The Dispatch is reporting that Kasich is still refusing to take any responsibility for blocking Ted Strickland’s dangerous animal ban that would have prevented the recent disaster in Zanesville in which dozens of rare, endangered Bengal tigers and other exotic and dangerous animals had to be killed by Sheriff’s deputies.
As they correctly point out, Strickland’s Executive Order prevented people convicted of abuse or neglect of animals from owning exotic pets. And Terry Thompson, the owner of the lions, tigers, bears and other animals that were killed in Zanesville, did have such a conviction and would not have been able to own these animals if Strickland’s order had not been blocked by Kasich.
Again from the Dispatch:
Speaking at a conference in Canton, Ohio, today, Kasich called the situation “a mess” and a “ terrible thing,” but took no blame for allowing Strickland’s order to lapse.
Instead, Kasich and his people have spent the past few days coming up with excuses.
Back in early January, when Kasich first heard about the exotic animal ban, he said he was inclined to keep the order in place. But by late January, Kasich had changed his tune and decided to block the order after hearing from “small-business owners with questions and concerns.”
Now that a major incident has occured as a result of his blocking the ban, Kasich is again changing his story.
Over the past two days Kasich has had his appointees and supporters out defending his choice to block the ban, hoping to prevent his poll numbers from sinking even lower as a result of this disaster.
Kasich appointee Bill Damschroder, chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, has been out telling people that the Kasich administration decided to block the ban after they “determined that the executive order ‘exceeded the agency’s authority.'”
And Jungle Jack Hanna, a Kasich supporter (he gave Kasich/Taylor $7500 in campaign contributions) is now making the rounds on national TV claiming it’s not Kasich’s fault. Jack was on Maddow last night defending the Governor saying even if Strickland’s original ban had been left in place, there wasn’t anyone to enforce it and no place to put the animals if they had to be taken away.
Side Note: Hanna has also come out in favor of Kasich’s plan to allow fracking in the state. I generally like Jungle Jack – but I really think he should stick to conservation and making TV shows and stay out of politics.
So before the incident, Kasich had decided to block the dangerous animal ban because small business owners didn’t like it.
And now, after deputies were forced to kill dozens of animals, Kasich is claiming it was due to deficiencies in Strickland’s original executive order?
“If there’s some way I could’ve prevented it, I would.” Kasich said in Canton.
Yes, if only there was SOME way for John Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, arguably the most powerful man in Ohio right now, to have banned large, dangerous predators from being owned by a guy convicted of animal abuse or neglect. If only there was SOME way to do that. But what could John Kasich POSSIBLY have done differently?
Kasich seems quite happy to claim responsibility for all of the good things that Ted Strickland’s administration accomplished. But when something goes wrong, Kasich is quick to deny responsibility, even though it seems likely the disaster could have been prevented, or at least made less severe, had he not blocked Governor Strickland’s executive order.
It’s disasters like this that can define a leader. The good ones step up, take ownership and work tirelessly to get the problem solved. The rest focus on the political implications and spend all their time trying to avoid blame. Anyone want to guess which kind of leader Kasich is turning out to be?