Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols in today’s Columbus Dispatch tries another whack that isn’t as mockable as the Office of Budget Management spokesman we discussed last night:

"It’s not our job to proofread what a partisan, liberal group chooses to post on its website," Nichols said.

These series of spin by the Kasich Administration when a political embarrassing  budget document surfaces on the left that is reportedly the Kasich Administration’s own document is oddly familiar.

You might recall that this is precisely what they did in response to Joseph’s story in January about how Kasich was inflating the salaries of his top aides.

First, the Administration suggested that the left was just lying and issued non-denials as to the authenticity of their own budget document:

Then suggest that the actual numbers aren’t even available yet, but start to spin how they are.

After that, you quietly release the numbers that technically meet your spin but also implicitly confirm that the document the left produced was actually authentic all along.

That’s what occurred in the salary story, and it seems to be precisely what is going on in the K-12 except this time they intentionally put out a deceptively misleading budget document that omitted the two biggest areas of funding cuts first and denied they had any projections yet that included them.

I bet when the Kasich Administration finally releases an accurate school district projection that includes the stimulus and tangible property tax raids, etc., it’ll be slightly different from Innovation Ohio in some entries, but not substantially overall.  They’ll tweak their formula for no other reason that to avoid confirming what Innovation Ohio put out yesterday, just as they made slight changes to the staff salaries in a few positions. 

But again, will that be enough to lose the point Innovation Ohio was making, which is that the Administration is engaged in an intentionally deceptive campaign about the impact their budget has on K-12 education, and that the Administration is more aware of the total fiscal impact than they’re willing to publicly admit.

The reality is that never before in Ohio’s history has an Administration been this late in releasing statutory language for their budget or by providing school districts with reliable projections.  I’m starting to wonder if they’re intentionally stalling to hope that school districts can’t make the deadline to put levies on the ballot this fall in response.

It’s déjà vu.

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