Let’s look back at the one-month anniversary of Ohio’s least popular politician.
During the transition period, we criticized the Governor for the shocking lack of diversity in his Administration—a point later condemned by media outlets that had endorsed the Governor like the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Kasich then took office after a flair up of controversies about the lack of transparency in Kasich’s inaugural activities… this after Kasich during the transition refused to release the resumes of those who applied for jobs in his Administration.
We prayed that the new Governor would be a better Governor than he was a Governor-elect. He proved that God isn’t answering our prayer… at least not yet.
- By far, our most viral post ever was our post revealing that Kasich had declared St. Patrick’s Day as MLK, Jr. Day in Ohio.
- Kasich’s office then scrambles to scrub their website of the MLK, Jr. resolution gaffe.
- Kasich Administration admits that the Governor told an African-American State Senator who offered to help the Administration find qualified candidates with a racial diverse background that “I don’t need your people,” but maintains that the Governor meant people of her party’s assistance, not her race.
- In addition to the above, Governor Kasich quietly broke a campaign promise and discontinued an anti-discrimination for transgendered Ohio employees he gave an unqualified promise before the election to continue. No explanation for Kasich’s actions has yet to be given.
Fiscal conservatism fail:
- Our second most popular post last month, and one of the most popular ever, was Joseph’s exclusive story on Kasich’s top staff salaries going way up over their counterparts in the Strickland Administration.
- Kasich, first, denied our story was accurate.
- Kasich, then, quietly issues a revised budget showing that our story was entirely accurate. Kasich excused the salary raises as needed to pull top talent away from the private market.
- I point out that none of the people getting major raises have a significant history of being in the private sector.
- Joseph points out that that the rest of Kasich’s staff has largely avoided the private sector like the plague, too. No media follow up on Kasich’s lame excuse.
- Turns out that other potential folks tempted by going to the private sector, like Kasich’s running mate Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, are getting a big raise in salaries, too.
- On the same day Kasich’s Cabinet salary story breaks, Kasich sees the first of his Cabinet members resign for “health reasons.” No follow up from the Ohio media.
- Ohio Highway Patrol announces it’s asking for a record amount of taxpayer dollars to provide security detail for Kasich. Refuses to say how much, if any, taxpayer dollars went to modify the Governor’s private home after he announces he will not move his family into the official Governor’s Residence.
- Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor tells a Columbus TV station that higher security budget for Kasich is needed to “make Ohio more competitive” with other States.
- Quinnipiac releases the first poll of Gov. Kasich since he’s inaugurated. It reveals that he has the highest disapproval and lowest approval rating of any Ohio governor in this point in his term. A clear majority opposes just about every item of Kasich agenda tested.
- Quinnipiac later releases more data that shows that John Kasich is the least popular politician (state or federal) that they tested in Ohio. The poll included outgoing Governor Ted Strickland who leaves office with an approval fifteen points higher than his successor’s.
- Kasich seems to have appointed at least one person to the Ohio Ethics Commission who may not be eligible to serve.
- Kasich ODOT Director, having solved all of Ohio’s infrastructure problems within a few weeks, apparently has nothing better to do so he orders that the ODOT cafeteria air nothing but Fox News.
- After spending much of the transition period rallying against binding arbitration in pubic union contracts, a review by the Dispatch reveals that the system hasn’t been quite the financial sop to the public unions as portrayed.
- After calling a press conference so his Administration can politically grandstand about the Ohio EPA, the Dispatch reveals that Kasich’s Administration was taking credit for an air permit that had already been cleared for approval by the outgoing Administration, and that the entire thing was engineered by the Administration as a public relations stunt.
- Gov. Kasich then orders the busing of all Ohio EPA employees to Columbus so he can berate them for embarrassing his Administration by talking to the press.
Culture of Corruption
- Kasich reveals a JobsOhio plan that is widely criticized for its lack transparency and ethical safeguards… Ohio House Republicans speed it through the committee process for a quick floor vote virtually undaunted. Florida, which had been repeatedly cited during the campaign as one of Kasich’s economic development models for Ohio, suddenly announces that Florida is moving away from its privatized entity and returning to a more public economic development entity. At last reporting, the Ohio House Republicans are poised to vote to approve JobsOhio undeterred by widespread and bipartisan condemnation of the legislation or the developments in Florida.
- Kasich appoints to the Ohio State Board of Education a man whose family was donors to Kasich’s campaign and whose family was at the center of a major “pay-to-play” scandal in the Republican Party in the 1990s. The appointee had quietly dropped out of a race last year, without any public explanation, for an elected seat in the Board, only to get quickly appointed after Kasich and the Senate GOP conspired to prevent Governor Strickland from appointing anyone to the Board of Education.
- Kasich appoints California venture capitalist Mark Kvamme to be his Development Director. Kvamme and his wife and co-workers had donated tens of thousands of dollars to Kasich’s campaign. Kasich announces that Kvamme will judge which Ohio economic policies and programs should continue even though Kvamme admits he has ZERO public policy experience and is unfamiliar with Ohio’s polices and programs.
That’s all that occurred in the first month of the Administration. But I bet I missed something on this list, too. All in all, we’ve had our best month of traffic ever, even if you excluded the MLK, Jr. resolution. Thank you.
Let’s hope the next forty-seven months aren’t nearly this eventful. I don’t think we could keep up.