By Tom Blumer | Special to Ohio Watchdog
Perhaps the following statements will shock readers, but I doubt it:
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich would like to see presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney elected to the nation’s presidency in November.
- Kasich probably has done some campaigning on Romney’s behalf since he endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in April.
- Kasich probably will do what he can to elect Romney during the next three months.
Ohio Democrats are acting as if the above means that the governor is either shirking his executive duties, wasting taxpayer funds or both.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Aug. 14 that the Buckeye State‘s Democrats have sued to obtain Kasich’s schedule:
The party says that Kasich has ignored, or only partially responded to, seven requests for his public schedules in the past 42 days.
“In light of the governor’s questionable use of his office to support Romney, and news the Republican nominee has asked other governors to utilize their official offices to support his campaign, Democrats insist on release of Kasich’s public schedules to help determine whether any wrongdoing has occurred in Ohio,” the party said in a release today.
… “Historically Gov. Kasich has been shockingly cavalier and highly unresponsive to such public records requests,” the party said in its seven-page lawsuit. “All citizens have the right to know where and with whom our esteemed Governor Kasich is meeting.”
Democrats are asking for a court order requiring Kasich (to) hand over the material and cover the party’s legal costs in bringing the lawsuit.
So they even want someone else to pay for their fishing expedition.
Bytor at the Third Base Politics blog observed that the Dispatch failed to answer a question, which would be on any reasonable reader’s mind, namely how much campaigning previous governors have done for their party’s presidential nominees. A wire service dispatch from UPI.com also failed to address that question.
To its credit, a brief Associated Press item noted that “In 2008, then-Gov. Ted Strickland campaigned for two Democratic presidential contenders, first Hillary Rodham Clinton and then Barack Obama, during Ohio campaign swings.” An expanded version of AP’s report by Julie Carr Smyth essentially informed readers that there’s nothing unusual going on here: “It is common for governors to both appear with presidential candidates on the campaign trail and to help them raise money in the state.” Most of the state’s establishment media outlets heavily rely on AP for Ohio government reporting, so it’s fair to say that most Ohioans won’t be as uninformed about the matter as readers of the Dispatch.
That said, Smyth understated the extent of Strickland’s 2008 campaign involvement. Bytor did some digging, and found a mid-November 2008 report by Mark Naymik at the Cleveland Plain Dealer which fully described the scope of Strickland’s activities. They clearly went far beyond appearances “during Ohio campaign swings:”
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland campaigned 39 times for Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama and Ohio House candidates after the state’s March 4 primary. During that time, Strickland put his work as governor aside to campaign 29 times during the work week, according the governor’s schedule.
He spent an additional four days in August at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where he did numerous interviews on behalf of Obama and other Ohio candidates.
Earlier this year, in the final three weeks leading up to the primary, Strickland hit the campaign trail 17 times for Democrat Hillary Clinton, his first choice for president. During that time, he campaigned five full workdays and six weekend days.
… Throughout the year, Strickland campaigned more than 60 times …
… Spokesman Keith Dailey said the governor never sacrificed attention to state business while campaigning.
That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Where is the evidence that Kasich “sacrificed attention to state business?” There isn’t any yet, and I daresay there won’t be any by the time this pathetic partisan gamesmanship plays out.
Meanwhile, I’m not aware of any reaction from Ohio Democrats to the finding that our nation’s incumbent president has attended “an average of one fundraiser roughly every 60 hours” since April 2011.