And the reporter who had this information (of course) conveniently misses both.
During the Issue 3 campaign John Kasich was asked, multiple times, what his stance was. For the most part, the Central Ohio Republican refused to issue any opinion. He demurred and claimed that he simply hadn’t studied the issue. The closest he came to offering any opinion strongly suggested he supported the issue at least conceptually:
“I’m not ideologically opposed to gambling,” the former Westerville congressman said. “I haven’t made up my mind on it, but I’m not going to say we’re not going to do it and pound my fist on the table. We’ll have to see, and that doesn’t mean we are going to do it. We’ll have to take a really hard look at it.”
Kasich said he is not sure what state-sanctioned gambling “ought to look like, although I have a sense that the state ought to own it and lease it if it’s going to work.”
(See, Kasich is a socialist!)
“If people in Ohio are going to Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan (to gamble), we have to honestly look at whether, if they want to do that, we can keep them here and we can benefit and lower their taxes, not patch holes in a budget.”
[Source: Columbus Dispatch (July 31, 2009) “Kasich open to expanded gambling.”]
A month after the voters approved Issue 3 (except in Central Ohio), John Kasich has finally issued his opinion– he thinks Issue 3 is a “bad deal” and shouldn’t require a casino . . . in Central Ohio. I’ve heard of politicians be poll-driven, but this is ridiculous.
Trivia fact about Kasich: His middle name is Comelately. Johnny Comelately Kasich:
[Source: Columbus Dispatch (Dec. 11. 2009) “Kasich backs plan to oppose casino.”]
“I’m totally for it,” Kasich said. “I’m for anything that’s going to give us another bite of the apple. We didn’t want this (casino) here. The voters didn’t want it here, and each thing that gives us a chance to have home rule and a chance to be able to make a decision about the fact that we don’t want this thing shoved down our throat, I think is very good.”
Kasich called Issue 3 “a bad deal” and said he would support a statewide amendment to change its terms. The four Ohio casinos each is to pay a 33 percent tax on gross revenue, lower than in many states, including the 55 percent rate in Pennsylvania. Moreover, each casino would pay the state $50 million for a license, well below the $300 million or more the state could fetch per license, casino-industry analysts say.
“Anything we can do to change this around, I’m for,” Kasich said. “To give us a chance to say no and not disrupt our community, particularly when — just thinking about the Arena District and all the investment and all the good work with the (Blue Jackets) hockey team and Huntington Park and that. There’s so much excitement in that area. I just think we should be able to have a chance to reject this (casino).”
On a side note, both Dispatch articles were written by Joe Hallett, and yet, the obvious flip-flop seemed to get by him. (The closest Hallett came was to point out that Kasich didn’t campaign against it.)
Kasich had opportunity after opportunity to call Issue 3 a bad deal. There’s not a single objection he’s raising that wasn’t been raised by Issue 3’s opponents at the time. And yet, it’s only after it’s a clear that central Ohio opposes it does Kasich finally express an opinion that he could, and if he genuinely felt that way, should have said at the time. If this isn’t a typical politician reacting to the political winds after the fact, what is? John’s finger must be freezing be stuck in the air that long.
Now for the most ironic political statement of the year:
Kasich said Issue 3 passed because “people were worried about jobs. I think that in some parts of the state they thought that this might help them. This is illustrative of the fact of grasping at straws here. So, we got a bad deal, which people really didn’t fully understand, and we don’t want it here.”
This from a candidate who’s entire campaign is about using Ohioans fears over jobs to get a massive tax giveaway to the rich passed into law, even though it would reduce state revenues by nearly 40% and Kasich has made no indication that he has a plan to pay for it. Yet another “observation” that apparently slipped by Hallett.
And if Kasich grounds his objections on home-rule grounds, he’s inviting skepticism from gun rights advocates. What’s the difference between allowing Columbus to outlaw casinos and assault weapons? Kasich’s statement doesn’t appear to make any distinction.
In short, you’re seeing the paper tiger that is John Kasich. He’s Ken Blackwell 2.0.