Ohio AG candidate blasted for press release flurry

Chris Rizo Sep. 10, 2008, 4:28pm

Richard Cordray (D)

Mike Crites (R)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-The Democratic candidate for Ohio attorney general was criticized Wednesday for issuing a press release nearly every other day since he was elected state treasurer 17 months ago.

State Treasurer Richard Cordray has issued 200 press releases since his election, Republican challenger Mike Crites' campaign said in a statement.

"Two hundred press releases in 18 months is a lot by any standard, but this certainly smacks of a career politician who has used his public office for his own political promotion at the expense of Ohio taxpayers," Crites' campaign manager Dan Baker said.

Crites, a former U.S. attorney, is a managing partner with the Columbus-based law firm of Rich, Crites & Dittmer, LLC. On his campaign Web site, Crites boasts that he is an "experienced prosecutor, not a career politician."

"With eight runs for six different offices in the last 18 years, Richard Cordray always has his eye on the next public office," Baker said.

Cordray said among the press releases he has issued include information for communities about how to save homes from foreclosure and how to protect families from financial shell games.

"Crites' attack is typical of the empty rhetoric put forth in the silly season by desperate candidates who are struggling to find meaning in their campaigns," Cordray said in a statement. "While my opponent was busy counting news releases in order to prepare his own insulting news release this morning, I was meeting .. with senior citizens and law enforcement--all of whom have endorsed my candidacy.

The Crites camp said Cordray has issued press statements to publicize the "everyday work" of the state treasurer's office.

"Richard Cordray has shown little true innovation as treasurer," Baker said. "Ohio doesn't need a status quo attorney general, and that's what they'll get with Richard Cordray. Taxpayers deserve an attorney general who's committed to doing the job he's been elected to do, not one who's constantly looking for a 'better' opportunity."

Cordray and Crites are running to fill the unexpired term of former Attorney General Marc Dann, who resigned in May.

A poll late last month indicated that Cordray is leading Crites 34 percent to 24 percent.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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