John Kasich's Calamity
Unfortunately, Kasich and state Republicans suffered a serious political setback in November 2011, when voters decisively torpedoed their attempt to enact collective bargaining reforms analogous to those successfully implemented by Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Since then, the Governor has been a different person, and his policies have veered into places even George Voinovich and Bob Taft wouldn't go.
His reaction to the fracking boom has been to propose a 400 percent increase in the severance tax while ramping up the rhetoric against "big oil."
After opposing Obamacare, Kasich turned around and championed Medicaid expansion. He spent months trying to shame opponents into supporting him by playing the "Christian" card, i.e., "You're not really a Christian if you won't support this." When legislators still balked, he went around them and took his case to the Controlling Board, an obscure state agency which normally deals with completely unrelated matters. When it looked like the sitting members of the Controlling Board wouldn't do his bidding, the Governor had the House Speaker arbitrarily replace two members who planned to oppose the move with supportive lackeys. The Wall Street Journal correctly described Kasich's heavy-handed move as "lawless." Washington isn't the only place where tyranny ("arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority") has gained a foothold.
As with Voinovich and Taft, Kasich's budget unsustainably expands spending by an anticipated average of over 5 percent per year through fiscal 2015. Half of that would still be way too much.
Ohio's economy has responded as one would expect: poorly. Despite the strong head start, statewide payroll employment growth during the 37 months which ended in February now trails the rest of the nation — and almost 40 percent of that growth has been in Metro Columbus, where payrolls have grown at triple the rate seen in the stagnating rest of the state. In the three years ended in January, the statewide labor force outside of Columbus shrunk by 64,000.
Luckily for Kasich, the Democrat opposing his reelection is best referred to as the Wreck That Is Edward Fitzgerald. Thus, he will probably win reelection even after dissing the people who gave him his victory margin the first time around.
In late March, while touting Ohio's fictional "economic turnaround," Kasich refused to answer Chris Wallace's repeated questions on Fox News Sunday about whether he was considering a presidential run in 2016. I take that evasiveness to mean that he's serious about it. One year of strong governance followed by several lousy ones doesn't get it, John.