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Is Ohio Governor John Kasich the Chris Christie of the Midwest?

What to make of a Tea Party-backed candidate caught canoodling with President Obama?

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

February 27, 2013 - 10:09 am

It’s understandable that many conservatives thought they had an ally in Kasich. For two years he spoke their language and moved the state in a conservative direction. But careful observers saw troubling signs of a big government statist percolating beneath the surface.

Shortly after Kasich assumed office, outgoing governor Ted Strickland said that Ohio’s share of Race to the Top education funding, which came with significant federal strings attached, would be in jeopardy if Kasich implemented his planned education reforms.

Kasich wasn’t concerned. He made overtures toward Obama by flirting with his education secretary. He had a first and then a second date with Arne Duncan and said the federal grant money was not in jeopardy:

“I had what I can only describe as a great conversation with the secretary,” the Toledo Free Press reported, “And I told him when it comes to accountability, choice, and high standards, where do I get in line? He said, look, you’ll have your money and we’ll be great partners. And I said, could I tell the media that, he said absolutely.”

The Toledo Free Press also reported that:

[Kasich spokesman Rob] Nichols said Kasich saw Duncan again Dec. 2 on a visit to Washington and Race to the Top did not come up. He said they spoke about overall education reforms, and Kasich is convinced the two see eye-to-eye on many education issues.

Then late last year, the governor of Ohio signed a directive mandating that all private insurance companies in the state cover treatment for autism. The “conservative” governor, apparently frustrated that the autism coverage bill stalled in the General Assembly, decided to go the executive fiat route.

In defending his decision, Kasich winked at Dear Leader Obama—for the children! :

When we have the chance to do the right thing, we better do it because we don’t want to live life with any regrets. We’re doing the right thing today. Helping kids with autism get the services they need, and helping their parents get the financial lifeline of insurance coverage, that’s something I support. … We’re not going to turn our backs on them. In fact, we’re extending them our hands and are going to bring them along.

And then Kasich climbed up into Obama’s lap and planted a wet, sloppy kiss on his cheek. The Toledo Blade reported:

[Kasich] also sent the Obama Administration a written “comment” on proposed federal rules for implementation of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Ohio that his office said have the effect of including autism spectrum disorder as part of the minimum coverage private insurers would have to provide under the law.

The new mandate likely violates three substantive provisions of the Health Care Freedom Amendment, which is now enshrined in the Ohio Constitution. Responding to criticism that the mandate violates the state constitution, Kasich’s spokesman Rob Nichols gave Obama a bear hug of his own, saying, “[We] just don’t have common ground for discussion with anyone who opposes providing this kind of help to a child with a disability.”

In other words, anyone who disagrees with Kasich’s imperial fiat would leave kids with autism to fend for themselves. Interesting and familiar strategy.

It’s not the only time the governor acted like King John Kasich. He violated the Ohio Constitution when he made a backroom deal with casino owners to exempt them from the commercial activity tax, simultaneously expanding the lottery (again, in direct violation of the Constitution) by placing video lottery terminals at racetracks. Kasich justified it by saying he was getting “a better deal” for the state.

On the heels of these decisions and with the other signs of trouble, it probably should not have come as a surprise to anyone that Kasich’s 2014-2015 budget included something considered to be a first degree heresy by many conservatives in the state: an expansion of Medicaid as part of the Obamacare debacle.

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Top Rated Comments   
Get used to this fact: for all practical purposes, there are no longer two separate political parties in the USA. Everyone in political leadership in this country with too few exceptions to matter is a member of the Incumbent Party whose only loyalty is to continuing their political careers and to pleasing their big money donors. Dems and Republicans may differ on what they want to waste your tax dollars on, but they're all part of the same club and part of the nation's problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (15)
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"Is Ohio Governor John Kasich the Chris Christie of the Midwest?"

Why is everyone surprised when a Yankee acts like a Yankee?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow! Now the tea party is eating its own like a bunch of southern baptists, if you know what I mean.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey, John, if you ever need to change careers, might I suggest something in the mortuary sciences?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ouch! Why, yes. Yes he is. He's a career politician who could never make it in the real world (not for what he is used to hauling down) and he is more interested in looking to protect his job than he is in serving Ohio as the conservative governor they elected him to be. And he's got the down-sloping hound-dog eyes to go with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Recognize him as RINO and never trust him again in anything small or large. Smack anyone that suggests he can be trusted.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kasich seems to be suffering from "Schwarzenegger Syndrome". Arnold basically threw in the towel after his school reform efforts in 2005 was rejected by state voters, and the same thing seems to be happening in Ohio -- Kasich lost his budget battle two years ago on restricting public sector workforce union control and since then has been in backtracking mode, under the idea that remaining popular and winning re-election next year trumps any effort to actually expend political capital to change the unsustainable budget system.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kasich is a RINO. Most of the Republicans in Ohio are RINOs. He's up for reelection and he thinks that going along with Obamacare is his ticket to another four years as governor. I really got sick when he said he worked with Valerie Jarrett on the issue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Get used to this fact: for all practical purposes, there are no longer two separate political parties in the USA. Everyone in political leadership in this country with too few exceptions to matter is a member of the Incumbent Party whose only loyalty is to continuing their political careers and to pleasing their big money donors. Dems and Republicans may differ on what they want to waste your tax dollars on, but they're all part of the same club and part of the nation's problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I figured, it being the GOP, they were too stupid to actually be getting paid by the Dems for helping them out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It will be interesting to see how many new diagnoses of autism will be made in 2013 vs those of 2012 or 2011 in the state of Ohio now that there is "mandatory funding." It will also be interesting to see how large an increase there will be in the writing of prescriptions for medicines that claim to offset autism. No "turn-about" among so-called conservatives disappointed me more last year than Kasich's. I never trusted Christie but always felt that Kasich was a man worthy of admiration. The continued "hollowing out" of the conservatives from the GOP is very dis-heartening and I fear is permanent. How long do you think these "newbies" like Rubio and Jindal will last? Unless there is some sort of groundswell of support for a 3rd party, it's over for us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Christy is the Arnold of New Jersey, Kasich is the Christy of Ohio.
They "grow" flaccid in office. They flip and flop to the wind.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is not limited to Ohio and New Jersey and California.

http://1389blog.com/2012/01/31/willard-mitt-romneythey-call-him-flipper/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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