From the Cincinnati Enquirer’s “Opinionati” blog:

Pharaoh Kasich trips over anthills on his way to the pyramid

Those pesky, problematic little anthills — you never know when they are going to pop up and ruin your day.

And if you happen upon one with fire ants, you are in real trouble.

Gov. -elect John Kasich (R) told a group of fire ants — err, reporters — yesterday that he’s “tripping over anthills on the way to the pyramids,” implying that Ohio’s sunshine laws were already becoming a hindrance to his administration, although he does not even officially take office until Jan. 10.

Just so there’s no confusion here, Mr. Kasich, the reporters will keep pursuing transparency as long as you are in public office.

And while I hate mixing metaphors, the old adage works here: if you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

When Kasich met with the Enquirer prior to November’s election, he said he was in favor of government openness.

“I’m not worried about transparency. I’m not going to get hung up on that stuff. If you’ve got something you want to know, I’ll tell you. I’m not here to ‘hide the pea.’ My bias is toward openness.”

It should come as no surprise that sometimes candidates are, shall we say, less than honest during campaigns, but Kasich is already habitually thumbing his nose at Ohio’s sunshine laws, and that is worrisome.

[After discussing the controversy of Kasich using his private organization to hide who he is considering for public positions in his Administration]

Kasich’s initial decision to not release the documents and his excuse were both shameful, but his “compromise” was just as bad. By Jan. 10, there will be few positions — and almost certainly none of major importance — left to fill, and the “active” applications that will be available will not paint the whole picture. The public will still have no knowledge about every candidate who applied and whether some may have been more suited to positions than those who were actually chosen.

The public has a right to scrutinize a public office to be sure they are being best served, both by the people who work there and the money that is spent.

And it is those vexing sunshine laws — err, anthills — that make that possible, and the reporters’ — err, fire ants — job to make sure that the public has that opportunity, to cut through the bureaucratic red tape sometimes needed to actually get records.

We are sorry if Pharaoh Kasich does not appreciate our anthills, but the anthills are necessary to be sure that the pharaoh, high up in the pyramid, is doing his job.

And yes, that image was on the Enquirer’s site, we didn’t create it.

Ouch.  Ken Blackwell was the first statewide candidate I can remember an Ohio newspaper retracting an endorsement before an election.  John Kasich may become the first statewide candidate to lose a newspaper’s endorsements before taking office if Ms. Wellesley’s column is indicative of the attitude within the Enquirer’s editorial board.

Given that this post is getting heavy promotion on their Opinion page, I think that’s a safe bet.  Again, the job of being a Governor-elect is the easiest part of the gig… I mean, it should be.  For the most part your opponents hold their fire, and the media generally has nothing to write about except “honeymoon” inspired stories about this or that appointment.

Kasich is the first Governor-elect to bungle that job.  The first to cost the State federal funding before ever even taken office.  The first to get editorials, from papers who endorsed him, blasting him. 

The first to come into office talking about weaker ethics and transparency rules as a hallmark of the new Administration.  John Kasich’s favorability ratings with female voters is headed towards Ken Blackwell 2006 territory and headed towards Taft numbers.

I’d call this buyer’s remorse, but with barely getting 49% of the total vote, it’s fair to say Ohio voters, by and large, never “bought” into Kasich in the first place.

 

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