After we first reported extensive details about the appointment of former Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson to a vacant seat on Ohio’s State Board of Education, many news outlets have used our information as the source for their own stories (uncredited, as usual).  But in a strange round of I-can-dig-up-more-dirt-than-you, Jackson has become the target of unfair attacks on his own character by mainstream media outlets.

And when we’re calling out unfair attacks on a Kasich appointee, it’s newsworthy.  While we are NOT fans of this appointment that appears to have no merit, it is wrong to criticize Jackson personally for this placement.  Any blame should remain squarely on the Kasich administration who made this appointment despite:

  • Being aware that Jackson may not have a college degree
  • Not receiving a resume from Jackson during the interview process
  • Believing that Jackson was registered to run for an elected seat on the State Board (he’s not registered to run for State Board)
  • Sharing bio information that Plunderbund uncovered (the day after appointment was announced)

Jackson is a Republican.  Jackson is a husband and a father and lives in a rural school district.  Jackson is not shy about expressing conservative Christian values.  And yes, Jackson is a former OSU quarterback.  We don’t have to like any of these personal traits (I was always a Germaine fan, personally), but the announcement of his appointment to the State Board didn’t occur in a press conference called by Jackson, it was announced in a press release from Governor Kasich’s office.  When you think of this story, remember that it was instigated by the Kasich administration, not Stanley Jackson.

With that in mind and with the understanding that we believe this appointment was poor decision (Kasich’s office is doing nothing to convince anyone otherwise), we have two final aspects of this event that trouble us the most.

First, Kasich made the appointment with the belief that Jackson was in process of starting a charter school (confirmed by spokesperson Rob Nichols’ directing reporters to the Jackson bio that we published yesterday from a public website).  Such an appointment would be illegal under Ohio Revised Code 3301.03:

No elected or appointed voting member of the board shall, during the member’s term of office, hold any other public position of trust or profit or be an employee or officer of any public or private elementary or secondary school.

So either Kasich didn’t know or didn’t care about this thing called “laws” or they actually had no clue about Jackson’s intention to open a charter school.  Either way it raises major questions about what the Kasich administration actually knew about Jackson prior to selecting him for this position.

And finally, we’ll quote the Columbus Dispatch article from today.  (Notice how we are using their name and giving them credit?)

Nichols said Jackson was out of town and will supply a resume to the administration before it sends his appointment to the Ohio Senate for approval.

Did the Ohio Senate already meet?  That quote is from the article published at 6:28 am this morning, and since the Ohio Department of Education website already has Jackson listed as a Board member, it must mean they’ve already met, right?  Or should we be even pickier and point out that the page was updated yesterday morning?

Which leads us to two possible conclusions:

  1. Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
  2. John Kasich is running the Ohio Senate.

Indeed, both conclusions are likely to be true.

And in the end, that’s why Jackson deserves a pass from being sacked by the media (sorry, I couldn’t resist).  Blaming Jackson for this outcome only serves to distract us from the continued lawlessness of the Kasich administration.

John Kasich made this call, not the QB.