Okay, so it turns out last week’s pronouncement that Kasich’s income tax repeal was dead was premature.
It turns out that there are two different ways Kasich talks about his own policy. When he’s at a MSM media covered event or being interviewed by the MSM, he just talks about “reducing spending so that we may be able to cut taxes.” But, apparently, when he’s on conservative talk radio, like he was on Friday, Kasich still “braves” to actually talk about repeal—even though he is afraid to use that term to a wider, less conservative audience.
John Kasich is doing what major parties candidates routinely do this time of year: run to the middle. The question is whether Kasich is which audience is Kasich being disingenuous. (Kasich’s interview actually highlights things that Strickland is doing that GOP Governors’ failed to do to: leverage pubic-private partnerships to leverage regional strengths.)
Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch had a more substantive interview of all of the candidates for Governor, but Kasich said something that frankly surprised me:
11. Would you renew the 2007 executive order that no one can be fired from or denied a state job on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity? Do you support legislation passed by the Ohio House that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation?
John Kasich voted for DOMA. He voted to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting in D.C. But now Kasich, who’s running on a campaign that state regulations are harmful for businesses has said that he supports addition regulations that bar employees from discriminating against employees on the basis of either their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I have to admit that it’s a surprising stand for Kasich to be making, bucking his party’s orthodoxy (and his own record on GLBT issues.)
What’s also interesting is that not a single conservative blogger has mentioned it. Phil Burress, who has been threatening lawsuits over Gov. Strickland’s pro-GLBT actions, has been curiously silent.
Kasich’s announced position puts him at odds with Senate President Bill Harris who has let the bill that the House passed giving anti-discrimination protections to GLBT Ohioans die in committee. Kasich’s support also counters the GOP criticism that the bill is anti-business (unless Kasich is also anti-business, which might explain the collapse of Lehman Brothers… he’s bringin’ it down from the inside!) I wouldn’t be surprised if Kasich’s tacit support for the bill wasn’t used by its proponents to turn up the heat on the State Senate when it’s back in session.
Like Kasich’s gun record, Kasich’s answer in Sunday’s paper might depress support for Kasich within the remains of the ORP’s social conservative base, who, let’s face it, is being virtually ignored this year after being catered to with an anti-gay marriage amendment during the 2004 elections.
Is this evidence of a non-social conservative GOP, or a ticket who is actively avoiding hot button social issues that play well to the GOP base, but not the center?