This ad is so inside baseball, I don’t even have the slightest clue what they’re talking about.

The RGA continues with their entire focus on Strickland because he’s the front-runner and incumbent, and, let’s face it, John Kasich has yet to offer Ohio anything to compare him to Strickland.

This ad is just terrible, but still better than the Incredible Hulking Kasich ad.

I don’t think most voters will understand it. And it invites Strickland’s campaign to boast about his fiscal conservative record… which is exactly what it did in response:

“The record is clear: Ted has made the tough choices that Congressman Kasich only talks about. In the face of a global economic recession, Ted balanced two budgets and cut the size of state government for the first time in modern history, all while overseeing historic tax cuts for Ohioans. Given Ted’s record of accomplishment and Congressman Kasich’s record of support for trade deals that outsource Ohio jobs to Mexico and China, it’s not surprising that the Congressman from Wall Street needs to get bailed out with misleading ads from his friends in Washington.”

Background:

Strickland Cut Size of State Government

Strickland Cut $1.5 Billion From 2008-2009 State Budget.  After signing the lowest growth budget in 42 years into law, Strickland cut the budget by an additional $1.5 billion to maintain a balanced budget. [HB 119, 6/30/2007; Ohio Office of Budget and Management.]

Strickland’s Budget Decrease A “First” In Modern Ohio History. The budget Strickland signed in 2009 represented the first time in modern Ohio History that biennial appropriations decreased compared to the previous biennium. [HB 1, 7/17/2009;Ohio Office of Budget and Management.]

Strickland Reduced 2010-2011 Budget Appropriations By Additional $1.9 Billion. Compared to actual spending in the previous (’08-09) biennium budget, Strickland passed a budget that reduced general revenue appropriations by $1.9 billion. [HB 1, 7/17/2009; Ohio Governor’s Office]

Strickland Reduced The State Workforce By 7.8%. According to the Department of Administrative Services, “There are 4,929 fewer employees since the beginning of the Administration–a 7.8 percent drop, resizing state government back to the level it was during the 1980s.”  [Department of Administrative Services State Employee Trend Report]

Strickland Achieved Historic Medicaid Savings and Efficiencies. The state set records for cost containment in Medicaid expenditures, saving nearly $1 billion in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Despite record caseload increases, these cost containment strategies allowed the state to end fiscal year 2009 and 2010 under Medicaid spending targets. [Office of the Governor; Job and Family Services]

Strickland Worked With State Employees to Save Over $440 Million In FY 2010-2011. The state estimates savings of $191.8 million in each year for the FY 2010-2011 biennium from reduced pay. Changes to the state health insurance, such as higher co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums, and a dependent eligibility audit realized a net savings of $28.5 million annually for the state employee health insurance fund. [Office of the Governor, HB 1, 7/17/2009; $191.8+$191.8+$28.5+$28.5=$440.6 Million]


Strickland’s Fiscal Management, Embrace of Tax Reforms Positioning Ohio for Growth

Strickland Presided Over The Largest Tax Cut In Modern Ohio History. Ohioans now pay $1.8 billion less in taxes each year because of Strickland’s refusal to repeal the tax reforms in HB 66, despite a hard economic environment. State income taxes are now 16.8% less than in 2004, and the elimination of the tangible personal property and corporate franchise taxes on businesses have been completed under Strickland. [HB 66, 6/30/2005; Ohio Department of Taxation]

Columbus Dispatch Commentary: Strickland Not Responsible For Economic Downturn-Even Republican Business Allies Agree He’s Positioned The State For Job Recovery Through Tax Reform. According to Columbus Dispatch Commentator Joe Hallett, “But Strickland spoke the truth last month when he said, ‘I am not responsible for the (national) recession, but I am responsible for the decisions I’ve made and am making in helping this state move through the recession.’ Strickland has had the misfortune of serving during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. He can’t be blamed for that. Virtually every state in the union has lost plenty of jobs and is awash in red ink. Ironically, Strickland responded to the crisis by doing what Republicans wanted him to do: preserve the landmark 2005 tax reform, including a 21 percent, five-year cut in the state income tax. Last month, he grudgingly delayed the final 4.2 percent of the cut to balance the budget. 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.’For the state level, we have the best tax structure for an export-oriented, goods-producing state in the country.'” [Columbus Dispatch, 1/10/2010]

Plain Dealer: Ohio Has Strong Fiscal Management. The Cleveland Plain Dealer pointed to the Pew Center for the State Grading the States Report which notes that, in regard to state performance, Ohio’s “strength is in its fiscal management.” Ohio ended its fiscal year on June 30th, with a cash balance, despite difficult economic times. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/18/2010]

Early in his term, even the conservative Buckeye Institute publicly admitted that Ted Strickland’s budget was the fiscal conservatism that Republican candidates promised, but never delivered.

The Carpetblogger likes to talk about how much money the RGA has over the DGA (because it helps him gloss over Kasich’s financial disadvantage), but I think the RGA is bankrupt on quality ad producers.  The latest Rasmussen poll shows viritually no change in the race, but a slight three-point uptick in Strickland’s support from three weeks ago, and I don’t think the anti-Kasich ads are even running right now.

This latest ad is so forced it’s almost comical.

“Pulled a Boehner” works better.  Heh…. I said Boehner.

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