JobsOhio announced today that it will launch an advertising campaign featuring new 30-second television spots that will “run for three weeks on most major networks around the state.” You read that correctly. John Kasich’s signature program, funded with taxpayer dollars and responsible for attracting new jobs to Ohio, is going to start running TV ads in Ohio.
For a group that fought tooth-and-nail to be free from any government oversight or public scrutiny, the purpose of their first big ad buy couldn’t be any more transparent.
You may be familiar with TV ads from Michigan or New York that air on Ohio television touting the benefits of living, working and starting or moving companies to those states. These aren’t those kind of ads. Instead, JobsOhio appears to have only one aim: touting the “accomplishments” of Governor John Kasich in what can only be assumed is the first ad of his 2014 reelection campaign.
One short JobsOhio ad previewed on YouTube claims “Since January 2011, Ohio business have created 112,600 new jobs.”
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly the same self-serving line Kasich has been delivering for months. January 2011 is the month Kasich took office.
Ohio’s economic recovery actually started in December 2009 under Governor Strickland. Since then, according to the same BLS data the ad cites, Ohio created 175,00 total jobs – 55 percent more than the ad claims.
If JobsOhio really wanted to promote Ohio’s economic recovery, they would count jobs created going back to December 2009 when hiring began.
And if JobsOhio really wanted to attract inward investment from other states, they’d run the ads in other states.
Instead, JobsOhio has taken to simply serving as cheerleaders for the Kasich Administration. For JobsOhio to tout job creation since the date of John Kasich’s inauguration, rather than the start of the state’s economic recovery, and to aim it at an in-state audience suggests their goal has nothing to do with promoting Ohio’s economy to potential investors and everything to do with boosting John Kasich’s political fortunes. It’s a wholly inappropriate expenditure for a supposedly independent, nonpolitical taxpayer-funded entity.