When John Kasich introduced his JobsOhio plan he was very clear about why Ohio needed to privatize its economic development efforts:
“The state’s economic development efforts no longer meet the needs of Ohio’s economy”, “they do not relate effectively to businesses”, and they “have become burdened by bureaucratic inefficiency.”
It may have sounded reasonable then, but it sounds amazingly odd now given that JobsOhio is still just an idea on paper and yet John Kasich has been running around the state telling everyone who will listen that his first 100 days in office has been the most effective economic development breakthrough for Ohio since the invention of canals or steel or rubber or airplanes or gift baskets.
If we take John Kasich at his word (which I would never recommend), then John and his current economic development team should be worshiped as state heroes for their job-saving “victories”. Their hard fought battles prevented Bob Evans and American Greetings and Diebold from leaving Ohio and should be turned into poems and folk songs and statues and HBO movies produced by Tom Hanks.
You see the inconsistency here, right?
Either Ohio’s economic development efforts are actually pretty good already (and capable of keeping big companies like Bob Evans from leaving the state) – which would mean he was lying about the need for JobsOhio. Or Ohio’s economic development efforts are pretty piss poor and the best example of economic development his administration could find was to make up a story about Bob Evans seriously considering a move to another state.
Either way Kasich is lying.
Plunderbund has been questioning Kasich’s justification for JobsOhio (along with its secret bonuses and lack of transparency and oversight) for months, pointing out Kasich’s many inconsistent statements and clearly documenting the economic recovery that is already underway with the current development agency still in place and existing public union rights still in effect.
And now it looks like the Dispatch’s Joe Vardon and Jim Seigel finally got around to asking the same question: why the hell do we need JobsOhio?
In news conferences, speeches and interviews he gives across the state, Kasich routinely points to a handful of economic-development victories he’s won in nearly 100 days as Ohio’s governor.
Those accomplishments were earned without the privatized economic development-department that Kasich seeks.
More questions linger in the GOP-controlled General Assembly about how Kasich chose to fund JobsOhio. But as the Republican governor continues to count off victory after victory with the state’s traditional Development Department still intact, those successes beg a more-fundamental question:
Does the state need JobsOhio?
The answer, of course, if no.
And while I realize Vardon and Seigel’s question comes much too late to have any impact on the implementation of JobsOhio, it’s still nice to see that someone at the notoriously GOP-leaning paper has the balls to come out and ask the question in print.