John Kasich’s  now-famous “get on the bus” comments, made days after being elected Governor of Ohio, set the tone for the past two years of his administration.   The comments were aimed at Ohio’s businesses and trade/industry groups and the point was very clear:  if you want to deal with THIS Governor’s office, then you better get on board by publicly supporting Kasich, hiring the Governor’s friends and providing as much financial support as possible.

American Electric Power and its leadership, for reasons that will be clear in a moment, were likely on Kasich’s mind as he made these comments.  And despite the many very expensive public and private attempts to win back favor with the Governor’s office, AEP still appears to be at the top of Kasich’s shit list.

The company started out behind the eight ball.   AEP CEO and then-President Michael Morris supported Strickland during the 2010 Gubernatorial election as he had for many years.   And when the Ohio Chamber of Commerce endorsed Kasich over Strickland during the gubernatorial campaign, AEP quit in protest.

Morris, who has personally donated $18,000 to Strickland since 2005, was also the Chair of the Ohio Business Roundtable, an organization that supported Governor Strickland’s education reform plans.

And a month before the election, AEP and Strickland announced the Turning Point Solar project,” a 49.9 MW solar array to be built on strip-mined land adjacent to The Wilds nature conservancy” that would create 600 new jobs for Ohio and put our state at the forefront of solar development in the Midwest.

Kasich won the election in November 2010 and he immediately made it clear things would be changing in Columbus.  The bus comments were a warning to Ohio’s business leaders.  AEP got the message.   By December, they had announced Morris would be replaced as AEP President by Nicholas Akins, a big Kasich donor.

Akins and his wife had collectively given $6,375 to Kasich for his 2010 campaign.

But it seems that wasn’t enough for Kasich.

Morris was then forced to publicly support Kasich by joining and helping to fund, along with other CEOs who supported Strickland, One Ohio United – a propaganda machine for Kasich’s first budget tied to a Kasich campaign staffer.

But the personal shakedown of Morris and the changing of AEP presidents STILL wasn’t enough for Kasich.

As Joe Vardon reported today in the Dispatch,  AEP also hired Kasich’s friends Donald G. Thibaut, Rex Elsass and Chan Cochran as a lobbyists AND the company was shaken down for another $2 Million in donations to JobsOhio.

And what has AEP received for all of their efforts?

In July Kasich called up his appointees at PUCO to help kill an unpopular rate increase AEP was asking for.   And earlier this week, Kasich let his climate change-denying PUCO appointees kill the AEP solar project that would have created 600 jobs, against the advice of PUCO staff.

When the self-proclaimed “Jobs Governor” kills your plans create hundreds of new jobs in Ohio, for purely political reasons, you really have to wonder if all that time, effort and money you spent over the past two years could have been focused on something more useful.

  • dmoore2222

    It’s not the corporate types this chump has to worry about. It’s the ordinary voter who showed the big donors the door in this last election. Kasich the teacher an cop hater will get the same treatment.

  • John W.

    I hope you’re right.

    He certainly does seem to despise the middle class workers while he absolutely loves his corporate friends.

  • Natasha

    You guys have bought it all hook – line – and sinker.

    It’s never been about government or doing anything for the state or its residents with the GOP. Kasich, many times, enumerated his personal philosophies he intended to realize with the tools of the Republican political-carnival, carnie-barkers about taxation, guns, abortion, entitlements, and the uppity folks who are demographically in the 47% and are so much despised by the GOP. Despite his brazenness Kasich (and the near- unanimous ranks of GOP holding statewide elected offices in Ohio), Kasich won.

    Yeah, he said get on the bus – Strickland wasn’t stupid enough to describe his entourage menagerie of as a busload. Kasich was stupid enough to talk about his bus and the prospects of getting run over by the Kasich bloated busload of sycophants, lobbyists and politically ambitious neo-cons.

    After winning big in the recent mid-terms the Kasich bus is in high gear down the road to enrichment and looting the public treasury. The cash does flow now and will flow in ever larger amounts or that bus will be aimed at non-complying targets so that Kasich’s lobbyists and politi-pals are enriched at our expense. The question is: How do the elected politicians get the money?

  • Business as usual for King John!

  • Kasich cannot be trusted. Anyone who hasn’t yet figured that out deserves whatever crap he dumps on them.

  • dmoore2222

    He’ll be defeted in 2014 regardless of the money. He’s divided his own party. Between this and the SB5 blowback he’ll be shown the door.

  • Natasha

    Get on this bus!

    Here’s a terrific example of what you get from the Kasich and the GOP in Ohio. The Fracker-Jacks Rpublican politicians in Ohio want to make Ohio the repository of brine-waste from gas and oil well fracking by injecting it deep inside the ground under Ohio

    It’s kinda like an enema of hazardous waste and chemical stew of unknown compounds for Ohio with new Matamoas – Washington County, the insertion point or anal orifice for those wielding the nozzle.

    You can bet that some serious cash, you know “campaign contributions” is flowing to the Ohio GOP Fracker-Jack politicians along with the juicy toxic slime they want to pump up Ohio’s butt. Maybe they asked Kasich and crew if they wanted some “brine” and it was misunderstood to be a word with a “b” instead of the “n”.

  • Natasha
  • U r so right…

  • I hear he is considering VP nomination….

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