Kasich announced this week that he would be moving forward with plans to turn over the rights to over a billion dollars in Ohio liquor revenue to the privately operated development group JobsOhio.  Bonds will be issued in the amount of $1.4 billion dollars, much of which will come back to the state, leaving JobsOhio with approximately $100 million to fund its operations.

Kasich needs JobsOhio up and running.  He needs it funded.  He needs it for his campaign.

The Governor’s team believes they can simply point people at a lower unemployment rate and point them at the fancy JobsOhio logo, and people will assume one caused the other.

Never mind that JobsOhio’s biggest deals were complete flops.   Never mind that JobsOhio added extra layers to Ohio’s economic development system.  Never mind that JobsOhio has been running on secret, private donations for months.  Never mind that Kasich won’t release the secret ROI formula JobsOhio uses to calculate their “success”.   Never mind JobsOhio has been slammed for running feel-good ads promoting Kasich throughout Ohio instead of doing ACTUAL economic development.

JobsOhio needs to APPEAR successful for it to be useful to Kasich’s reelection messaging strategy.  So he’s going to do whatever it takes to push through this funding – even though the courts have still not ruled on whether it’s constitutional.

Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director of ProgressOhio has serious concerns about JobsOhio and its funding model.   A lawsuit filed by his group still sits in the Ohio Supreme Court.

“Even the State of Ohio’s lawyers acknowledged in their briefs when JobsOhio sued the Ohio Department of Commerce that there are legitimate Constitutional concerns,” said Rothenberg.  “Our legal team is examining all options. But given the murky Constitutionality of this it is buyer beware on the market.”

“Kasich,” says Rothenberg, “took an oath to uphold the State Constitution — not just the parts he likes.”

Here’s the other important reason Kasich needs this deal to go through: he gets a big chunk of one-time cash to help balance his next budget.

The JobsOhio bond deal puts $500 million into the General Revenue Fund for Kasich to spend any way he wants.   That’s five times as much as JobsOhio is getting. And we’re fairly confident Kasich and his budget director Tim Keen already have this money allocated for other campaign-related spending, like an unnecessary income tax cut.

At the end of the day, the JobsOhio bond deal may be less about funding Development and more about getting Kasich some quick, one-time cash to help fund the projects he thinks will get him reelected.

  • Absolutely ! In today’s political world, perception IS reality. Wake up Ohio !

  • dmoore2222

    I think Ohio has awakened. The SB5/Issue 2 pushback was a pretty good indication that Kasich is neither trusted nor respected. He really has no signature accomplishment to run on. He can’t take full credit for Ohio’s recovery because his stance on the auto bailout gets thrown in his face every time. The SB5 opponents still have a strong ground game in tact that will be ready for 2014. Knowing how this amateur operates he won’t have anything near that as a counter weight. People expect highway projects to get done so that, in and of itself, is no big campaign plus. The Turnpike deal will finish him off anyway.

  • anastasjoy

    If Ed FitzGerald is his opponent, he will be able to counter Kasich’s claims with first-hand knowledge of how Kasich’s funny budgeting hurt local government and schools and raised taxes on ordinary homeowners by a much higher amount than any cut in income tax is going to give them (plus that cut will lead to more school and safety forces cuts and another rash of property-tax-raising levies). I’ve heard it estimated that Kasich’s proposed state income tax cut will give those earning under $50,000 a year a cut in the range of $30-$40. My property taxes have increased more than ten times that amount. Taxin’ John Kasich has been very very bad for many of us.

  • This governor will not get a second term no matter what he does We do not trust him.

  • as stupid as the people in ohio can be (they did elect this asshat) do not count on them waking up and getting rid of him. and unless they change the state reps to dems to and the other state offices to dems we are screwed and nothing will get done.

  • organized crime at its best, insulated, and protected by an elected official who is obviously involved in alot of shady deals.

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