For Immediate Release —
Ohio State Representative Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) has made a political calculation, and aligned herself with special interests who lobbied Lakewood city hall to sell over $100 million of public assets held by the city’s community owned hospital, for a mere $9.6 million.
In her statement, Antonio urged citizens to “move on” and vote in favor of the lopsided deal that closed Lakewood Hospital. Antonio incorrectly refers to an earlier ballot measure as having already given voters an up or down vote on the deal to close the hospital—the deal was not announced until weeks after the 2015 election. Issue 64 gives voters a chance to reject the deal and return hospital assets to the city. It was placed on the ballot by petitions, signed by over 3,400 of Antonio’s constituents.
Establishment politics are as unpopular in Lakewood as they are nationwide. In the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders carried Lakewood by 10 points. Since then, Bernie supporters and a new wave of like minded voters have reinvigorated Lakewood’s Democratic Club. These reform-minded Democrats have cast a wary eye on the hospital deal, and blocked the club’s endorsement of it. The club is in the process of a political sea change as old guard insiders have lost their grip on membership, placing future endorsements in reformers’ hands. Antonio seemingly is on a collision course with the new face of Democratic politics in Lakewood.
Additionally, Lakewood Hospital shipped out of Lakewood over 1,000 jobs, at an average annual income of $59,000. Astonishingly, Antonio supports the job-killing hospital deal, an unpopular position to be in for both Democrats and Republicans.
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