Twenty-fours hours later and we’ve yet to see a single Republican publicly embrace Kasich’s “Jobs” budget. Seriously, this is odd. Ted Strickland would get some response from the Republican leadership by now.
Go over to the Ohio Republican Party website… nothing. Nothing on their Twitter account, either. (The Ohio GOP website does show more opposition by its users than support for SB 5, btw.) Nothing about the budget on its Facebook site. No press release from ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine.
House Republican caucus? Same thing. Nothing. Speaker Batchelder? Nada. Senate Republican caucus? President Niehaus? AWOL. House Finance Committee Chairman? Senate Finance Committee Chair? Cats must have gotten their tongues.
Nothing. I can’t find a single official statement from a single Republican from the party (at any level) or a single REPUBLICAN willing to go on record and praise Kasich’s budget and embrace it as their own.
I can’t recall a single time, nationally, Ohio, or anywhere else, where a party and its legislative leaders have been so utterly silent on a Governor’s first budget, particularly one from a member of their own party. It’s simple never happened.
It’s so bad that Kasich’s Communication Department has resorted to Tweeting about various public interest groups that have given Kasich what can charitably be called “faint” praise for not totally gutting them in some weird Stockholm Syndrome reading press releases. One actually praises Kasich for not cutting Help Me Grow more, despite the fact that Kasich cuts it by $5 million over two years, in a program that presently only gets $36 million.
Not anyone has embraced Kasich’s foolish and intellectually dishonest claim that this budget increases funding for K-12 or higher education. But even more problematic, nobody is embracing Kasich’s claim that this is a “Jobs” budget.
Probably because nobody else wants to look foolishly calling this a “Jobs Budget” while it has already caused nearly 100 people to lose theirs. Maybe because, shockingly, Kasich kept the legislative branch completely in the dark about his budget in the last minute. Speaker Batchelder claiming he was only briefed on the budget until the night before. Apparently, there was little executive-legislative consultation… even among Kasich’s fellow Republicans.
Whatever the reason, camera and microphone stagers in Columbus have been perfectly safe from being trampled by any Statehouse Republican rushing to tell the folks back home how great Governor Kasich’s budget is. The same cannot be said of Democratic lawmakers, who have been all too willing to point out the cuts to local governments and education.
Just today, the Franklin County MDD Board decided to increase its levy request based on the uncertainties created by Kasich’s budget. We’ve officially see more announcements about proposals to raise local taxes than we’ve seen official Republican reactions. Seriously, read your paper today, and if you’re represented by a Republican, as I am, tell me if it includes a praise from them about the budget. So far, I can’t find any.
The silence is deafening.