Kevin DeWine Owes Apology to Yvette McGee Brown and Social Workers
Rhetoric has always been a part of politics.
But Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine’s statement about Yvette McGee Brown, whom Gov. Ted Strickland has named as his lieutenant governor candidate for reelection, moved from rhetoric to reckless.
DeWine called Judge Brown, “merely” a “social worker with no experience in public finance or state government.” Judge Brown is a highly respected former judge. As the catalyst for the startup of the nationally acclaimed Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, she now manages that organization.
Unfortunately, Mr. DeWine was not content to just demean an individual. His comments belittle the work of social workers everywhere who work with families and children dealing with serious issues.
In a statement, the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers recently said: “ … Mr. DeWine used the title ‘social worker’ in an attempt to discredit Judge Brown’s competence for the position of Lieutenant Governor. In doing so, Mr. DeWine demeaned the profession by declaring social workers unfit for public service.”
“For over 100 years, social workers have been active in shaping public policy at the local, state, and federal government levels. Social workers are qualified to hold public positions through their training and experience,” the Ohio NASW said.
DeWine’s histrionics aside, Judge Brown’s service to the public is well known. Before I was elected Secretary of State I served on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court bench with her. When she courageously left to pursue her passion of helping families and children in Franklin County, many felt the loss of her service, because she is a tireless advocate.
Mr. DeWine’s assertion that she has no experience in “state government,” is flatly wrong. Judge Brown served as legal counsel for two state agencies, served as a member of the Ohio Elections Commission in 2008 and 2009 and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Ohio University.
Kevin DeWine should apologize to Yvette McGee Brown for misrepresenting her record and to social workers everywhere for his dismissive and demeaning characterization of social work as a profession not worthy of state service.
Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate