You know what portion of State government is booming under the Kasich administration? Security and detail for the governor. According to Gongwer, yesterday at controlling board the Ohio State Highway Patrol asked for an appropriation increase of $2.7 million in fiscal year 2012. The funds will be used to provide security to the governor, other state office holders, dignitaries, and security around Capital square and other state property.
For those keeping score at home though this is not the first increase the Highway Patrol has requested under Governor Kasich. In December 2010, Kasich announced he was not going to live in the Governor’s mansion in Bexley and was going to stay in his family’s residence in Westerville. In January of 2011, the Patrol asked for an appropriation increase of $3 million dollars to cover new costs associated with protecting Governor Kasich. $2.9 million of the request was for increased staffing and the remaining balance of $100,000 was for new equipment to protect the governor at his Westerville residence.
To be fair, the appropriation increase requested yesterday is for a line item that is earmarked for providing security not only for the governor but for other political dignitaries that visit the state and even other state officials if necessary. In addition, this is not the Highway Patrol’s fault that they need more money. Their service is a function of providing security whenever the governor decides it is necessary. If the governor asks them to increase security they have to oblige.
The more important question is what happened to the $3 million that was appropriated to them last year? In the last two years the Patrol has requested an additional $5.7 million in funding for increased security costs – where is this money going? Who is getting all of this security? Does John Kasich have his own small military force escorting him from place to place? How much security does any extra $5.7 million get you?
I get it, presidential election years can be busy for the Highway Patrol but after getting a $3 million increase last year, and almost another $3 million this year, who exactly are we protecting?
Think about it – the only person in the state who should be receiving a security detail every day is Governor Kasich. Why are costs increasing by $3 million if no one else is getting any additional security? If Kasich is not the only person receiving a security detail who else is and why?
Someone’s got some splann’ to do.