John Kasich is supposedly an intelligent man, but boy, does he come up with some idiotic ideas.

The Kasich campaign was set today to make a major policy announcement, except his press shop completely fucked up and sent the release to bureaus chiefs and not the beat reporters, so some of them had no idea there was even a press conference (lots of people are trying to get their vacations in before the school year starts.)

Kasich’s latest “policy” idea is to decentralize the Ohio Department of Development by turning it into a private non-profit.

Joe Hallett from the Columbus Dispatch has the story:

Kasich would create JobsOhio and appoint a 12-member board of directors to oversee economic development efforts by the state. The board would be comprised of current and former chief executive officers, including some from small companies. Members would come from different areas of the state and industry groups.

About half of the current department’s 400 employees who are directly involved in development efforts would lose their jobs. Functions of the agency that are not directly related to economic development would be evaluated and moved to other state agencies.

Funding for JobsOhio would come from the state and private sources, including individuals, businesses, labor organizations and foundations.

Anyone see the obvious conflict of interest here?  The utter lack of accountability for the use of State taxpayer dollars?  We’re going to let business leaders decide  which businesses get state taxpayer dollars to subsidize their businesses.  What could possibly go wrong?

Matt Naugle (Right Ohio) tweeted just how efficient this idea of Kasich’s would be:


Indeed, left unanswered is how this autonomous, private non-profit corporation could be held accountable for its use of taxpayer dollars.  Who decides to sit on the board?  For how long?  What government oversight will it be subject to?  How can such a board function with obvious conflicts of interest arising from every single thing that it would do?

John Kasich wants to replace an agency of 400 career economic development professionals and replace them with business donors who don’t necessarily have Ohio’s best interests at heart.  The idea that this eliminates businesses from having to deal with bureaucrats is a great talking point, but it’s entirely untrue.  All you’ve done is replace a public bureaucracy with a private one.  That’s it.

As Naugle points out, Kasich wants to take the OBDC (Ohio Business Development Coalition) which already exists within the current structure of the Ohio Department of Development and expand it to replace the public agency entirely.

The question is does this “innovation” actually breed any better efficiencies or better decisions?  If everything is subject to this board’s approval, would Ohio be able to move quickly to package an economic development package to retain a major Ohio industry or lure one away from another State.

John Kasich’s plan to create jobs in Ohio?  De-centralize the State’s economic development efforts and disperse it from one state agencies to among the others while also creating a new private, non-profit organization as well.

John Kasich isn’t ending corporate welfare in Ohio… he’s just privatizing it.

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