Kasich’s working group released their rules for banning dangerous, exotic animals in Ohio today.
The rules are pretty similar to the executive order that Governor Strickland issued (and Kasich repealed), an order that could have prevented the slaughter of dozens of rare, endangered Bengal tigers and other animals in Zanesville Ohio last month.
There is one noticeable difference though: Strickland’s order made a specific exemption for school mascots like Massilon High’s baby tiger Obie. Kasich’s new rules don’t.
I’m not personally invested in the mascot exception, but a lot of people understandably are, including John Kasich’s Deputy Press Secretary Jon Keeling.
Back in 2010 when Governor Strickland was working on his executive order, right wing bloggers, including then unofficial Kasich campaign blogger Jon Keeling, attacked Strickland over the possibility that his new rules might prevent High Schools and Universities from keeping exotic animals as mascots. Strickland was accused of selling out the Humane Society US while working to “piss off an Ohio tradition” like Massilon football.
But Keeling and pals were wrong in both cases. Strickland’s executive order did actually contain an exemption for school mascots, and I’m pretty sure this annoyed the crap out of the Humane Society folks – who are probably much happier with Kasich’s new rules than Strickland’s.
To be fair, Kasich’s working group actually did consider including an exemption for school mascots. But it was taken out last month. According to the minutes from the October 31st meeting the mascot exemption was removed when Karen Minton, from the Humane Society US, suggested “taking the mascot language out and let the Legislators put it back in (if they want).”
To quote Keeling:
It’s been a bad enough few days in Ohio, Governor.
After that, do you really need to piss off an Ohio tradition?