American Bridge 21st Century, the progressive research and communications outfit whose mission is to hold Republicans accountable for their words and actions, has put out “2016 Scouting Report:American Bridge’s Media Guide to the Republican Presidential Bench,” a political wrap-sheet and dossier on the large GOP field on presidential wannabees.
Among the distinguished field of 20 GOP presidential hopefuls profiled is John Richard Kasich, Ohio’s 69th and now twice elected governor who is undertaking a stealth campaign to become the 45th President of the United States, starting in 2017.
Yes, the Lord’s Hands will have to be on the 25-percent governor even more than they were this year, if he’s to survive the inevitable clashes from party opponents who can shell him using the ample ammo provided in AB21c’s scouting report, which lays out in detail his vulnerables, of which there are many to choose from.
“We understand the frustration you feel with elected officials who campaign on one set of principles but govern by another, because we feel it too. We believe you deserve better than that. We think our elected officials should have one set of principles, not one for each set of special interests they represent,” AB21c says, reciting its political goal in life. Researching a candidates’ records and monitoring their public appearances is task one, task two for the group is to get that information airborne through mainstream and social media, grassroots activism and its website.
Doing what Ohio newspapers failed to do both in 2010 and again this year, AB21c offers a concise scouting rap-sheet for those interested in debunking Kasichlore down to its roots in reality. An excerpt from the introduction of Ohio’s governor says: “Kasich was frequently dubbed a ‘whiz kid,’ writing his own conservative budgets and pushing steep spending cuts in both the Ohio State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Kasich eventually rose to become chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, where he helped manufacture the 1996 government shutdown, which he later called ‘one of the greatest moments of my career.'”
Kasich is outed for overstating the role his Balanced Budget Act played in balancing the federal budget, for using his influence with Ohio’s public pension funds then denying his influence resulted in the pensions’ purchase of investments that lost hundreds of millions, and for proposing his own health care legislation in 1994 that included an individual mandate. No wonder Kasich didn’t want to debate Ed FitzGerald this year, given the numerous [62 end notes] instances when John Kasich buddied up to something [Individual Health Mandate] or with someone [Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers] when it was to his advantage to do so then back-peddled, walked back or outright denied when it went sour.
2016 Scouting Report Highlights:
Balanced Budget—Kasich takes credit as architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, projected to balance the federal budget by 2002. Kasich overstated the role his Balanced Budget Act played in the job creation and surplus generated in the late 1990s. Real credit was the booming economy, which would not have happened had Kasich and Republicans won the vote to not pass President Clinton’s budget.
Lehman Brothers—After leaving Congress, Kasich worked as a managing director for Lehman Brothers and served as the host of his own Fox News program. It was revealed in 2010 that Kasich used his influence with Ohio’s public pension funds to open doors for the sale of Lehman products. Kasich denied his influence resulted in the pensions’ purchases, which lost between $220 million and $480 million on subprime Lehman investments in 2008. That same year, Kasich earned nearly $1.4 million from his work at Lehman Brothers.525
Problems with the Base—On gun control, Kasich cast the deciding vote in the House to pass the 1994 assault weapons ban and touted his support for background checks at gun shows in 1999. Kasich later tried to backpedal from his record on the issue. It backfired when the NRA endorsed Ted Strickland.
Affordable Care Act—On Medicaid expansion, walked back his moderate view on it. Kasich proposed his own health care legislation in 1994 that included an individual mandate as well as guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Common Core—He’s for it
Balanced Budget Act—Wall Street Journal dubbing him “William Jefferson Kasich” and demonizing the legislation for creating more flexibility for spending increases than for tax cuts.
Invacare—Sat on the company board. The same year Kasich accepted a pay increase for sitting on the board, Invacare outsourced hundreds of jobs to China and Mexico. The following year, Invacare made $40 million in profits by cost-cutting, which included “expanded outsourcing.” Invacare claimed it tried to help outsourced workers through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, a program that Kasich’s 1995 budget proposal would have eliminated entirely.
JobsOhio—Board wrought with conflicts of interest. Kasich approved more than $600,000 in tax credits for subsidiaries of a company called Worthington Industries, where he was a board member from 2001-2010. Kasich collected deferred compensation from Worthington Industries while his administration deliberated over awarding the tax credits to the company. Worthington Industries associates have contributed more than $110,000 to Kasich’s political campaigns throughout his career. JobsOhio board was made up of politically connected friends of Kasich’s, and their companies benefited from the very tax credits the development agency was established to direct. Two-thirds of JobsOhio board members were found to have “direct financial ties” to companies that received state assistance after Kasich became governor.
Collective Bargaining—Kasich pushed to weaken the rights of working families [SB5] and be “a centerpiece accomplishment” for Ohio Republicans. More people voted against the bill in 2011 than voted for Kasich in 2010. Kasich was the “lead spokesman” in favor of keeping SB 5 and became the Republican Party’s “poster boy for conservative overreach” by Politico after the bill’s defeat.
In related news, when Gov. John Kasich was asked by one reporter present at one of the governor’s newly staged events to push for a federal balanced budget amendment how he would end federal deficit spending, the 62-year old governor, who’s spent 36 years in public office, would offer no specifics.