National Review’s Mytheos Holt attempts to “fact check” Strickland’s new ad attacking Kasich’s JobsOhio plan.

It would have been better if they hadn’t bothered.

Holt (who writes regularly about this site and its coverage of the campaign) claims that Kasich’s statements are taken out of context.  The only problem is that in the two months Kasich made those statements, he’s never made such a claim despite being asked repeatedly about these very issues.

I. On bonuses

Holt’s first point is that the ad neglects to mention that the bonuses will only be paid based on performance… Except that the ad does do just that.

KASICH: “… If they deserve a bonus, we will give them a bonus.”

So, the ad explicitly DOES mention that the bonuses are performance-based. 

II.  Source of funding.

Holt’s second point is that it’s misleading to say tax dollars will pay for these bonuses.  Again, Holt is protesting something the Kasich campaign has not denied.  While it’s true that Kasich expects some private money to be involved in his new corporate venture, he’s never denied that the State will be assisting with overhead costs.  Holt claims that Kasich denied that State money would pay for such bonuses, but he gives no quote from Kasich in which Kasich actually makes such a denial.  To say an ad is untrue over something that not even the Kasich campaign has denied is, itself, an untrue statement.

III.  On Wall Street CEOs and cronyism

Holt claims that Kasich never explicitly said he’d get Wall Street CEOs.  He’s partially right, but it’s misleading of Holt to say that Kasich did not talk about bringing out of State CEOs to run this:

Kasich’s most likely source would be people he met in NYC while he “worked on Wall Street.”  It’s a reasonable inference given that Kasich worked on Wall Street those would be a likely source of the out-of-state execs he, himself, was referencing.

Then Holt actually contradicts his own point on cronyism.  Holt says that this quote from Kasich from the same event proves that Kasich is promising no favors to his campaign donors and corporate cronies.

“We’re not gonna hire a bunch of rumdums, we’re not gonna hire political friends or contributors or any of that other crap that’s been going on in this state. We’re not gonna put people on the board of trustees who are a friend of somebody — we’re going to put the best people we can in these positions.

And Kasich did say that.  But even Holt later shows what else Kasich said at the event earlier:

“I mean, if you’re talking about getting some of our great leaders – I mean, if you get a Cheryl Kruger [sic] on the board – you know, Cheryl’s not interested in being paid, she’d like to contribute to our state of Ohio.”

You mean this Cheryl Krueger?

image

Cheryl Krueger, maxed out campaign donor, that John Kasich just talked about putting on the Board of JobsOhio two minutes before he claimed they’d be no awarding of positions to his political donors?

Like I said, perhaps the National Review would have been better off not saying anything.

[UPDATE:]  Apparently, Holt can’t take a hint.  He throws a conservative hissy fit filled with more non sequiturs and outright false statements about this post.  He writes not one, but two updates, but neither one makes any sense.

A. The Cheryl Krueger defense.

First, while knocking my spelling, Holt glosses over that he misspelled Krueger name, but more importantly, he glosses over his initial story failed to mention, at all, that one of the people Kasich mentioned putting on the Board is a corporate exec who is a maxed out donor and was there at the event to endorse JobsOhio.

Holt’s defense is how can it be cronyism if Krueger is supposedly willing to work on the JobsOhio Board divvying up the corporate welfare dollars if she’s, reportedly, willing to do so for free?  Holt can’t be that naive.  Assuming arguendo, that  she did such a thing, he misses the larger point.  Krueger said at the event that she felt her company didn’t get enough attention ($$$) from the current Ohio Department of Development.  So, she’s endorsing a plan of a candidate who she’s given the maximum amount of money to in return for a position on a Board that will decide—how much $$$ companies like her own can get from Ohio’s economic development pie.

This, Holt argues, is absent any whiff of cronyism or corruption.   He then conflates our concern about “pay to play” at work here with “anti-business paranoia.”  We, like many newspapers in Ohio, have called out Kasich’s plan for the obvious corruption it would breed (as it has in other States.)  That’s anti-corruption and anti-cronyism.  To call it “anti-business” is to engage in class warfare nonsense.  It’s a total non sequitur.

B. “Wall Street” CEOs

I don’t even know what this kid is trying to say in these updates.  Just because the ad mentions CEOs as running the company (CEOs like Krueger), doesn’t mean that’s all the ad implied would be involved.  Yet Holt feels compelled to attack his own straw man.  Holt, yet again, confuses Kasich’s comments about “young people” “staffing” the corporation as somehow refuting the claim that out-of-state CEOs will be “running it.”  This makes him the first person to ever have written for National Review who viewed management and labor synonymously.

Holt rants out pointing out that I am correct that for him to claim that simply because private money is expected to be involved does not prove that Strickland’s claim that taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for such bonuses is false or taking anything out of context.  Holt’s reply is essentially because I can’t prove definitively the negative, then his point is somehow valid.

Except that John Kasich has said, himself, that he would decide whether and who would get bonuses (he said that’s how he’s going to keep this Board and its employees accountable to him).  It’s ridiculous to think that private donors are going to let Kasich decide how their money is spent on self-serving overhead expenses like bonuses to his political appointees.  Then again, that raises the spectre of corruption.  Oh wait, that’s just more “anti-business” hysteria again, isn’t it?

But let’s get real. The real reason the conservatives are getting the vapors over this ad more than any other (including Invacare and the gun rights ad) is because they know that Kasich’s JobsOhio plan doesn’t test well.  Why else has Kasich failed to mention it a single time in a single ad?

The real reason the conservatives hate this ad has nothing to do with it’s content except this:  John Kasich looks like a real douche in it.  Admit that’s the real reason, and we can finally have an honest factual debate about it.  But all this other stuff is how many angels can we fit on the head of the pin nonsense.

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  • Anonymous

    I could have sworn that in the press conference, Kasich said he’d get the very best CEOs “in the nation” or some such thing. I don’t ever want to watch it again but I walked away with the very distinct impression that he’d explicitly said he’d hire non-Ohioans.

  • Anonymous

    He did. The clip is the second embedded video in the post.

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