October 24, 2006

The Economy in Ohio’s 6th District, and How Ted Strickland’s Would-Be Successor Betrays the Truth

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:50 pm

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland currently “represents” Ohio’s 6th Congressional district. During the campaign, he has introduced a “Turnaound Ohio” plan with some supposedly nifty ideas for helping businesses and Ohio’s economy grow. Noble-sounding ideas.

But it’s fair to ask what Mr. Stricklands’ tenure as 6th District congressman has done for the economy of “his” District during that time.

The answer provided in this map showing county-by-county unemployment as of the end of September is — “not much” (original source is map released by Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services today as part of that agency’s September report; scroll to bottom to find “Color map of county unemployment rates,” which is a PDF):


Here’s the rundown:

  • Every single county that is fully or partially located in “his” District has an unemployment rate higher than the national not-seasonally-adjusted average of 4.4%.
  • All but two counties in “his” district have unemployment rates higher than the state’s not-seasonally-adjusted average of 5.0%.
  • The two counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state are in “his” 6th District.

How bad is the economy in the 6th District Ted Strickland “represents”? It’s so bad that Charlie Wilson, Ted Strickland’s would-be Democratic successor, is bad-mouthing it, and strongly:

(Video in RealPlayer format can be downloaded here; e-mail me if you can send me a WMV or QuickTime compatible vid, or if you can find it on YouTube or GoogleVideo)

WilsonVidPic2 WilsonVidPic

Here is the incredible script of Charlie Wilson’s commercial repudiation of Ted Strickland’s 6th District economy (bolds are mine):

These tracks used to take products from Eastern Ohio all over the country. But now instead of a symbol of our strong economy, these tracks lead to half-empty factories.

I’m Charlie Wilson and I approve this message.

Because while we suffer, Washington is too busy with special interests to help us.

In Congress, I’ll oppose trade agreements that shift jobs overseas.

I’ll fight to raise the minimum wage and I’ll create new jobs to get us back on track.

Uh, Charlie:

  • Who has been the congressman of the redrawn 6th District for the past 4 years?
  • How many jobs did Ted Strickland bring into “his” district during those four years (or his old 6th District, for that matter, during the previous eight)?
  • Would you recommend that the rest of Ohio risk replicating Ted Strickland’s 6th District economy throughout the rest of the state?


UPDATE: Why am I saying that the 6th is “his” district, and the district he “represents”? Tune in tomorrow.

UPDATE 2: I would hope that the campaign of Chuck Blasdel, who is opposing “Green Card” Charlie Wilson (who doesn’t even live in the district), asks 6th District voters why they should elect someone from the same party as Ted Strickland after the economic performance of the past four years.



  1. I live in the 6th district. I’m glad someone finally noticed how Ted represented us. Not only do we have the highest unemployment rate but check out the test scores of the schools in the 6th. They are some of the lowest in the state.

    Comment by Dave Williams — October 24, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

  2. #1, I will do that.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 24, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

  3. Never knew that a Congressperson was solely responsible for the economy in their district. It’s like the President, Senators, Governors, State Senators, Joy Padgett’s tenure in the Office of Appalachian Development, the Ohio Department of Development, the county commissioners, countless county economic development offices, mayors, city councilpersons, and township trustees are completely irrelevent. Why do we even elect these people if our Congressperson is solely responsible for the economy?

    Comment by Modern Esquire — October 24, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

  4. #3, every county in the state has the same governor, president, and two US senators. Absent evidence, there is no reason to believe that any of these people are deliberately discriminating against the 6th District. The only variable is the congressman.

    If the other orgs you name are not trying hard enough, you would think we would hear Ted screaming about it on behalf of *his* constituents. Ted just drifts along, does not rock boats, does not get anything done.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 24, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  5. Um, you missed the point entirely, so let me spell this out: since when is a congressperson the sole elected official responsible for the economy, especially in a free-market capitialistic society?

    No offense, but are you saying that Congresspersons should “manage” and “plan” the economies of their respective districts?

    And doesn’t it matter that the Appalachian region, which Strickland represents, has historically had above average unemployment even when (gasp) they were represented by Republicans in Congress? And, in fact, the very region you mention, had higher unemployment rates before Strickland took office?

    I see that some of the other high unemployment counties on your map happen to be in Bob Ney’s district. No criticism there? What about Joy Padgett who was the director of Governor Taft’s Appalachian Office who was responsible for promoting economic development in the region?

    Comment by Modern Esquire — October 25, 2006 @ 12:14 am

  6. #5, you missed MY point. Ted has been invisible; he’s not “managing” or “planning,” and I don’t expect him to. I DO expect him to be there, to exist, to be present. It’s not just lack of results, though there is that, as CHUCK WILSON has said, it’s lack of effort.

    And if Ney were still running I’d be all over his butt about his situation. But, Ney isn’t running for gov.

    And (to finish the geographic thought) Jean Schmidt has something to prove in the eastern side of her region starting with her first full term. But, Schmidt isn’t running for gov.

    I can’t evalutate Padgett because I don’t know her geo area of responsibility. And Padgett isn’t running for gov.

    And besides, I’m evaluating someone who wants to be GOVERNOR on what exists of his “record.” “Record?” “Perhaps” it’s acceptable to drift along and pretend to do something while doing nothing to help an economy as a congressmen. It’s not OK if you want a promotion to governor.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 25, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  7. #!, Since Strickland voted for No Child Left Behind, and would I believe agree with Blackwell on it, I would suggest that test-score problems may be more local in nature or (in theory) due to funding-formula issues (though I think they are overrated as a problem).

    I’ll take your word for it that scores are worse at schools in the district, but is there anything Strickland did or didn’t do that would have contributed to that?

    Comment by TBlumer — October 25, 2006 @ 4:07 am

  8. I also live in the 6th District and Modern Esquire points out a valid argument. However people running for Congress always say like
    Charlie Wilson is saying that they will bring jobs to the district. Ted Strickland said it when he was running and the facts are the facts. He is a do nothing Congressman. His record as a Congressman is all we as voters have to go by and since he has not created one job in the District how are we to trust that he can do it for the State. Ted Strickland is no different than Bob Taft in that regard. Ken Blackwell has a plan that is tested and true. Cut taxes, make the state business friendly and the private sector will create all the jobs you need. Then you tax more working people at a lower rate and the coffers of the Government will become full. The Government is not in the job creating business the private sector is. The Government’s job is to make it business friendly and get out of the way! Vote for Blackwell if you want progress. Vote for Strickland if you want more of the same!

    Comment by Larry Long — October 25, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

  9. Here in Appalachia Ohio, as the name implies only deserves minimum respect. This was demonstrated by our once prominent representative, Mr. Strictland. I have to call into question Chuck Blasdel’s timid behavior and not getting his name out there prior to the election.
    So, Mr. Wilson, I predict you will raise taxes, will eagerly embrace the democratic oath of cut and run in Iraq will leave the hard working people in Applachia Ohio just as you found them, looking for work.
    Do you support education, or would rather have our young people enlist into the military, just as John Kerry suggests? Our economy does not need handouts, but fresh industry to support a self sustaining tax base within Washington County. So are you going to provide this much needed industrial invitation or incentive? Lower taxes might be the answer.
    I predict little changes in the next two years, or . . . maybe not?
    So what say you, Mr. Wilson?
    John W. McSherry
    US Navy (retired)

    Comment by John W. McSherry — November 9, 2006 @ 10:07 am

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