The race for Governor is going to be decided on two selling points:

1.? Can Strickland communicate his record with voters effectively enough to convince them to give him a second term?

2.? Can John Kasich’s broken record for massive “tax repeals” win over voters despite the fiscal costs and growing academic work (including from conservative groups like the Tax Foundation) that it won’t work?

In Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch column by Joe Hallett, Strickland picked up an endorsement, of sorts, that should give John Kasich’s campaign reason to consider knocking that repeating needle off its loop ASAP:

Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, told me recently that Strickland has helped position Ohio for better days: “We’ve got a tax structure right now that beats anybody,” he said.

The Ohio Manufacturers Association is a trade group that has historically overwhelmingly supported Republicans.? When I worked in the Statehouse, I remember how frustrated we Democrats were in how much the OMA was able to bankroll the Republicans they needed to get just about anything they wanted.? They threw one of the best legislative receptions with lobbyist in Columbus (ironically, McDonald’s lobbyist event had the best food, but it was catered by someone other than McD’s.)? The OMA is so tied to the Ohio Republican Party historically we used to joke that you didn’t know where one ended and the other began.

And now, its President has essentially endorsed Governor Strickland’s record on the signature issue for the Kasich campaign.

So let’s see, first it was the conservative Tax Foundation.? Then it was the President of the former Ohio Taxpayers Association.? Now, it’s the President of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.? John Kasich is running out of friends to potentially support his crazy tax schemes.

For the first month of the campaign year, John Kasich’s news has been just downright gawd awful.? I cannot remember any time that the head of the OMA praised a Democrat’s record over a Republican, until now.? And believe me, the head of the OMA doesn’t get that gig if he has a tendency to speak out of school.? They are one of the most politically disciplined organizations there are in Ohio.? For him to come out publicly in favor of Strickland over Kasich is huge.

Pullins referenced this in his tour de force earlier today, but how is Kasich going to convince Ohioans that his radical tax plans are the cure for Ohio’s economic ills in the face of the opposition of the Tax Foundation and just about every major business interest group in Ohio?

He’s not.

John Kasich=Ken Blackwell.

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