For everyone who knows Gov. John Kasich well after following his long and lucrative career as a showman politician, and after all his glib declarations about how he single-handily turned Ohio around, he’s just a con man at heart. He needs an anesthetized media to cut him breaks so his story of giving people hope again sounds reasonable and compassionate instead of being the out right lie it is.

For all the lazy, elite national reporters whose work becomes the fodder for lesser reporters, some of whom work for Ohio’s biggest newspapers, their blindness, intentional or not to Gov. Kasich’s record on education, especially its burgeoning and nationally recognized poor performing charter school system, is terrible and shameful.

Kasich Counts On Lazy Reporting

With the resignation of David Hansen, husband of Gov. Kasich’s former chief of staff, Beth Hansen, who was promoted to run his presidential campaign, his allegedly criminal activity—falsifying data on private for-profit charter schools by eliminating “F” scorecard grades because he thought they were unfair to the schools and their wealthy sponsors that reliably lard the campaign coffers of Republican lawmakers and Mr. Kasich himself—has drifted safely behind the curtain of public accountability. Gov. Kasich is surely glad that’s happened now that he’s left the state to campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where voters in these three early primary states know little about him in general and nothing about his real record as governor.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s mainstream media outlets, who couldn’t do enough stories on missteps and fumbles from last year’s Democratic candidate for governor, Ed FitzGerald, have played into Gov. Kasich’s game plan of letting yet another Kasich hire who went bad move into the shadows without fear any legal actions will hold them accountable for their misdeed in high public office.

Con Man Kasich

It is hard to believe that Ohio’s media establishment would let a similar situation drift away into obscurity had anything similar been perpetrated by a Democratic governor. But with ring leaders like the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer competing with each other for how many times each day they can write John Kasich into their headline streams, it’s sad that the governor they are pushing, and hoping rises to the top of the crop of White House hopefuls, can confidently count on them to let a story with such an obvious criminal component go unattended for so long.

Plunderbund, of course, is Ohio’s and the nation’s leading voice in calling out Gov. Kasich, David Hansen and others who want this story to live in obscurity. Brent Larkin, a former editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is among the very few who have spoken out on the scandal, and how Gov. Kasich is handling it, which is to say, being perfectly happy to let Mr. Hansen pass from the public eye.

One of these days, as Gov. Kasich spends yet more millions to boost his low, single-digit national polling high enough to keep him viable as a candidate who can emerge from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next year, one intrepid national reporter or brazen national blogger will take up David Hansen and his criminal activity, and force Gov. Kasich to address it with more than his typical comment that doing so would be nothing but politically motivated. Everything Gov. Kasich has done over the course of his long and lucrative career as a performance politician has been politically motivated. But reporters who don’t know the real John Kasich and are captivated by his dysfunctional personality and his two-faced comments on one issue after another, should wake up and report right.

No one expects the Ohio Department of Education, who hired Mr. Hansen, or Gov. Kasich, who knows him well and who had to approve of him before he was hired, to bring Mr. Hansen to justice. Until media, whether state or national, take up the story and start asking questions of the governor, his education chief, Richard Ross, and Republican lawmakers who are perfectly happy to let for-profit charter schools siphon off billions and produce poor performing schools, Gov. Kasich will have yet again escaped the firing line as he continues to run a deceptive campaign that’s based on half-truths that elite media seem incapable of diving deep on.

 

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