According to the Columbus Dispatch, Congressman Kasich is set to announce his second policy initiative with State Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Rep. Jim Zehringer (R-Greenville).

Based on the guest list and Kasich’s platitudes to date, it’s not hard to figure out what Kasich’s policy proposal is.  I guess he could possibly finally give some details about his income tax plan….. HAHAHAHAHAHA!  (Sniff)  Okay, seriously…

He’s likely going to endorse, in some form, their companion regulatory reform bills (HB 230)  and (SB 3) which have already passed the House and Senate and have been in a joint conference since May to work out the differences before the chambers broke for its summer recess.  In other words, once the two chambers can agree to settle their minor differences on the bill, it’s likely to head to Governor Strickland for his eager signature. 

If all Kasich is doing is, essentially, expressing his support for these bills in some modified form, he’s really doing nothing but try to seize the spotlight and take undeserved credit for something that is codifying essentially what Governor Strickland has been doing for the past four years and slightly building on it.   Kasich isn’t that stupid, is he?

As Gov. Strickland’s campaign website shows, Gov. Strickland already has a strong record of regulatory reform starting with his 2008 Executive Order, “Common Sense Business Regulation” Executive Order.  In fact, Faber and Zehringer’s bill does virtually little beyond taking Strickland’s Executive Order, which can be repealed at will by a change in Administrations, and codifies it into the Ohio Revised Code, making it permanent absent an act of the General Assembly.  The Common Sense Business Regulation Executive Order was part of Strickland’s “Advantage Ohio” regulatory reform package that Strickland started almost immediately upon taking office.

Advantage Ohio resulted in the total repeal of nearly 250 regulations and the substantive revision of over 1,800 others (which amounts to nearly half of all regulations) to make them more friendly to small business and economic growth.  The electronic notification of business people of relevant regulatory changes?  Yeah, Strickland already did that!

In short, it’s hard to imagine what John Kasich could possibly say on the subject of regulatory reform that doesn’t give Governor Strickland a perfect opportunity to talk about his record of regulatory reform—a topic that Strickland immediately tackled after being neglected by sixteen years of all Republican rule and has been hugely successful.

John Kasich very well may be the first guy to run for office promising to do what his opponent has already done.