It was high political theater—and the height of political hypocrisy—when Gov. John Kasich called on his favorite political party—the one he says is his “vehicle” not his “master”—to be transparent when Republicans take their national nominating convention to Cleveland in July.
It’s widely anticipated that backroom dealing will abound in what many now believe will be an open convention because none of the three remaining GOP candidates—including and most especially Mr. Kasich—will arrive with enough delegates to win the nomination on the first vote. Second or more votes could spell disaster for some but give hope to others who couldn’t keep pace during the primary season.
Republican Chairman Reince Priebus has promised transparency. “If it’s an open convention, then we’re going to have to be clear, open and transparent on what the rules say and how they’re administered. And it will be very clear and there will be a camera — cameras at every step of the way,” Priebus said, McClatchy reported.
Kasich’s High Hypocrisy On Transparency
Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz want John Kasich to go back to Ohio, a thought expressed by other conservative pundits. For those who want to see a mano-a-mano duel between the two leaders, they say Gov. Kasich, who has not finished first in more than 31 tries so far, has no business being in this race.
Campaigning in the State of New York and New York City ahead of the primary there on April 19, Gov. Kasich finds himself far, far behind his two front runners, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, in both votes and delegates. As the last three candidates out of 17 that started the GOP race for presidential nominee last year, John R. Kasich is dreaming of sugar plum fairies making him the consensus alternative to Trump or Cruz when delegates show up in Ohio later this summer.
National and state reporters are trapped in candidate Kasich’s carefully but largely false narrative of being a miracle worker willing to rise above politics to bring people together to solve problems. For Ohioans who have followed his long and lucrative career as a performance politician for nearly 40 years, few know him to be anything other than a hard-boiled political animal whose sanctimonious know-it-all persona doesn’t tolerate different voices. Kasich likes to point to his one-off relationships with a couple Democrats, one of them Rep. Ron Dellums, but those encounters involving compromise and collaboration are few and far between. They are the exception, not the rule.
The 63-year old term-limited governor, who has spent more than 180 days so far on the road outside of Ohio after he won an easy second-term victory in 2014, and his insulated administration have been anything but transparent when it comes to what they let the public know, as many people and news sources, including Plunderbund, can bear witness to.
It was therefore rich, indeed, when Gov. Kasich called on his party to be transparent. Media seem blind or lazy to learning about his real record in Ohio, so they are unable to put him on his heels with pushback even a high school news reporter can do with ease.
If he’s been a fan of transparency, it’s news to Ohioans, who have stood by helpless as he and a uber-friendly Republican legislature privatized a formerly public agency into a private one that is by statute excluded from peering public eyes. JobsOhio, Mr. Kasich’s pet project to “Lehmanize” Ohio in a way his former employer, Lehman Brothers, could never have done itself had it remained in business after the nation’s water broke from predatory substandard mortgage dealers. John Kasich worked for Lehman Brothers following his 18 years in congress and helped Ohio pension plans lose hundreds of millions in bad investments made with Lehman with Kasich acting as the company’s Buckeye rain-maker and match-maker.
50 Ways For Kasich To Be Transparent
Gov. Kasich has a long way to go on his efforts to bring transparency to himself and his administration. Among 50 ways he could be transparent, the first one that’s in the news is the cost to Ohioans for his security. The Cleveland Plain Dealer [CPD], after endorsing John Kasich in 2010 and then again two years ago, actually mustered the gumption to write an editorial slapping Camp Kasich for stretching public record rules to keep his security detail costs hidden.
“The Kasich administration is stretching to the breaking point both common sense and state public records law when it comes to “security,” particularly as it applies to who is paying for Gov. John Kasich’s security during his presidential bid,” said the legacy newspaper who’s biggest black eye was kowtowing to Kasich’s handlers who thought the video showing him acting like a teenage potentate was bad enough that it should be removed from the Internet so no one could see it. The paper, with flimsy excuses, did just that.
In a Sunday editorial, the CPD pummeled Camp Kasich for its stock response that it never discusses the security for the governor, first lady or his family. It went on to say that Kasich is relying on a 7-0 Ohio Supreme Court decision in 2014 that widened a loophole in the Open Records Law for so-called “security records.” “The court’s decision in State ex rel. Plunderbund Media v. Born is complicated, but it’s ridiculous for the Kasich administration to use it to refuse comment on the possible sharing of the costs of Kasich’s protection (as opposed to comments on protection methods),” it wrote, adding a little zinger at the end that even though the Highway Patrol is required to protect John Kasich, “John Kasich isn’t required to run for president.”
A good second opening for more transparency should be letting Ohio’s state auditor to audit JobsOhio’s books. He could add to that by not stonewalling or dragging his feet on public records requests as he’s done time and time again.
He could be transparent by not lying about his involvement with state lawmakers on issues relating to charter schools and laws that harm women accessing their constitutional right to an abortion.
He could be transparent on his and his team’s involvement in the nefarious plot to derail a would-be candidate for governor, Charlie Earl of the Libertarian Party of Ohio.
He could be more transparent on why he’s signed over 20 laws that damage women’s access to health care instead of saying he’s pro-life and refusing to say a word more.
He could be more transparent on why he has it out for the public sector while looking the other way when the private sector goes astray.
He could be transparent on the fact that he inherited a state already on the recovery instead of saying Ohio was broke.
He could be more transparent on why he dedicated his team and its resources to trying to gut collective bargaining rights for public union workers, as he did in his first year on the job.
He can show his commitment to transparency by releasing his tax returns during his Lehman Brother years so everyone can see whether he got big bonuses while Ohio pension systems lost hundreds of millions.
John Kasich likes living in the shadows, so when he calls for the Republican Party to heave-to on the issue of transparency, he should listen to his own advice for a change. And Lord knows, saying one thing and doing another won’t get you past the Pearly Gates.