It’s pure speculation on how local, state or national news media would treat a Democratic governor whose administration was as complicit in altering, falsifying or obfuscating for-profit charter school data as has been the administration of Gov. John Kasich.
Gov. Kasich’s fast footwork on the issue is needed to keep it from exploding beyond Ohio’s borders. Mr. Kasich is currently concentrating his hopes to be the Republican nominee for president next year by relocating to New Hampshire, a small libertarian-leaning state where he’ll fade fast if he doesn’t place at least third come next February.
To boost his sad national ratings, at about 2 percent according to a new Monmouth University Poll, he’s has already spent more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, to introduce himself to Granite State voters. General nasty by nature, Gov. Kasich’s ploy to paint himself as a positive guy could run into difficulty if voters outside Ohio know just how terrible his stance is on for-profit charter schools that produce equally terrible results despite the billions in taxpayer dollars Mr. Kasich has showered on them.
Ross Should Resign Or Be Fired
When former Democratic Attorney General Marc Dann’s staff acted irresponsibly, engaging in sexual dalliances with staff, Republicans attacked him mercilessly. GOP outrage, political as it was, prompted Democrats at the time, including former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, to push Dann from office.
Now that John Kasich and his administration, specifically Dr. Richard Ross who Kasich hired to be Superintendent of Education, has delayed the release of public documents that allow the public a glimpse behind the walls at ODE, offering the preposterous excuse that they “want to get it right,” it’s time Gov. Kasich man-up and take responsibility for the allegedly criminal act instead of casting it as mere political gamesmanship by Democrats and others who see the episode as another tale of deceit and mistrust in the storybook of Kasichlore that always points the finger of blame at others when his conservative principles go haywire.
Kasich’s comment designed to contain the mess raises even more questions about what he knew and when he knew it. “What we want (are) top-rated charter schools and when we thought that the numbers weren’t right, Dick Ross talked to (Hansen) and he no longer works for the state,” Ohio’s governor said, adding that Superintendent Ross “has my complete and total support.”
Dems Take Kasich, Ross To Task
Democrats, as anticipated, don’t believe Kasich in a New Hampshire second. “Based on just the preliminary reporting, it’s apparent that Superintendent Richard Ross has completely failed to do his job. What exactly was he doing all day while David Hansen cooked the books? It’s completely ludicrous to suggest Ross never had a single conversation with Hansen, even as department staffers were aghast at Hansen’s plans. And was Hansen fired or permitted to resign? Did Ross seriously allow Hansen to put in his papers after knowing what he had done? This document dump hasn’t answered anything. Ross is either lying or completely asleep at the wheel, and the people of this state deserve the truth about what Ross and Kasich knew and when they knew it.”
Mr. Kasich has every reason to downplay, delay, pushback on or obfuscate the many documents that already show more than one employees in more than one agency appeared to know of David Hansen’s grade-fixing scheme. So far, the document dump hasn’t offered up a smoking gun email that includes higher-ups including state Superintendent Richard A. Ross or Gov. Kasich himself. It’s basic Kasich to insulate himself from anything that would tarnish him time in office.
As for Dr. Ross, his explanation for the mess seems equally vulnerable to anyone not gullible enough to believe the masterminds behind the agenda to cripple public schools know what they’re doing. “We had a breakdown in our system which undermined the progress we were making in holding charter schools accountable,” he said, according to published reports. Excluding e-schools “didn’t cross my mind,” he said. “It’s not what I believe; not what I’m about.”
State Representative Teresa Fedor, a Democrat from Toledo, has said before that she believes Mr. Hansen’s actions could be criminal in nature. Fedor has come under fire from pro-for-profit charter schools advocates who now accuse her of misusing state resources. “Given the amount of time that has passed since the request, and the fact that the Ohio Department of Education and the governor have a lot to lose if records reveal willful and systemic charter school corruption at the highest levels of government, an independent eye should have investigated the scandal with Mr. Kasich’s campaign manager’s husband when it first happened,” Rep. Fedor told the Toledo Blade. She added, “It is unfortunate that, at this point, there is no way to trust or verify pending results that have likely been carefully picked over by multiple parties.”
Kasich Plays Major Media For Chumps
Gov. Kasich has enjoyed astounding complacency by Ohio media across the board, from television and radio to print newspapers, as they gladly push him for higher office. Ohio’s governor has crafted a speech to virgin ears in New Hampshire and other early primary states that portray him as a positive warrior who overcomes politics by working together to solve problems. While false in all respect, Gov. Kasich is nonetheless praying the sordid and possibly criminal incident that could derail his upbeat, flim-flam campaign in the same way Bridgegate has undercut the presidential aspirations of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fades into the murky mist of the past.
Gov. Christie fired one of his inner circle, Bridget Kelly, never asking her why she did what she did, which was to create a days-long traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge in retaliation for the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, NJ, not endorsing the governor for reelection.
Whether David Hansen resigned or was fired may never be known from Gov. Kasich or anyone in his administration. But that’s basic Kasich. What is also basic Kasich is to get problem employees off the state payroll. By doing so, they can say as they have in this case that the employee is gone, which relieves them of any responsibility to bring anyone to justice. Mr. Hansen will have a private attorney, should it come to that, who will guard his client and his client’s actions.
Plunderbund is among the groups asking for emails related to David Hansen, the husband of Gov. Kasich’s presidential campaign manager and former chief of state, Beth Hansen. It’s well known, and the story out Friday shows how Mr. Kasich works in these situations, that when controversial records are requested, the Kasich Administration delays releasing them as they review them for damage, make adjustments accordingly, then release them to requesters.
Given Gov. Kasich’s penchant for secrecy, and his administration’s paranoia about letting the public see what they are doing, his and Dr. Ross’ statements are preposterous on their face. And if they aren’t, the governor and his education chief should resign for either lying about it or being inept in doing their duty on behalf of Buckeye voters and taxpayers. Hansengate might be contained for a while, but Gov. Kasich will have to answer to either news media, the public at large, or his real master, the Lord at some point.
St. Peter Doesn’t Like Liars
St. Peter might ask John Kasich another question if and when he gets to the Pearly Gates. In addition to asking what he’s done for the poor, which is make them poorer, St. Peter might ask why Mr. Kasich hired Mr. Hansen in the first place? As the Bible says, rich people like Mr. Kasich don’t get into heaven. Another disqualifier for eternal salvation is not lying.
Good luck with that one, governor.