Former Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections Director Reggie Wilkinson, who served in the Voinovich and Taft Administrations before retiring in 2006, was one of them. Wilkinson is currently the President and CEO of the Ohio College Access Network. We are told he was Kasich’s first choice to be the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, his old job, but he turned the offer down.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has already reported that the other African-American who turned down Kasich for a Cabinet position is Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo, who had just been appointed to his current office in 2009 after losing the Franklin County Clerk of Court’s race to Maryellen O’Shaughnessy in 2008.
We have been unable to determine with any reliability precisely what Cabinet position Kasich offered Mingo.
What makes this report somewhat comical/tragic is that it means that this site knows more about what is going on in the Kasich Administration than Lt. Governor Mary Taylor.
Yesterday, Lt. Governor Taylor was interviewed by WBNS Channel 10 News in Columbus who was doing a story about the diversity controversy in the Kasich Cabinet. And here’s what the Lt. Governor said:
"John and I, the governor and I, remain committed to racial diversity not only within our cabinet but obviously all throughout our administration," Taylor said on Friday. "We’ve offered two positions to African-Americans and unfortunately they took a pass."
Taylor said she did not know their names, and said there is a good reason not to make them public.
"Often times you have individuals that are applying for positions and their employers don’t know about it so we want to be very careful how we talk publicly about individuals who have applied for positions, been offered a job, and declined," Taylor said. "Maybe they wanted to stay with their current employer and don’t want to put information that puts them in an awkward position."
The Lt. Governor doesn’t even know the names as recently as yesterday of the two African-Americans that she said she and Kasich asked to be part of the Cabinet who turned them down. Even though the Cleveland Plain Dealer had already reported the name of one of the two last week. Oh, and just who was the source for the Plain Dealer?
“The governor told The Plain Dealer earlier this month that he wanted to hire Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo, who is black, but was turned down.”
The freakin’ Governor told the Plain Dealer, but apparently nobody told the Lt. Governor. And it gets better…
Earlier in the story, the Plain Dealer identifies January 12th as a date in which it talked to Kasich about the diversity issue. If that’s the case, that means the Plain Dealer knew something about the Kasich Administration three weeks ago that Mary Taylor still doesn’t know today!
And yet, while admitting that she has no utter clue what she’s talking about because she’s not kept informed about these things, Taylor went on and told the Columbus station this fantastic tale about how these two African-Americans were applicants who didn’t want to be revealed because their bosses might be upset… even though these applicants, apparently, turned down the very kind of job in which they were seeking!
No, that’s not what happened at all. From everything I have been told and seen, there is no evidence that either of these guys approached the Kasich Administration at all. After all, does it make sense that they’d apply, both get offered Cabinet positions only to turn it down? Instead, what happened was the Kasich Administration doesn’t want to admit that the newly elected Governor of Ohio approached these gentlemen about serving in his new Cabinet on bended knee and they both turned him down, but needed something to counter the narrative of their (until today) lily-white Cabinet.
Reggie Wilkinson isn’t hiding that he was offered a Cabinet position because he’s afraid “his boss” might find out. Nor is Clarence Mingo. First, they have nothing to worry about since they both turned the job offer down. Second, they are the boss! Reggie Wilkinson is a President and CEO of a non-profit organization and is otherwise retired. Mingo is the County Auditor. What “boss” could they possibly be afraid of? And why?
But don’t worry Kasich gang, you’ve got a conservative hero coming in to save the day, WBNS reported:
Former secretary of state, Republican Ken Blackwell, said he is assisting Kasich in finding people to fill remaining cabinet positions.
"It’s unfortunate that people are not willing to sit down and put together a network of contacts that would give the governor choices, but they are willing and ready to play political games of one-upmanship," Blackwell said.
Yep, it’s Captain 36% to the rescue!!! I guess Michael Steele wasn’t available? Oh wait, nope, he probably is available.
Ken Blackwell’s “assistance” probably consists of walking around Kasich’s office all day pointing his thumbs at himself and smiling eagerly…. although that cannot be confirmed.
[UPDATED:] We’ve also confirmed that former Ohio Attorney General/Auditor Betty Montgomery was Governor Kasich’s first choice to head the Ohio Department of Public Safety. She turned the job down… twice before Kasich finally moved on to select former Inspector General Tom Charles.