With Gov. Kasich beginning to levitate in the stretch before the “debate”, the national media are finally taking a closer look at his dark side back in Columbus. Until now they have offered the short course of the governor’s overwhelming reelection without mentioning his phantom opponent. .
But the Huff Post Blog, as well as the Washington Post, riddled his image with a piece exposing to the rest of the nation what we have been talking about for a long time – his deference to major Republican contributors in Ohio’s messy billion-dollar charter school industry.
Kasich’s total lack of honesty in his promises to bring more accountability and rein in charter schools is being described as “scandalous”. Indeed, despite the wretched charter record in Ohio, Team Kasich actually increased its state funding.
The Huffington Post article’s author, John A. Tures, a political science professor at LaGrange College in Georgia, pointed to the heavy influence by leading Republican donors.
“During the 2014 election, three of Kasich’s top donors were charter school operator David Brennan and his wife, Ann, and Brennan’s company CEO, all of whom donated thousands of dollars,” Tures writes.
For those of us back home, that comes as no surprise. Brennan not only has emerged as the biggest Republican donor in the state, he has even reminded by personal letter the Republican legislature of their need to satisfy his grip on the charter school system. Brennan has built his company White Hat Management into a commanding political behemoth.
Tures also drew upon the Washington Post reference to Kasich’s generosity in pleasing donors, slashing public school funding by a half billion dollars, so that the state now pays more for each charter student than it does for a public school student.
It gets even stickier. How much will our governor have to say about the husband of Beth Hansen, his former chief of staff and current campaign manager? Hubby David, former agency director of school choice, resigned after it was discovered that he was omitting charter test scores for the poorest students so they didn’t weigh on the total score of the school.
I can see Kasich’s opponents in the race taking ample notes on the Wunderkind space shot from Buckeyeland. Clip and save.