Kasich and his team have tried to spin the KPMG turnpike study as “a diligent analysis by an independent, unbiased advisory team” but emails obtained by Plunderbund show the Governor’s office played a hands-on role in directing the consultants to focus on two key areas: leasing the turnpike and/or turning it over to ODOT to bond against future revenue.
Both options, as we’re pointed out many times, would provide Kasich with a big pile of cash he could use to fund his pet transportation projects around the state in an effort to “buy” votes for his reelection campaign in 2014.
In the following email, ODOT Deputy Director Jim Riley relays directions from the Governor’s office to two key KPMG consultants:
From: Riley, Jim
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:50 PM
To: Wilschetz, Timothy D; Hamer, Ted
Subject: Policy related issues
At the request of OBM and the Governors office, they would like us to generate a list of policy related to the change in the goverance option and the bonding options….similar to the policy issues we discussed earlier this week that seemed to focus on a lease.
Perhaps some of the issues would be:
- Cost of bond defeasement
- Capacity to bond on current tolls
- Capacity to bond on assumed rate increases
- Bond rating goals
- Mandatory Toll increases tied to revenue bonds
- Capacity to bond under otc or odot
- Labor issues with an odot takeover
- Anticipated efficiencies of an odot takeover
- Legal issues of an odot takeover
I trust you can define more issues/considerations
Can u help me define a list of issues to discuss?
Here is the list we discussed earlier this week:
1. 50 year?
2. Preferred 3-5 year payout then revenue share?
3. Snow and ice stnds – DOT?
4. Toll pricing. CPI, GDP, or fixed?
5. Video tolling? Enforcement? Private operation?
6. Highway patrol?
7. Service plazas – separate concession?
8. Must have compensation clause about competing facilities – low
9. Turnpike employees? Teamsters union.
In response, the consultant said “Yep. We’ll get on it.”
As Kasich prepares for his big announcement about the Ohio Turnpike – possibly this week – keep in mind that the “independent” study he’ll be using to back up his decision was crafted by consultants hired, paid and directed by Kasich’s office.