So far, not a single media outlet has reported on the events in Florida (except this one) as far as I can tell. In fact, there’s been precious little discussion about a bill that is fast tracked for approval by the full House of Representatives as soon as tomorrow.
And yet, only one paper, the Columbus Dispatch, is the only paper to endorse the measure. In fact, a high number of papers who supported Kasich during the campaign now are begging the legislature to slow down and revamp it.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer “Slow and Careful on JobsOhio”:
“At a minimum, the House and Senate must require the state auditor to audit JobsOhio; give Ohio’s inspector general the fullest possible jurisdiction over JobsOhio; and set the tightest possible ethical and disclosure rules. Anything less invites trouble.”
The Canton Repository:
Last week, lawmakers added concessions to transparency and accountability in House Bill 1, the legislation that creates JobsOhio. But its underlying presumption — that the public must make a case for openness, rather than JobsOhio justifying exemptions to open-records and open-meetings laws — undermines both the letter and the spirit of Ohio’s public-access laws.
HB 1 is likely to pass this week. Ohioans should want this experiment in growing a strong, healthy economy to succeed.
State government needs to be strong and healthy, too, by accounting for its performance to Ohioans who are citizens and taxpayers as well as employees and employers. The state’s leaders owe it to Ohioans to keep a close eye on how the privatization of this key government function unfolds.
Even the conservative paper, the Wheeling Intelligencer:
JobsOhio will not be subject to some of the safeguards fully public entities must comply with to ensure they are getting results, not just wasting money. For example, it will be exempt from most public records and open meetings requirements. The JobsOhio board of directors will be able to hold closed meetings for purposes as vague as discussing general business strategy.
Lawmakers should not allow JobsOhio to operate without transparency and oversight to the greatest extent practical.
The Chillicothe Gazette:
The bill will head to the Senate soon and, with Democrats likely unable to add accountability to the bill, faces quick passage. JobsOhio might be worth the risk, but we think more accountability about the public’s business — and jobs and the economy of our state is certainly public business — is necessary.
The Gazette editorial is funny because it has a romanticized view of our new Development Director:
Kasich’s handpicked leader for this idea is Mark Kvamme, a successful venture capitalist. He’s already on record that he’s going to bring a "Silicon Valley start-up approach" to Ohio’s economic development and has spent a lot of time touting the state’s strengths and pledging to shore up its weaknesses.
Most Silicon Valley start-ups fail and result in bankruptcy. That’s a fact. And that’s our economic development model? Copying off the IT bubble? Great!
These are all papers that endorsed Kasich. And they’re all saying that JobsOhio is moving too fast and is a recipe for disaster considering its lack of accountability and transparency. Other papers like the Akron Beacon Journal has already blasted it.
Only the Columbus Dispatch has endorsed it and claimed it was sufficiently transparent and accountable. Must be lonely for them.