With hundreds of thousands of Ohioans still without power from Friday’s big storms, I’m sure many of you missed some of the must-read stories from this weekend. Assuming you still have some Internets (I’m borrowing mine from a very nice neighbor since WOW cable is still down in my neighborhood), here’s a few of the stories you should have been reading…
THIRD FRONTIER BECOMES A JOKE UNDER KASICH
Yesterday the Plain Dealer’s editorial board hit Kasich for his failure to properly utilize the Third Frontier program. The program, started under Republican Governor Taft, and renewed under Democrat Strickland, has received wide support from the business community and politicians on both sides of the aisle. And it is viewed as “remarkably popular” with the state as a whole. Yet, under Kasich, “grant-making has slowed to a walk”.
The fiscal year ended yesterday, and only a third of the available money was actually allocated. Kasich promised to move at the Speed of Business, but instead Ohio business leaders are laughing at the slow pace of the Kasich administration, going so far as to joke “a saboteur from Michigan or Pennsylvania” had gummed up the gears of the Third Frontier program.
NEW WINE REGULATIONS PUT OHIO WINERIES AT RISK
We also found out that John Kasich’s latest budget billl imposes “burdensome business regulation” on Ohio wineries by changing licensing and inspection responsibility from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control the the Department of Agriculture. According to Keith E. Pritchard, a small business owner from Canal Winchester, the new rules “go far beyond what is required to safely produce wines” and they add new “bureaucracy, regulations and fees” that discriminate against small Ohio wineries putting them at a serious disadvatage when competing with their out-of-state competitors.
KASICH, COMPETITION AND FANTASY ISLAND
And I’ll leave you with my favorite piece of the weekend from Thomas Suddes in the Plain Dealer in which Suddes calls out Mary Taylor and John Kasich for not implementing key provision’s of the Affordable Care Act and using as an excuse their desire to offer “as much free-market competition” to the health care market as possible. As Suddes correctly points out, it’s a bullshit excuse because “Ohio has monkeyed with the health insurance market since at least 1939” when the state offered tax exemptions for big insurers under ultra-conservative Governor John Bricker.
If Kasich and Taylor were serious about competition and free-market principles, says Suddes, they “should bid adieu to Fantasy Island and return to Capitol Square” where they would do well to support the Voters First amendment and put real “competition” back into General Assembly and US House races.