed in a wave of scandal earlier this year.
Space, a former congressman from Dover, plans to create a Stop Charter Abuse and Malfeasance, or “SCAM,” Unit.
“The for-profit charter school scam is the largest political scandal in Ohio’s history, affecting all 88 Ohio counties and virtually every single taxpayer,” Space said in a written statement.
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman and Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space released the following statement Wednesday afternoon upon the 11th-ballot election of Ryan Smith as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.
“The fiasco that unfolded today in the Ohio House of Representatives is an embarrassing reminder of why so many Ohioans view their government with distrust and frustration. Instead of public officials working together in good faith to better the lives of their constituents, Ohioans see career politicians playing politics and waging internal power struggles over which faction is able to control campaign war chests. It’s a disgrace.
FINDLAY -- Democratic state auditor candidate Zack Space on Tuesday portrayed his Republican opponent, Keith Faber, as too cozy with money interests to become the state’s chief financial watchdog.
Faber has received a lot of campaign contributions from the now-bankrupt, scandal-ridden online charter school ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow), Space said during a campaign stop in Findlay.
Years ago, a bill came before the Ohio Senate to correct attendance reporting problems with charter schools. Faber, Senate president at the time, should have assigned the bill to the Senate’s Education Committee, Space said.
Democratic candidate for state auditor Zack Space was in Findlay Tuesday to talk about his campaign. Space said that his Republican counterpart Keith Faber is too cozy with money interests to serve the state as the auditor.
Space said that this cost public schools over 80 million dollars that went to the now-bankrupt ECOT.
Space added that he wants to use the position to help address the opioid epidemic.