When John Kasich ran for Governor last year he promised to ‘focus like a laser’ on creating jobs in Ohio. It may seem like a trite and obvious statement for a candidate to make in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression, but a number of voters responded to statements like this by actually voting for the guy. And they expected him – and the rest of the Republicans they simultaneously voted for – to fulfill their campaign promises to put aside partisan bickering over controversial right or left-wing issues and to focus exclusively on improving Ohio’s economy and getting Ohioans back to work.

It turns out they were all full of shit.

Setting aside for a second the debate over job-killing SB5 and the fact that supporters seem to conveniently forget the Great State of Ohio itself is our largest employer with over 60,000 employees (I’ll come back to this in a later post) – the number of highly-partisan and very non-job-related bills flooding Ohio’s House and Senate seems pretty unprecedented.

Quick question: name the top 3 issues over which you think Democrats and Republicans might “bicker”.

I’m willing to bet nearly every person reading this post included Abortion in that list.

No real surprise there. It is a contentious issue. But also completely unrelated to job creation in our state.

And yet, after promising to focus like lasers on job creation, members of the majority controlling Ohio’s legislature have introduced at least 7 bills in the past 60 days focused elusively on abortion:

HB 7
HB 63
HB 78
HB 79
HB 125 (fetal heartbeat)
SB 8
SB 72

And it isn’t just that they are introducing highly controversial bills. Just like JobsOhio and SB5, debate over the abortion bills has been restricted and important amendments have been rejected outright.

The most egregious example came during discussion over HB 79 that would “prohibit qualified health plans from providing coverage for certain abortions”.

Representatives Antonia and Hagan introduced very reasonable amendments to this bill. One would have required health insurance coverage of maternity services and the other would have prohibited health insurers from excluding coverage for contraceptives. Both were shot down immediately and never received a vote.

Regardless of your stance on the abortion issue you absolutely have to agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best method of reducing abortions. And if you ARE going to prevent woman from having access to abortion services, the very least you can do it help them pay for the medical costs associated with their pregnancy.

This isn’t about jobs. This isn’t even about abortion. It’s about taking advantage of their control of the state in order to ram their highly-partisan agenda down the throats of Ohioans.

They promised us jobs and an improved economy but all we’ve seen is union busting, misogyny, a war on middle class ohioans and the promise to sell off all state assets to their lucky business pals.

It’s a horrible approach to governing that will have disastrous effects on the state. The only silver lining here is that they’ve pissed off so many people in the process that there is no way in hell many of these guys and gals are remaining in office after the next election.

 
  • Tpiteo65

    Wow the repuks are dragging this State into the 18th century I wonder when the repukes will legalize stoning of women for even thinking of sex out of wedlock. sounds like they want us to be more like afganastan.

  • Tpiteo65

    Wow the repuks are dragging this State into the 18th century I wonder when the repukes will legalize stoning of women for even thinking of sex out of wedlock. sounds like they want us to be more like afganastan.

  • guest

    you know the first two paragraphs are spot on. We all know politicians lie repeatedly but they made it seem exactly the way you put it, then came out swinging with all kinds of ridiculous crap.

  • End gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts. Free the voters. End two party control of elections. Your excellent article points out the price we pay when legislators pick their voters in back room deals.

  • Claparl

    This agenda is playing out in many states as well as on the federal level. A protest sign at an SB 5 rally I attended said it best — “Merit Pay for Senators” (and reps…and the governor…)

  • Rgtmwlly

    History will remember this time when political leaders made important changes that kept our states from going bankrupt, while opponents clamored to maintain the status quo and used whatever red herring they could to distract from the work that needs to be done.

    If Democrats would just join the fight to save government from getting crushed under it’s own weight, maybe they’d have a chance to survive…or at least maintain some credibility.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • leeseh

    No, it’s not about joining the fight–that was already done. It’s about the extreme radical solutions without allowing the possibility of any other solution.

  • Ydo Bemos

    I’ve never understood the need of Republicans to legislate morality? Even the original 13 colonies recognized the need for separation of church and state and they all came over here in search of religious freedom! Senator Jones even put gay/lesbian marriage into SB5 which a) is already a statute in Ohio, and b) has nothing to do with labor and commerce!!! Wth is wrong with these people???

  • Tarfam325

    If this were going to help the state IN ANY WAY, perhaps your point would be okay. HOWEVER, this Bill is LOADED with COSTS and EXPENSES and DEALS that will actually COST taxpayers money. Combined with all the legislation listed above that will cost the taxpayers money…NOT ONE of which ADDS ANY JOBS to Ohio’s economy…this state will be even FURTHER in the hole! There were several opportunities to make this piece of legislation effective in order to make changes that were reasonable. However, the rush to get this through the Senate in time for the “State of the State” and now to rush it through the House in order to be done in time for Kasich’s budget… Believe me, NO ONE is going to look back at this as a time anyone saved the State! Because after we make sure that EVERY PERSON associated with passing this bill is not re-elected, we will all LEAVE OHIO, because the cornerstones of our state…education and safety services will have deteriorated to such a horrible level that we will no longer choose to live here!!! I am sure the STATE is on the verge of bankruptcy…but it is due to DECADES of legislative over-spending…not because Public Employees are making too much money. Case in point…legislation mentioned above: 7 Bills focused on abortion… a partisan issue. Cost to taxpayers: Great. Jobs for Ohio??? ZERO! I am not saying I agree with abortion. However, I disagree with SPENDING money on this issue when you are advocating TAKING money from hard-working, middle-class Ohio families at the same time, while claiming to want to “balance” the budget. Sounds like more “Lehmen Brothers” mentality to me… “I’ll make sure I get what’s owed me, while I screw the little guys on my way out.” Ohio cannot afford 4 more years of this. No one will be clapping for this guy…because he’s going to do what he did in the business world…get what he wants and move on. Ohio, like Lehman Brothers, will be left behind!

  • Annekarima

    Hmmmm…..I think Coldplay said it best. Viva La Vida.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Well I wont hold mine either because the republicans of this state have NO desire to work with the Democrats ….NONE… Washington is the same !
    I talked to a Senator in Willmigton last week –he says the only time Kasich comes around is when you pass something he wants–other than that hes never seen — doesnt answer calls etc–
    Lets see what you think after his big budget is exposed — AHH but if you are a pub you wont really care what it says — after all the GOP is the all mighty ,straight as an arrow party… trying to correct us lawless, bad moraled dems !!
    The Gov of Indiana was on a news show this morning — he claims hes making headway also –odd they have lost more jobs — when it was pointed out I dont recall he had an answer –(( I bet he runs for prez ))
    The GOP ( Grand ol Party ) GOP ( Greedy of Paydays )

  • buckeyekelly

    Just an FYI so you don’t think Jones is a literal gay-basher (I don’t know her or her stance)…the defense of marriage nonsense in the bill is already law in Ohio. The language that already exists must be in the new bill. Modern and Joseph have documented this about SB 5 previously in Plunderbund.

  • buckeyekelly

    “If Democrats would just join the fight to save government from getting crushed under it’s own weight…”

    Like the big raises for his inner circle? I’m against that.
    Like the new cabinet posts full of double dippers? I’m against that.
    Like public employees giving concession after concession? Yep, already done.
    Like $8,000,000 in political blood money to move a company from one side of Columbus to another? I’m against that.

    Please supply the fiscal analysis of SB5 and the other anti-choice bills listed in the post NOT from the Buckeye Institute. Even Sen. Jones admits SB 5 is not going to save money.

    How many jobs will the “heartbeat bill” create?
    How many jobs will SB 5 create?

    I respectfully await your response.

  • clambake

    “The only silver lining here is that they’ve pissed off so many people in the process that there is no way in hell many of these guys and gals are remaining in office after the next election”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to view Kasich’s actions is that he just doesn’t care. He does not care if he pisses people off. His idiot and his bus comments were not gaffes. He just doesn’t care. He has bigger plans and in the wake of Citizen’s United he simply wishes to get noticed by those that would hand out money.

  • “It’s a horrible approach to governing that will have disastrous effects on the state.”

    They aren’t interested in governing, they’re ideologues on the warpath against the middle class.

  • SAM

    The most common answer I heard from the Govern of Indiana on TV this morning was “I don’t know.” If Indiana is so great, are we going to copy their 7% sales tax?

  • Rgtmwlly

    The word that should become the mantra of the statehouse in Ohio is “unsustainable”. We can’t keep doing the same things all the time. It’s time to do something different. What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

    Republicans have no one but themselves to blame. For over a decade we controlled literally everything. From the WHite House to the statehouse to the legislature – we had a chance to make real change. We didn’t do it. We didn’t want to wake the sleeping giant of public unions, etc. So instead we played nice – and the country paid for it.

    Then the Democrats took over and decided that the mistake Republicans had made was not spending ENOUGH. Not kowtowing to the unions ENOUGH. They were completely wrong about all of that, so the voters tossed them out.

    Now we are back and have no choice but to get it right this time. We could have passed laws to limit abortions, we didn’t. Now we will. We could have curbed spending and taken on unions, we didn’t. Now we will.

    No more cowering in the corner. No more letting the country slide down the same path to oblivion it has been on.

    Jobs will be the number one issue. That has been the Kasich mantra from day one. Fixing the budget hole and getting spending under control comes next. All the rest is about leadership and not hiding from the tough issues any more. We were sent here for a reason. If we don’t get ity done, we deserve to get tossed out again.

  • LOL

    Hold it. Pretty please???

  • buckeyekelly

    Once more, I respectfully ask you to back up your own claims that “jobs will be the number one issue.”

    How will any anti-choice bill create jobs?
    How will any anti-choice bill address the state debt?
    How will any anti-choice bill handle the unfunded mandates they are, well, mandating?

    How many jobs are each of the legislation listed here going to create?
    How many dollars from the current and future state budgets going to save?

  • Natasha

    Please, don’t flatter yourself or the GOP.

    You and the GOP weren’t sent anywhere to do anything. The GOP wins were well executed exploitation of racism (anti-Obama anti-black prejudices); xenophobia (from a “Croatian” governor); misogyny (seven anti-abortion bills); elitism (outlawing public sector collective bargaining and dismantling public education); anti-veteran hostility (removing veterans’ service benefits from public sector jobs) and dishonesty toward your constituents — best exhibited by Auditor Yost who wanted to be a teabagger before he wanted to be AG before he settled for Auditor and lied about his support of law enforcement in the SB5 struggle.

    Toss in a dose of religious fervor and zeal against non-Christians and you get GOP 2011

    There is no plan, the jobs are not coming – unless you count what Columbus loses and New Albany gains after 9 million taxpayer dollars are spent to facilitate that “job”. The GOP is just the same shit of pro-guns, anti abortion and exclusion of more Americans from realizing the American dream so the rich can have a tax cut and GOP-connected fat cat crooks can thrive. All in all a nice job of making a plurality coalition of single issue zealots.

  • leeseh

    I agree with Natasha. Don’t flatter yourself about being “sent” to do anything. Also, if you haven’t figured it out, there is no plan for jobs. Any “plan” would have been put out in the state of the state address instead of that mess of rhetoric Kasich gave. That’s what the speech is for, in case you/he missed that.

  • Ohio-Papa

    I agree with George Lakoff, the progressive MIT linguist professor, who explains that conservatives are compelled by the “strict father morality”.

    http://www.winningprogressive.org/why-does-the-gop-want-to-repeal-the-estate-tax-its-part-of-the-plan

  • Anonymous

    State spending under Kasich’s budget grows by $7 billion.

  • Anonymous

    State spending under Kasich’s budget grows by $7 billion.

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