You may have read that the Governor signed a new “tourism bill” yesterday. Indeed, Senate Bill 314 includes funds for the state’s office of tourism, which had otherwise been zeroed out in Kasich’s two year budget last June. So, yes, with the passage of SB314, Kasich found a way not to kill the tourism office after all.

But SB314 was anything but a tourism bill. Just 6 of the bill’s 150 pages deal with the new TourismOhio program and its experimental five-year funding plan.

Of course, thanks to holding the bill signing at the Rock and Roll and Football Halls of Fame (yes, two events–perhaps an alibi for the Governor’s absence from the Mitt Romney events happening just down the road?), Ohio’s newspapers bought the “tourism bill” spin, hook, line and sinker. Among today’s headlines:

Kasich signs bill that changes state tourism funding at Rock Hall (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Kasich talks about tourism bill in HOF appearance (Canton Repository)

Since it was unveiled, SB314 has been referred to on Capitol Square as “JobsOhio II.” The bill’s other 144 pages finalize the privatization of the state’s economic development activities, a controversial move that puts billions of taxpayer dollars into the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats not subject to Ohio’s ethics, public records or public meetings laws.

What does Senate Bill 314 actually do?

  • Finalizes the privatization of the state’s economic development activities at JobsOhio
  • Eliminates oversight of loans and grants issued by the state at the urging of JobsOhio
  • Gives the Chief Investment Officer of JobsOhio a vote to approve tax breaks that he, through JobsOhio, proposed
  • Eliminates the Minority Business Enterprise Loan program
  • Pokes holes in the state’s revolving door laws (that prevent public officials from lobbying their old agencies for a year after leaving) for the benefit of two former Kasich cabinet directors that moved over to JobsOhio

One of the bill’s sponsors, Democrat Capri Cafaro, actually played along, putting out a press release entitled: “Lawmakers Push Efforts to Boost Ohio Tourism” in which she too played up the bill’s small tourism-related provisions, glossing over its gutting of oversight of economic development as “innovative.” Even more baffling was her spinning the elimination of the Minority Business Enterprise Loan program as a positive, saying it was being revamped, which is a really nice way of saying it was eliminated and the Kasich folks gave us some happy talk, promising that the state’s Capital Access Program would totally try to lend money to minority businesses. Really, it will!

We don’t know what’s up with Cafaro. We’ve given up even trying to figure it out. But, unfortunately, every Democrat but one in the Senate and all but five in the House voted for the bill* and they’re all going to try to tell you it’s about tourism and boosting minority businesses.

We thought you should know that’s a load of bull (see below, apparently even Cafaro subconsciously agrees)

Senator Cafaro calls "bull"shit--on herself

* – legislators voting against SB314 (JobsOhio II) were: Senator Skindell, and Representatives Carney, Foley, Bob Hagan, Phillips and Ramos.

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  • missskeptic

    Speaking of JobsOhio, did anyone notice that Mark Kvamme married his much younger girlfriend? There was an oh-so-special photo in the Delaware Gazette this week. The new Mrs. is really lovely, can’t understand why she is interested in butt-ugly Mark. Oh, right. The money.

  • clambake

    Bob Hagan for governor!

  • brent zimmerman

    It is a sad world. First, it is very sad that you seem to be incapable of doing anything but objectifying Mark Kvamme as a piece of meat and an economic center and seem to deny that he might have a soul. Perhaps you are a big fan of the Chippendales. (Actually, you should see me – Mark makes me like Quasimodo).

    I am sure that had Mark known you missskeptic, he would have been swept off your feet by your class, wit, erudition, kind soul and record of accomplishment, and committed himself to unionizing every mom and pop enterprise in the State of Ohio, raising taxes, and creating a worker’s utopia (oh and no doubt making sure that anyone who does not vote straight party-line for the Democrats is thrown in jail).

    Okay, seriously . . . . at first I didn’t think this deserved a response. Then I had a cup of coffee, thought about someone writing this nasty remark about my family, and how important I view progressive ideals and our political discourse. People like Arthur Schlesinger have inspired me. And, honestly, when I read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative (you should read it), and Robert Kennedy’s introduction, I was amazed to see a world pre Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich and James Carville. What have we become?

    These are two people that no matter what, for whatever reason, have chosen to be married. It is sad for all of us, Democrats and Republicans alike, that you somehow (and you are not alone, Republicans do it too) think it is okay to comment on people’s personal choices. I see from your posts that you have been married for 40 years. I can’t judge that marriage or what went into it or what goes in it . . . I simply would have no basis for that, even if you lived next door to me. And as the father of daughters, I guess I would hate to think that they would simply be judged on their looks and assumed that they had nothing of substance to offer a man, whether he was rich, poor, a Christian, Jew, Buddhist or atheist.

    There’s no political gain here in this kind of commenting. Hope in a quiet moment you will think about how you would feel if it was written about you or your children. Let’s work for our various political goals honorably, in the tradition of our best leaders who avoided the personal attack in favor of thoughtful arguments about policy and an attempt to find truth and common ground.

    As a friend of mine, a minister, always told me, you can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Right now, I think it is clear where you are choosing to sit. I suggest you sit down this afternoon, break out the George Harrison records and some red wine, and glory in this amazing world we find ourselves in, and find some love in your heart for yourself and others.

  • RepubAnon

    In about 4 years, we’ll likely be treated to stories about the shocking self-dealing and corruption going on at JobsOhio. Who could have foreseen that dropping oversight of large chunks of government funds would result in scandal?

  • buckeyeboss

    Alternate headline “Kasich signs Democrat sponsored bill into law”

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