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John Kasich’s Calamity

Should a RINO-ish governor with a moribund state economy launch a bid for the presidency in 2016?

by
Tom Blumer

Bio

April 2, 2014 - 11:14 pm
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In 2010, Ohioans longing for genuine reform after decade upon decade of virtually uninterrupted tax-and-spend government finally thought they had found their change agent in former congressman John Kasich.

The state hadn’t seen anything resembling conservative governance since the first year or so of Republican George Voinovich’s gubernatorial reign during the early 1990s. But just 15 months after what had been an impressive start, Voinovich began pushing for tax increases on booze and cigarettes. By the end of his second year, he and pliant Republican legislators were plotting soak-the-rich schemes. In 1996, Voinovich was the only Republican governor in America to receive a fiscal policy “F” from the Cato Institute. By that time, Republicans in the General Assembly were complaining that they needed equal time to respond to Voinovich’s annual left-leaning State of the State addresses.

Under Bob Taft, things got even worse. After treading water during his first term, Taft in 2003 seriously sullied his ancestors’ Republican and conservative legacies by ramming massive tax increases through the General Assembly. An alleged tax reform effort in 2005 barely nibbled around the edges while adding a horrid gross receipts levy to the mix. When a scandal-plagued Taft left office, Ohio’s business tax climate was fourth-worst in the nation.

Before the Voinovich era, Democrat Dick Celeste raised the income tax by 90 percent. After the Taft era, Democrat Ted Strickland allowed the spending spree which his predecessor had enabled to continue unchecked, even as the state’s economy went into free-fall. Over 400,000 jobs, a shocking 8 percent of statewide employment, disappeared.

The time could not have been more ripe for a genuine conservative to come in and not only right the ship, but also return Ohio’s economy, after over 30 years of watching other states pass it by, to a prosperous trajectory.

Kasich certainly looked like the guy who could and would do it. During the 2010 Buckeye State governor’s race, he repeatedly told audiences that “I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party,” and with good reason. While in Congress, he “was the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Budget Committee in 1997 that balanced the nation’s budget for the first time in more than 30 years.” He selected State Auditor Mary Taylor as his running mate largely because, while a state representative, she had defied the establishment by voting against Taft’s tax increases.

Despite passive-aggressive obstruction by the state’s Republican Party chairman and a desperate, media-assisted smear campaign by Strickland, Kasich become the first challenger to defeat a sitting Buckeye State governor in 36 years.

To his credit, Kasich did right the fiscal ship. His first two-year budget closed the projected $8 billion budget gap Stickland had left behind without increasing taxes. He enthusiastically signed a repeal of the state’s death tax. He made some progress cutting an overgrown bureaucracy. The state’s economy responded by generating over 90,000 jobs and growing by 2.9 percent during his first 12 full months in office. Both figures significantly outpaced the averages in the rest of the U.S.

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Top Rated Comments   
Kasich is indeed now a wrecking ball destroying any conservative ideas in his way. Now, this will understandable hurt his own re-election prospects two years from now. But the more immediate concern is how this turncoat is working to destroy the true conservatives who were elected in the past several cycles. My state rep, Matt Lynch has done all he promised - worked for reduced spending and taxes and fought the awful Medicaid expansion. He has even taken on public sector pensions. For this, Matt Lynch and his conservative comrades who took on Kasich and the Medicaid "decree" by Kasich, are all targeted for defeat by Kasich and Steve Latourette, the man who intends to make conservatism illegal in the Republican Party. Latourette imported his idiot daughter from Kentucky to run as his ventriloquist dummy against Matt Lynch. Lynch said "no mas" and decided instead to move up the food chain and take on Dave Joyce for US Congress, Latourette's other ventriloquist dummy who had been his Chief of Staff in this same seat before Latourette retired in 2012.

Kasich must have done an act that got him blackmailed, because he turned from a decent man into a hard core leftist, with all the evil dirty tricks that implies. He is not even any longer a Republican. He is an Obama lackey. All Ohioans now must abandon the Ohio GOP and work with their Tea Parties to restore the GOP here, or failing that, to establish a new Party. There is no way to work with John Kasich, Steve Latourette or the goons they have put into the Ohio GOP bureaucracy. Sadly, this now includes the useless Senator Rob Portman.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blumer is correct. Not only would I not vote for Kasich for president, I will not vote for him for governor again. End-running the General Assembly by using the control board showed me his true colors. Ohio will regret that Medicaid expansion. Indeed, the Assembly should make every effort to end funding and do all they can to block that idiotic move.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
At least we know where the GOP big money will go if Jeb Bush falls flat on his face.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
John Kasich is a good example for why politicians need to be replaced frequently. I'm glad John Kasich defeated the even worse Ted Strickland, but it appears that Kasich has gone native.

Note that the less experienced, less credentialed Scott Walker has been more successful as governor than Kasich. Strategically, Walker divided the opposition by leaving the public safety unions out of the reforms, focusing for now mostly on Teachers unions and education costs. Walker also did a better job of getting Republicans to work together to stand up to union led recall efforts. Walker rejected federal funds for Medicaid expansion and Porkulus money for "high speed" rail.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conservatives should primary him.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Good job, Tom.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, to give him excuses to quit his failing day job and become a "conservative" talking head on CNN to bellyache how extremist the Republican nominee is, how another Clinton could save the Republic.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
He should have quit when he was ahead and remained a mediocre gasbag commentator on Fox.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kasich took federal funds to glorify himself, and that is a deal breaker. Go away, Johnny, the nation can do better than you.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a chance.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
No because last time I heard him pontificate he was still ignorant of the of the true nature of the ROP.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
ROP?? What is that?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kasich is indeed now a wrecking ball destroying any conservative ideas in his way. Now, this will understandable hurt his own re-election prospects two years from now. But the more immediate concern is how this turncoat is working to destroy the true conservatives who were elected in the past several cycles. My state rep, Matt Lynch has done all he promised - worked for reduced spending and taxes and fought the awful Medicaid expansion. He has even taken on public sector pensions. For this, Matt Lynch and his conservative comrades who took on Kasich and the Medicaid "decree" by Kasich, are all targeted for defeat by Kasich and Steve Latourette, the man who intends to make conservatism illegal in the Republican Party. Latourette imported his idiot daughter from Kentucky to run as his ventriloquist dummy against Matt Lynch. Lynch said "no mas" and decided instead to move up the food chain and take on Dave Joyce for US Congress, Latourette's other ventriloquist dummy who had been his Chief of Staff in this same seat before Latourette retired in 2012.

Kasich must have done an act that got him blackmailed, because he turned from a decent man into a hard core leftist, with all the evil dirty tricks that implies. He is not even any longer a Republican. He is an Obama lackey. All Ohioans now must abandon the Ohio GOP and work with their Tea Parties to restore the GOP here, or failing that, to establish a new Party. There is no way to work with John Kasich, Steve Latourette or the goons they have put into the Ohio GOP bureaucracy. Sadly, this now includes the useless Senator Rob Portman.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blumer is correct. Not only would I not vote for Kasich for president, I will not vote for him for governor again. End-running the General Assembly by using the control board showed me his true colors. Ohio will regret that Medicaid expansion. Indeed, the Assembly should make every effort to end funding and do all they can to block that idiotic move.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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