Governor John Kasich claims he’s waiting for the results of the KPMG study before making a decision about whether to lease or bond against the Ohio Turnpike, but documents obtained by Plunderbund indicate the decision was made long before KPMG ever started work.

According to an email sent March 25, 2012, Spencer Wood, CIO of the Ohio Department of Transportation, told a consultant that ODOT was planning a “hostile takeover” of the Ohio Turnpike and unionized employees would “be laid off and replaced”.

Portions of the email, sent by a Gartner consultant, are shown below.  The email summarizes a discussion she had with Wood over lunch.


Spencer –
I hope all is well? It was great catching up with you last week. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to fill Ed and me in on what you are currently focused on (and I thoroughly enjoyed Tommy’s!). I want to ensure I captured everything that we discussed. Below, I have summarized our discussion and plan.


Discussion Notes:


M&A – Ohio passed legislation that gave the State DOT legal authority to take over the Turnpike (which is currently a separate entity) or to lease it out to someone. This will essentially be similar to a hostile takeover as the teamsters now currently control the turnpike and will likely be laid off and replaced by State union or private employees. Problems are already popping up with the teamsters acting hostile to State employees. The DOT has legal authority to go in and take it over to clean things up and ready it for leasing. The RFP for leasing will be ready to go by the end of ’11 or at the latest by March ’12. They are using an independent consultant to value the tpke and help them ready it for leasing.


Some points of clarification:

  • The “independent consultant” mentioned in the email is KPMG, the consulting firm conducting Kasich’s $3.4 Million, state-funded “Opportunity Analysis” of the Turnpike.
  • The Teamsters Union  represents all Turnpike employees, including Toll Booth and Maintenance employees.
  • “M&A” typically refers to Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • This is beyond shadey….planned, calculated…theft from Ohios citizens…period!

  • mrgavel

    Time for another referendum drive and this one would be just as successful and just as politically damaging to Kasich as the last one.

  • dmoore2222

    Johnny Jobs Kasich has no idea of the wrath he’ll bring on himself and the further fracturing of his party that will result from this ruse. For one who has spent his entire work life in politics he shows a stunning lack of political instinct. The smackdown from this may exceed the SB5 humilitation.

  • Spitfiremk1

    For the last few months Kasich’s hand picked goons have been
    bragging about the “record profits” that the turnpike has been making in an effort to make it look good to a potential buyer, or to convince legislators that a lease will somehow make all ODOT’s money problems go away. It is small wonder that there are such )profits” since they have frozen wages, not replaced workers who have left, had two unusually large toll increases in the last two years and cancelled or delayed major road improvement projects. Before Kasich, the Turnpike was paying it’s own way, now it is a record money making tree and the zombies want to cash it in.

    The fact is that public highways, universities and government were set up to serve the citizens and not to make record profits so that they can be groomed for sale to private investors with the sole and short sighted goal of profit and dump.

    I hope that John Kasich and his thugs (including Wray and
    Hodges) can see the big one fingered salute that the citizens of Ohio are
    holding up to them right now.

    I’m pretty sure that I am not wrong!

  • Now that Ohio’s courts have decided the use of fuel taxes to any where other than road maintenance etc. “Taking money collected on gasoline sales by the state’s updated business
    tax and spending it on anything but highway-related programs is
    unconstitutional, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Friday as it accepted
    arguments that the tax is wrongly diverting $140 million annually from
    fuel sales to non-roadwork accounts for schools and cities.” Maybe the should think about making the turnpike a public road and stop all the tolls and issues of selliing it.

    But that leaves another issue. How will Kasic now fund the general funds for schools and cities which he is doing a very poor job of now?

  • disqus_3Mv2avCaVt

    None of those dates make any sense. Why would the consultant mention the end of 2011 if the letter was sent in March 2012? And why would ODOT’s CIO say the RFP for leasing would be issued in March 2012 when the originally study deadline was in July 2012?

  • Good riddance unions.

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