Today, Joe Hallet wrote a column for the Columbus Dispatch guised as a “fact check” of Ted Strickland’s new ad attacking Kasich’s JobsOhio plan. In it, Hallett made a whopper of a claim about the “secret bonus” issue:
At the Tarrier Steel press conference, Kasich clearly was joking when he talked about the bonuses; he and reporters around him laughed when he said, "You all are familiar with bonuses … we will not require them to disclose their bonus."
Hallett is suggesting that Kasich only made the “secret bonus” crack when he joked about “you all are familiar with bonuses”–given his refusal to disclose what he made while working at Lehman Brothers. (Aren’t candidates who joke about not being transparent just a hoot!)
The problem is that there’s multiple questions and nearly eight minutes between the two comments. In fact, it takes two separate videos on YouTube to get the two quotes together. I’m putting up both videos shot by Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog. I’ve not edited these videos or clipped them at all. This is the raw footage shot by Mr. Kovac.
VIDEO 1: “You all know something about bonuses.”
[KASICH at 1:10]: And we won’t have any pay restrictions there, we’re going to pay them on the basis of how they produce. Uh, if they deserve a bonus, we’ll give them a bonus. You all are familiar with bonuses. [Laughter].
Kasich never mentions that the bonuses will not be disclosed. Don’t believe me? Then, watch the rest of the clip.
CLIP 2: Bonuses will not be disclosed.
During the last question, asked by none other than Mr. Hallett himself, and some ten minutes and multiple questions later:
[Kasich at 3:33]: “… But it would be the people, the staff in there, who are operating it, that we need to recruit, find, and pay, you know, a very competitive salary, so that they’re energized, and you know, this whole bonus thing, um, we will not require them to disclose there bonus, but uh, anyway…”
Hallett just flat out lied. Kasich was not joking. During the debate, Governor Strickland brought up Kasich’s secret bonuses. Kasich not once corrected him, nor did his campaign, to my knowledge, issue a fact check suggesting it was a lie.
The AP just did a story about Kasich’s plan (which ran unedited in the Dispatch) talking about the undisclosed bonuses. To date, it doesn’t appear the Kasich campaign has issued a statement disclaiming that “undisclosed bonuses” was a lie. Crain’s Cleveland Business did a story today discussing the bonuses. Again, nothing from the Kasich campaign demanding a retraction, correction, or press release calling it a lie.
The National Review attempted to “fact check” the ad. Not once did it claim that the secret bonuses was a lie… only that the ad didn’t mention it was based on performance (even though it did.)
But worse of all? JOE HALLETT RAISED SOME OF THE SAME CONCERNS IN HIS OWN EDITORIAL COLUMN HE NOW DISMISSES!
“Following a decade of unchecked corporate-suite avarice, particularly in the investment-banking realm Kasich recently left, his fawning devotion to the notion that corporate CEOs can fix the economy and government is, at the very least, politically nave.”
“What guarantees that a 12-member, CEO-laden board will act in the public’s best interest? How does Kasich plan to keep the CEOs from rewarding friends’ companies or punishing would-be competitors when reviewing applications for tax abatements, loans or other state incentives? And what’s to keep Kasich from using the board and the state resources it would oversee to reward his own political supporters?”
In other words, how can we expect that Kasich’s system won’t feed the same greed and self-serving actions that lead to the collapse of Wall Street, right, Mr. Hallett?
To say Kasich was never serious about secret bonuses though… well, disappears when you consider he discussed potentially dropping it during the Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board meeting:
Transparency shouldn’t be viewed as something that “hang up” plans. It should be something a candidate for Governor would strive to do, not settle.
And that’s why Governor Strickand’s ad is right. We just can’t trust John Kasich.