Last May, Governor Kasich took to Twitter to show off his conservative credentials: “Proud to accept invite to speak at CPAC Chicago in June. A great chance to highlight how Ohio’s focus on jobs can work for the USA.”
Kasich, of course, used the annual convention of conservatives as an opportunity to talk about himself – whining about previous administrations and their “tax and spend” practices, about closing a budget hole that didn’t really exist and about replacing money in the rainy day fund.
As we’ve noted many times before, the rainy day fund was replenished thanks to surpluses from Strickland’s budget. And those “tax and spend” policies? Kasich has proposed increasing General Revenue Fund spending by $12.5 Billion dollars in his two budgets while expanding sales taxes to every service-based business in the state. But I digress…
This year’s CPAC program shows Ohioans Ken Blackwell, Jim Petro and Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo III have all been invited to speak.
Kasich’s name does not appear on the program. We’re guessing it’s for the same reason New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was “uninvited” from the event: Medicaid expansion.
Plunderbund fully supports the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio, but it’s hard not to notice the rift Kasich’s plan has created between his supporters and critics in Republican circles.
So do conservative and Tea Party groups like the Ohio Liberty Coalition, which has threatened to mount a primary challenge against any Republican legislator who votes to expand Medicaid in Ohio. And just yesterday, dozens of Tea Party folks down in Cincinnati showed up to protest Kasich’s appearance at the local Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner with signs calling for a primary challenge to Kasich in 2014.
Kasich has also ruffled the feathers of conservatives with his proposed severance tax increase on oil and gas, his huge sales tax expansion, using billions in state money to fund “corporate welfare” with JobsOhio, and for his failure to support a proposed Right To Work amendment.
We’re not sure if Kasich, like Christie, was “uninvited” to CPAC. But it’s clear he’s no longer the conservative darling he was last June.