Another achievement John Kasich has listed in his 100 days of achievements is keeping Goodyear from moving to another State:
Keeping Ohio Companies in Ohio—American Greetings, Bob Evans, Diebold and Goodyear saving more than 5,500 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue are saved.
And for once, Kasich is talking about a company that was seriously considering leaving Ohio and had multiple economic development offers to lure it away. And it’s also true that if it were not for the efforts of the Ohio Department of Development and local officials, Goodyear might have left. The problem for Kasich is that it wasn’t Mark Kvamme who brokered the deal to save Goodyear from moving:
The deal to keep Goodyear in Ohio wasn’t announced in 2011, but in 2007—a full year before John Kasich even formed his Recharge Ohio PAC that served as his unofficial exploratory committee until 2009.
It’s not like there’s plenty of documentation to back this up. Like say newspapers, press releases (several), or say page 6 of the 2008-2009 Ohio Department of Development’s Bi-annual Report, or this August 19th, 2010 Akron Beacon Journal editorial on Kasich’s JobsOhio proposal:
The Kasich plan calls for a ”fast, flexible and responsive” operation. Akron knows what he means. In recent years, the [Ohio Department of Development] has displayed all three traits in helping the city retain two indispensable corporate citizens, Bridgestone and Goodyear.
Today, the Akron Beacon Journal again gave credit where credit was due:
That the project is off the ground is no small credit to the leadership demonstrated by Mayor Don Plusquellic, Russ Pry, the Summit County executive, and the port authority. Also crucial was the early and quick response of the state Department of Development under then-Gov. Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher, the lieutenant governor. (emphasis added.)
Ironically, it was the private sector which kept this development project stalled for the past three years. As the Akron Beacon Journal reported two days ago:
Industrial Realty Group, headed by Stu Lichter, will build the 639,000-square-foot building, which will then be leased to Goodyear.
Lichter owns most of Goodyear’s existing campus, including the Akron tire maker’s current headquarters off East Market Street and Goodyear Hall across the street.
IRG specializes in buying large, aging industrial sites and rehabilitating them for new use; he owns other significant properties in Ohio.
Goodyear, Lichter and public officials in late 2007 first announced the ambitious $900 million headquarters project that was to include a hotel nearby.
But Lichter was unable to get financing as the recession got under way soon after the announcement and the project was revamped and scaled back.
Instead of starting construction of the new headquarters as initially planned for 2008, Lichter purchased the existing Goodyear properties with publicly backed bonds and has been renovating and rehabilitating the structures.
This man has no shame. None. We’ve now found two things that Kasich claims his Administration achieved that Governor Strickland’s Administration was, in fact, totally responsible for achieving.
John Kasich didn’t keep Goodyear from leaving Ohio. Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher did.