The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board rips John Kasich for plagiarism of Governor Strickland’s regulatory reform:

Yet what’s most striking about the Kasich plan is its own duplicative quality. In 2006, Ted Strickland campaigned making the same pledge. . . .  Almost from the start of his term, Strickland launched Advantage Ohio, part of a broader effort to improve the performance of government. In February 2008, Advantage Ohio resulted in an executive order setting in motion a comprehensive review of state regulations, especially those affecting business.

The ABJ notes the similarities in the titles of Kasich’s proposal and the 2008 Executive Order issued by Kasich which also seems to share a similar organizational structure.

The Kasich camp knows all of this, and responds with three words essentially: Not good enough. The campaign points to a legislative regulatory reform task force that reported in December 2008 continued problems with balky and harmful regulation in the state. That shouldn’t surprise. State government is a large enterprise, involving some 10,000 regulations. A program to repair regulatory kinks and flaws won’t erase all problems in a matter of months.

What deserves attention is the framework the Strickland team set up, plus whether officials have pushed forward with the effort. Kasich talks about transparency, feedback, respect for businesses and reduced paperwork. The Strickland effort hits all of those spots.

Might the pace have been quicker? That is easy to suggest. Are there still problems? Of course. That would be so under a most brilliant plan. For his part, Strickland at times has leaned too heavily toward aiding narrow interests, in particular, organized labor. On regulatory reform, he has delivered something strategic, overdue and purposeful.

Which raises a telling point: If Strickland identified the problem, and now Kasich wants to take his shot, what did Republicans do for the 14 years they commanded the Statehouse? In view of the regular Republican cudgeling of big government, you would think every last wicked rule had been axed or repaired. Finally, when lawmakers took aim at codifying the Strickland plan, their effort collapsed, the Democratic House and Republican Senate unable to reach agreement on legislation. Which left Ted Strickland alone to fight this good fight.

The point about the task force report is critical because Kasich defenders like the newly-wed Carpetblogger and Naugle have lamely used a task force report that was issued shortly after the Executive Order was first issued as an attempt to suggest Strickland hasn’t actually done anything substantive on the issue—but that report predated the repeal of hundreds of regulations and the revision of thousands more that were just starting to be reviewed when that report was issued.

John Kasich’s done more to get the media to start covering Ted Strickland’s record on this issue than anything else so far.  As I said on Twitter last week—give John Kasich some credit for at least redefining what it means to run on your opponent’s record.  I think this is prime material for a campaign ad on Strickland’s record.

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