Good Jobs First, a national policy group promoting “government accountability in economic development”, has called out John Kasich for “gutting of the state website that tracks federal stimulus spending in Ohio”.
The website, recovery.ohio.gov, used to contain links to details about stimulus projects being funded in Ohio and a tool so Ohioans could see how stimulus money was being spent in their areas. Now it just contains a single page with broken links to all of the details.
Obviously there is a political element here. With the 2012 elections coming up, the Republicans are going claim the stimulus spending was all Barack Obama’s idea and that it was bad for the economy and the deficit. So the last thing they want is for people to actually have facts about the good things those stimulus dollars did in Ohio. And what better way than taking down the website that contains that information.
But the bigger issue, as we’ve seen since before Kasich was elected, is our new Governor’s hatred and fear of accountability, openness and transparency in all of his activities. From his attempt to keep secret the names of the applicants for government jobs that he accepted though his private website, through to his signing of the JobsOhio bill that gives away responsibility for state development activities, along with the associated money, to a shady, non-transparent, secret-bonus-having private group that HE leads, Kasich has looked for ways to hide his activities.
By gutting the states stimulus accountability website it seems like Kasich is well on his way to doing it again with the stimulus money still unspent by Ohio.
Accoding to the article in Columbus Business First where this information first appeared: “the Recovery Board reported that Ohio was yet to receive just over half of the $8.7 billion it has been awarded in stimulus grants, loans and contracts.”
That stimulus money comes to the state in multiple funding streams (public safety, development, EPA, etc) but, ultimately, that’s $4+ Billion that Kasich’s agency heads will be responsible for managing.
$4 Billion you deserve to know about.
$4 Billion Kasich seems intent on hiding.