It’s no secret that the Columbus Dispatch editorial board is in the tank for Gov. Kasich. The Wolfe family which has owned the Dispatch’s parent company have long been major Republican donors, and that continues today with leading members of the family being maxed out donors to Governor Kasich’s re-election campaign even 16 months before the election.
However, today’s editorial in the Dispatch is appalling in its hypocrisy. The Dispatch’s basic argument is that Ohio has gained 162k private sector jobs since Gov. Kasich took office as proof that JobsOhio is working. Also, it notes that most of the deals with its board members in question occurred before JobsOhio was operation. Think about that for a second.
How can JobsOhio be credited for Ohio’s private sector growth since Kasich took office if its Board members didn’t violate basic ethic guidelines because most of the assistance at issue was rewarded before JobsOhio existed? Both cannot be true.
Not even the Dispatch’s own reporting buys that line of thinking:
However, records show that at least two of the projects cited in the complaint came after the board was created. And while others came before, Kasich has credited JobsOhio with all of the state’s job-creation success.
Look, unless JobsOhio has found a quantum way to create jobs that define our concept of lineal time, it cannot be said to be responsible for jobs that were actually create before JobsOhio existed. I mean, if some of the board members’ apparent conflict can be excused because the incentives were awarded to their companies before JobsOhio existed, then JobsOhio cannot receive credit for jobs before it existed. To suggest otherwise is to be selective inconsistent, if not downright hypocritical for nothing more than partisan reasons.
Of course, there’s the issue of causation as JobsOhio itself admits that it is far more focused on giving incentives to jobs that already exist than in creating new ones at an astonishing ratio of 9:1. But even if you set aside the issue of causation, basic understanding of JobsOhio’s history shows it deserves virtually no credit for the private sector gains Ohio has made since Gov. Kasich took office.
JobsOhio was created in the last General Assembly when HB 1 became law, but Governor Kasich did not even name his appointees to its Board of Directors until July 2011. Without a Board of Directors, JobsOhio couldn’t appoint officers, approve contracts, hire anyone or do anything. However, between when Kasich took office in January and July, Ohio had already gained 46,600 of the 162,000 private sector jobs it’s gained since he took office (28.77%). So over a quarter of Ohio’s private sector job growth occurred in the first six months of Kasich’s term before JobsOhio had any directors or officers. But that’s still not the whole story.
It wasn’t until January 2012 that the Controlling Board approved the contract transferring economic development from the Ohio Department of Development to JobsOhio. Ohio had already gained another 53,300 private sector jobs from when JobsOhio board was appointed until it actually had the legal authority to do economic development for Ohio. In other words, 61.67% of all the private sector jobs gained since Kasich took office were already created before the Ohio Controlling Board approved JobsOhio’s contract to undertake economic development for Ohio.
But that’s not all. That contract called for funding for JobsOhio’s economic development efforts to come from proceeds raised from bonding Ohio’s future liquor profits. That bond sale wasn’t done until February of this year. Do you know how many of the 162,000 private sector jobs gained since Kasich took office have been created since J0bsOhio got its funding?
4,500, or less than 3% of all the private sector jobs gained since Kasich took office.
That’s right. 97% of the private sector jobs created in Ohio since Kasich took office were already created before JobsOhio had a Board, officers, legal authority to do economic development for Ohio and the funding to do it.
You don’t even have to get into evidence of causation to see that Ohio was creating private sector jobs at a faster pace without JobsOhio than it has with it. An inconvenient truth that Gov. Kasich and the Columbus Dispatch editorial board refuses to address because they can’t.
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