You have to hand it to Ohio’s first-term Tea Party governor, John Kasich. He does what he wants, including not responding to questions asked of him by various groups, including a few of the state’s easily manipulated newspapers. Demonstrating for all to see what a political coward he is, he’s tossed election traditions like debating his challenger into the trash by refusing, even once, to stand on stage with his Democratic challenger.
Kasich has used Ed FitzGerald’s cratering campaign to duck out of debating the Cuyahoga County Executive, who has ample evidence to show that the Westerville Wizard’s policies have largely not worked for the majority of Ohioans. When both the governor and his major-party challenger were asked a series of 20 questions recently by the Kasich-friendly Columbus Dispatch, Johnny Pennsylvania didn’t even bother to answer a majority of them. FitzGerald, to his credit, answered them all in writing.
One of many big questions the hard-right servant of the American Legislative Exchange Council also doesn’t want to answer is whether he’s for or against making Ohio the next so-called right to work state. This glib governor normally has something to say on any topic the GOP has established talking points on. Kasich refused to weigh-in on whether he’ll do the biding of a right-wing legislature that wants to add Ohio to the list of states that have put right to work legislation in place, including Michigan where its Republican governor said he wasn’t for it until the bill, passed by his GOP-controlled General Assembly in short order, was delivered to his desk to sign.
At a past media event hosted by the Associated Press, Gov. Kasich could only say that right to work “is not on my agenda.” More weaselly words have not be spoken. So when John Kasich refuses to either debate his opponents or answer questions other candidates do answer, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that he wants to hide what he’ll do after the election.
Kasich’s long-standing inability to be truthful in run-ups to elections was best demonstrated when he spoke not one word in his election campaign of 2010 about gutting collective bargaining rights for public union workers. But after he barely beat Ted Strickland in 2010, he and his hard-right legislature wasted no time in introducing, passing and signing SB 5 – a bill that did just that. Some Kasich watchers say its basic Kasich to run silent and run deep. Others say that had he been truthful with voters four years ago, Ted Strickland would have won by a half-million votes. Instead, Kasich squeaked by with just 77,127 votes statewide. Shame on Mr. Pennsylvania for ducking and covering.
What John Kasich has taught voters over and over is that when he purposely ignores questions posed to him on topics he does have an agenda on, it’s just a matter of time until he does exactly what he refuses to say he will do. Capital square watchers will carefully watch the lame duck session this year when he could be delivered a so-called right to work bill. Kasich’s lieutenants, Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker Bill Batchelder, have so-far guarded him against any bill coming to his desk before this election. But come November, Kasich will likely do what everyone else knows he’ll do: sign a right to work bill.