From the beginning we were part of a large chorus warning Governor Kasich and his venture capitalist pal Mark Kvamme that JobsOhio was not constitutional. Again and again and again and AGAIN the warnings came.

Modern even gave testimony to the House Finance & Appropriation Committee warning them about the constitutional issues.

And now, as we predicted and everyone fully expected, JobsOhio is facing legal challenges over its constitutionality. You can’t say you weren’t warned.

Kasich and Kvamme have already been forced to make some changes to JobsOhio in response to pending lawsuits: The Governor no longer serves as the head of JobsOhio and Kvamme has said JobsOhio will no longer be taking equity stakes in companies. Both changes came after ProgressOhio, Senator Michael Skindell and Representative Dennis Murray filed a constitutional challenge. Other issues remain and will likely be addressed only after a protracted legal battle.

As ProgressOhio gets closer to its day in court, JobsOhio has assembled its legal team, hiring lawyers from two of the most well-known (and expensive) law firms with offices in Columbus: Douglas Cole, a partner with Squire Sanders (and former State Solicitor under Republican Jim Petro) and Aneca Lasley, a partner with Jones Day.

These lawyers are likely billing JobsOhio $500+/hour – meaning the cost of two hours of legal work is about the same as keeping a teacher in the classroom for an entire week. And the money to pay these lawyers is coming directly from the money the state is providing JobsOhio.

Of course, under the current structure, we’ll never know what JobsOhio paid these lawyers – or what it did with the rest of the money it receives from the state – because JobsOhio’s records are secret.

These legal challenges are going to require JobsOhio to pay out tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. That’s state money that was given to Kvamme without any oversight – money that should be going to economic development activities – money that WOULD be going to economic development activities if Kasich and Kvamme had listened to the warnings and not pushed through JobsOhio in its current, unconstitutional form.

Kasich, Kvamme and GOP legislators knew JobsOhio was unconstitutional when they forced it through the General Assembly. They knew it would face – and probably not stand up to a constitutional challenge and they knew it would cost tons of state money to defend.

They knew all this and they did it anyway.

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  • Rgstoner

    I’m sure Jobs Ohio could give the money back to the State of Ohio and scrap the whole scam. I wonder if the Lawyers they hired are in line to get a pay back from Kasich?

  • WestParkGuy

    So much for being self-sufficient.

  • Kasich gave lawyers some jobs…I’m sure in his book that deems the JobsOhio program a success!

  • Anonymous

    Things are getting scary in Ohio.  This story, the raises for Niehaus’ aids, SB5, the gutting of schools, and now the new congressional district map.  American history has come full circle, with the antebellum map that the GOP drew.  There is one caveat; this time, the urban areas count for 3/5’s of person instead of slaves.  But then, urban areas are populated with a lot of minorities. 

    I hope somebody has the courage and the money to file a lawsuit over the new map.  It is almost as if the GOP is throwing everything they can at the Democratic Party, with the understanding that we Dems can only fight them in a few battles.  Sure, we might prevail, but at what cost?  And which battles can we win?

    I have two sons, one who graduated from OSU this spring and finally landed a job this week.  My hope is that things work out for him so that he can leave Ohio.  After Kasich is out of office, it will take the people years to undo the damage that he and his cronies have left.  I am not optimistic.  Every day brings bad news.

  • I too feel that this is a scary time. My son is graduating this spring with a good job already for him when he graduates. He and his fiance who graduated last year and also has a good job want to move south. There reasoning is they do not like Dayton ( he is at the University of Dayton) and they don’t like the winters and they hate the politics of Ohio . I have been fighting them about it but I am beginning to change my mind. They both have jobs that they can keep by way of transferring  to Atlanta. I don’t personally like the area but if Ohio keeps going this way  Atlanta may be better. And Kasick wants to know why computer engineers are moving out of Ohio? It is not because of the lack of jobs. We found out that was wrong. But I won’t fight my son to stay here as long as we are living in this soap opera.

  • I went through the same thing when I graduated.  Also from a university in Ohio and also with a computer science degree.

    I moved around the country/world for over a decade and eventually found my way back to Ohio.

    I think I’m better for it.  Definitely learned to appreciate what’s so great about Ohio.  But I had to leave to really figure it out.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Is there any way these people will ever be held accountable in anything they have done?
    My thoughts are no ! some folks as we have seen can fall in a pit of oil and come spic and span.
    Jobs Ohio will be upheld just  like the selling of the prisons was upheld !! seems no one will challenge him.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect it is the other way around – Kasich is expecting to get pay back from the lawyers he and the “French Economist” are hiring.  Probably in the form of contributions and support in future endeavors, either private or public.

  • This is really interesting and nice!)

  • Anonymous

    I basically disagree with you about Ohio.  I too, was born and educated here.  I began my career in IT here, but jumped at the chance to move out during the early 1980’s when Ohio economic conditions weren’t so good, although they probably are worse today.  I lived in the West, Silicon Valley, and finally Chicago.  But after I started a family, my Ohio-born wife and I moved back here when a corporate transfer was offered. 

    As you can guess by my name, I live in Dublin, a place with great schools, churches, and community benefits.  Cost of living is manageable and the traffic is easy.  But that is where I end my praises.

    Culturally, I feel like I’m living in the South.  Jobs and businesses are leaving the state and yet our leaders feel that we don’t need to improve our schools.  Did I mention that charter/private schools are big in the South as another form of segregation?  People are leaving Ohio, yet we work to restrict abortion. 

    One final story:  I have mentioned that I have a son who attended OSU.  When he was a freshman, he took biology as part of his science requirement.  He told me that they wasted a few days in class when creationist students argued, not debated, with the instructor over evolution!  My other son attends UC and his geology prof became very frustrated with the students who argued with him over the age of the earth.  I can go on and on, but this is not the right forum.

    So I don’t feel that good about Ohio.  And when I look at the new congressional map or listen to tea party rants, I feel even worse.

  • I am not surprised that Johnny Wall Street doesn’t care about the Ohio Constitution, and would rather spend money on lawyers than on anything that actually helps Ohio.  

  • Anonymous

    When this debacle is over, Kasich will point to Progress Ohio and say, “Look at all the money those mean liberals made me spend to defend RobsOhio!  It’s all their fault!” 

  • No, look at Nixon. He set the standard. 

  • That is the point. To use democratic tools to dismantle democracy. This includes making sure that the electorate is willfully ignorant and easily controlled like in 19th century America.

    Can’t be a great country with lots of stupid people and people who don’t participate or are barred from participating.  This state has been making a slide and now it is accelerating into a black hole. 

    People didn’t vote. The small-minded and hateful did vote (for 100% of nothing). 

    I am so glad that I never had children. Ohio and the United States got worse during my adulthood thanks to the cult of rotten Reagan.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with Bob. I found my way to Ohio in search of cheaper houses and a better place to raise kids, and now I feel stuck. I have a house, job, family and friends here. I would go to Oregon in a second if it weren’t so complicated to uproot everyone. At this point, I want to find a solidly blue state where they are committed to funding public education, but sadly I think the number of those left are in the single digits. Not sure how our country is going to compete for the jobs at this rate.

  • Anonymous

    The untold story here is that after all the bluster about moving the state’s economic development to JobsOhio, the report they recently issued leaves many of the key programs (tax incentives, third frontier, etc) with the State, and JobsOhio basically serves as a vehicle to help companies apply for funding from the state. So they’ve either created a middleman, making things MORE bureaucratic, or they have it wired so that it looks legal, but JobsOhio intends to dictate to the state which incentives to approve. Either way I fail to see how this is an improvement on what is in place today.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, they’re so frivolous the Ohio Supreme Court declared one of their constitutional challenges was totally valid and the Kasich Administration has specifically retooled itself in response of the litigation because these lawyers said what this lawyer said, the State cannot take equity into private companies under Ohio’s constitution.

    Seriously, that’s the best you got? Weak.

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