When Republican State Senator Bill Seitz issued his statement Monday, following Gov. John Kasich’s veto of Ohio House Bill 554, he didn’t spare the rod to spoil this governor.
“It is apparent that Governor Kasich cares more about appeasing his coastal elite friends in the renewable energy business than he does about the millions of Ohioans who decisively rejected this ideology when they voted for President-elect Trump,” Seitz, representing Ohio’s 8th District from Cincinnati, said.
Without action by the legislature by year’s end, Ohio would return to renewable energy requirements that were originally put in place in 2008 and have been on hold since 2014. HB 554 continues the freeze Kasich helped enable by making the requirements voluntary goals through the end of 2018.
The statement today from Sen. Seitz took a swing at Ohio’s lame duck governor in more than one way. With two years left in Kasich’s second and final term as Ohio’s executive branch leader, Sen. Seitz paved the way for override showdowns next year with him, as he finds Majority Caucus Republicans unafraid to zap the governor during the budget process or override him if and when he votes bills they want made law.
“We will do our part by launching a full scale effort next session to totally repeal these Strickland-era mandates,” Seitz warned, adding, “With veto-proof majorities next session, we are optimistic of success.”
John Kasich has no one to blame but himself for a bill that gives industry players the option of abiding by alternative energy portfolio standards passed when Ted Strickland was governor [2006-2010] with the help of then-cooperative Republicans. It was Gov. Kasich, after all, who decided the industry needed a “reset” with regard to compliance. He signed a bill establishing a legislative study commission to look at the issue. When the study commission decided to stiff Stricklands’ energy standards, Kasich then threatened to veto the bill that gave discretion to industry players if they wanted to self-police themselves.
The League of Women Voters of Ohio applauding Ohio’s governor for his veto will only further infuriate Seitz and others who won’t hesitate to exact their will in the next legislature, where Republicans will control 24 or 33 senate seats and 66 of 99 House seats.
Sen. Seitz, known for her rhetorical skills, took Kasich to the woodshed on what he started but then couldn’t finish. “This veto disrespects the legislative process that Governor Kasich himself endorsed when he signed our 2014 bill establishing a legislative study commission, whose recommendation was to indefinitely extend the freeze on Ohio’s expensive march up the Obama-Clinton-Strickland alternative energy mandate mountain,” the lawyer and legislator said Monday. “More than that, it disrespects the legislature’s attempt in HB 554 to meet Governor Kasich more than halfway by not extending the freeze, but rather, trying a goals-based approach for two years to prove that statist mandates are not necessary to achieve a cleaner energy future.
Seitz couldn’t resist bringing into the picture the Donald, who thoroughly creamed Kasich in the Republican race for the White House. Kasich lost badly, losing 49 states, while Trump not only thrashed Ohio’s quirky, petulant leader and 16 other challenger, he sent Hillary Clinton back to her home in New York State instead of the one in Washington she and husband Bill wanted to live in, that features an Oval Office.
“We can only hope that President Trump and his amazing cabinet of free market capitalists will save us from the regulatory overreach of Al Gore-style policies that take unnecessary money out of ratepayers’ pockets,” Seitz said in his statement.
Gov. Kasich, who has largely been able to command Ohio’s Republican party machinery to his ends, due in large part to help from Matt Borges, a FOK [Friend of Kasich] the former Lehman Brothers banker and Fox TV talk show host installed to lead the state GOP, may find his currency won’t buy him much when the next legislature, and its veto-proof majority, installs itself on January 3.