(HT: Mark Kovac at Ohio Capitol Blog)
Stop what you doing. Watch this video. Then send it to every Ohioan you know.
If John Kasich had said this before the election, Ted Strickland would have easily won re-election. Before the election, Kasich talked about his Administration being the model of transparency, accessibility, and accountability. Now?
Now, Governor-elect Kasich just said on video that he thinks Ohio’s Sunshine, public record, and ethics laws are “silly.” How does Governor-elect Kasich reconcile what he said before the campaign and now that he’s won?
Seriously, listen closely to what Kasich says here:
“Now if you get sick, and your, and your disease gets worse and worse and worse, I, I, would to you that you get a better and better doctor.
“But today, if you get sick, under the governmental rules and all the ‘political correctness’ and all the open … Sunshine and all this other stuff, you get a worse doctor.
“And this, this is something we have to think about over time. We have it so difficult for quality people to come into the government.
“If I was to get somebody into the Department of Development who was a top-flight business leader, they’d kind of have to sit out of their business for a year…”
What is Kasich talking about here? The “cooling off” period on the lobbying revolving door in which people can go from lobbying the regulators to becoming one? No, that works the other way. You can’t go from a regulator to a lobbyist. But vice versa? That’s fine under Ohio’s ethics laws.
Pardon my language, but what the fuck is this idiot babbling about?
The only one-year ban I’m aware of is under R.C. 102.03 that prohibits state officials, or former officials a year after they left, from representing someone in front of the agency on a matter that official had personally participated in.
There is no Ohio law, rule, anything that would require a “top-flight” business person from sitting out of the business for a year… ever. Unless, of course, that person’s “business” is representing individuals in front of regulators, like an attorney or a lobbyist. But even then, that only applies while they are a public official or for one year after they cease to work for the State.
So, again, Kasich has no clue what the hell he’s ranting about. The only way Ohio’s ethics laws would prevent a “top-flight” businessperson out of public service is if that person didn’t want to subject themselves to Ohio’s weak “revolving door” lobbying ethics laws.
Why would the State of Ohio be better served by someone who doesn’t view public service as just that, but instead as a way to build political connections to cashier into personal financial enrichment?
And on a practical matter, what does Kasich have to worry about? He gets to name his own Inspector General and the new head of Ohio’s Ethics Commission as well as having his new political ally, Tom Charles, as the head of Public Safety.
The Ohio newspapers who endorsed Kasich with a reluctant endorsement of Kasich’s JobsOhio plan—a plan to privatize the Ohio Department of Development and allow a Board of self-interested business people divide the corporate welfare pie amongst themselves and other—need to seriously reconsider Kasich’s disturbing lack of commitment to transparency.
He engineered a legal scheme to try to keep all hiring decisions and considerations away from public scrutiny. Now, he’s openly talking about watering down Ohio’s ethics and transparency laws. What makes anyone still believe that JobsOhio will lead to an ethical and transparent process of doling out Ohio taxpayers money for corporate economic development?
The sheer arrogance of this man is only eclipsed by his ignorance. He apparently feels like Ohio’s laws about transparency, public records, and ethics rules shouldn’t apply to him because he’s just that much more awesome and great compared to the prior Administrations that we have nothing to worry about.
“Trust me,” Kasich demands.
We’ve heard this before.