As someone who was deeply involved in the Republican and conservative political scene in Ohio for many of the Kasich years, I want to shed some light on John Kasich’s history as Governor. It’s important to note that not a single item below is my opinion. This is a simple telling of the facts.
I do not work for any political party, candidate, campaign, committee or advocacy group of any kind. In fact, I’m not asking you to support any specific candidate. What I am asking, is that you NOT vote for John Kasich, and in the paragraphs below I will tell you exactly why.
Why am I telling you this story while many others who know Ohio have not? Because so few of those involved in Ohio politics will risk speaking up due to Kasich’s stranglehold on Republican politics in the state. Bottom line – no one wants to pay the price of picking a fight with a sitting Governor.
When looking at John Kasich, there are two distinct stories that can be told – one is that of an Obama-like policy agenda, and the other is the story of a man who has run Columbus with intimidation and threats rather than consensus and coalition building.
For now, I’m going to stick with what I know best, and focus on his policies that declared war on personal and economic freedom in Ohio.
The unfortunate truth about John Kasich is that he has advanced wealth redistribution while spending taxpayer money at record levels, and has actively inhibited the economic opportunity Ohio so desperately needs.
We can explore that statement by asking questions John Kasich should be forced to answer on 3 of the most important issues of our time:
1. Governor Kasich on Obamacare: You advanced Obamacare in Ohio, turning over 600,000 healthy, working age adults into government dependents, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and expanding the largest long term obligation in Ohio history – all against the will of the Republican controlled Ohio House and Senate.
Given that these 600,000 Ohioans would not be government dependents had you not bypassed the legislature and vetoed their wishes so you could accept Obamacare funding and conditions – how can you say you oppose Obamacare while unilaterally championing its single biggest component?
If you want to see the full chronicling of this heartbreaking path to Obamacare expansion for Ohio, which now leads the Midwest with 1 out of every 4 Ohioans dependent on government for healthcare, read the detailed account here.
Ohioans, let’s be brutally honest about this Kasich decision to expand Obamacare in Ohio. You and your children are being indebted by billions of dollars all to redistribute this money to healthy, working age adults. Not children, pregnant mothers or truly medically fragile people, no. The people Kasich added as government dependents were healthy adults.
The inarguable fact is that – this is Ohio’s largest state based expansion of socialism since Lyndon Johnson was in office, and John Kasich used his executive power to override the legislature to make this happen. He holds sole responsibility for this massive problem.
2. Governor Kasich on Spending: You talk about balancing the state budget, but every Ohio Governor balances the budget every year as it’s a Constitutional requirement in your state. Democrat or Republican – every Ohio Governor does this, as it is regular and expected. This is not a unique accomplishment.
Of greater interest is that Ohio’s job and economic growth has lagged behind the national average during your time in office. As we all know, the national economy has improved since the crash of 2008, so tax revenues have increased in both Ohio and across the US. But, as Ohio state tax revenues increased, curiously, so did your spending at a much faster pace.
Governor Kasich, how can you justify increasing spending by greater amounts than any Ohio Democrat or Republican Governor since 1990, outpacing both inflation and population growth, but still call yourself fiscally responsible?
Yes, the exploding expenditures in Ohio are real. Read more about record state spending under John Kasich here.
3. Governor Kasich on Unions and Big Labor: Every US state with a Republican Governor and Republican controlled Legislature has ended compulsory payment of fees to unions and become a “right to work” state with the exception of Ohio.
As the Ohio border states of Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia have all become “right to work” states during your time as Ohio Governor, not only have you failed to make Ohio a “right to work” state, but you actively pushed Michigan’s Governor Snyder to oppose right to work legislation, you have killed Ohio right to work legislation in committees multiple times and you proactively worked to stop Ohio donors from funding a citizen’s initiative to make Ohio a right to work state through a vote of the people at the ballot.
Ohio’s current ranking is a dismal 38Th in job creation, so while you fought against ending forced union dues payments, right to work states dominated job growth across the country. How can you call yourself someone committed to an environment conducive to job creation when your actions and results in Ohio have protected unions and inhibited job growth?
While John Kasich has actively opposed right to work, and any other union related reforms since 2011, job growth in Ohio has been outpaced by most other US states while the overall number of Ohioans participating in the workforce continues to decline.
On three of the biggest issues for Republicans and conservative voters: Obamacare/Wealth Redistribution, Fiscal Responsibility and Jobs/Economic Opportunity, John Kasich fails miserably.
If you are looking at someone strictly on their recent record and actions – the heartbreaking and terrible truth is that John Kasich is indistinguishable from a Democrat governor. In fact, he said so himself in New Hampshire this February:
I ought to be running in a Democrat primary, I got more Democrats for me — you have any Republican friends? – John Kasich, February 2016
What makes the list of policy disasters above even more intolerable to so many Ohio Republicans and conservatives is that Kasich ran for Governor as someone else. He looked us in the eye, often one on one, and promised to be different than the Democrats, but we got just the opposite – more spending, more government dependents and the same union protection we get with Democrats.
Maybe the average Republican voter could forgive the abandonment of principles if they were actually productive, if they were actually yielding results. Instead, Ohio has below average job growth, terrible workforce participation and is staring down the barrel of multi-billion dollar obligation that will only hit the state when Kasich has left office.
Ohio taxpayer – when Kasich is long gone, it is you and your children who will be left with the mess he has created. It is you who John Kasich has left holding the bag.
On March 15th, choose anyone but Kasich.
If you haven’t had enough Kasich-led craziness in Ohio, keep reading…
I won’t go into such detail on his other failed policy and positions, but here is a brief list of a few other items where Kasich is out of sync with most voters who identify as Republican, conservative, libertarian or generally center right in any way.
1. Increasing taxes or ignoring tax cuts
– Kasich has shifted taxes around the state, so property owners and small businesses now pay more taxes than before he took office. Ohio recently ranked #42 in Tax Foundation’s “2016 State Business Tax Climate Index.”
– Kasich is pushing to increase the tax on oil and gas extraction in Ohio by over 300%
– Kasich has publicly advocated and encouraged increases for local school taxes
– All this with a Republican controlled legislature, so there is no excuse for not advancing better tax policy.
2. Crony corporate favors with taxpayer money
– Kasich created a non-auditable 501C4 called JobsOhio which uses revenue from state liquor taxes to offer incentives, loans, etc to chosen businesses. Remember Obama’s Solyndra mess? This is the same thing, but it’s not even auditable. This entity picks winners and losers with taxpayer money with absolutely no accountability.
– This crony entity was created by John Kasich, and he considers it top achievement.
The perceived necessity to create such an entity, to effectively bribe businesses to work in Ohio, acknowledges how terrible a business climate Ohio really has. Businesses aren’t looking to grow or move to Ohio. They have to be bribed to do so, and even then – the results show that it is not working.
3. Long standing defense of Common Core in Education
– Multiple bills have been offered to address the Common Core mess in Ohio, and not only has Kasich refused to address the issue – he has defended it, and believes opposition to the Common Core State Standards is, in his words, “hysteria.”
– In her 2016 CPAC speech, Michelle Malkin lampooned the Kasich hypocrisy on this issue. You can see it here.
Chris Littleton is the former Ohio State Director for American Majority, a conservative candidate training organization. He is also Co-Founder of the Ohio Liberty Coalition and Ohio Rising, both Ohio based conservative non-profits dedicated to advancing freedom friendly policies in Ohio.
Chris is currently the Director of Operations at Voter Gravity, a database and technology firm helping hundreds of Republican clients across the United States win elections.
This article represents Chris Littleton’s opinion alone, and was not written on behalf of any political party, organization, advocacy group, company, candidate or committee.
If you’d like to contact Chris, you can reach him here.