Scathing report takes aim at Kasich’s controversial economic development program

Cites “grossly exaggerated job creation claims,” appearance of “pay to play,” and resistance to basic oversight

COLUMBUS – Governor John Kasich’s controversial JobsOhio program received top-billing in a report released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center that seeks to make economic development subsidies more accountable and effective. The report, titled “Creating Scandal Instead of Jobs,” offers a deep dive of JobsOhio’s troubled history, specifically citing its institutional lack of transparency, cronyism, and ineffectiveness relative to states that have not privatized economic development efforts. The full report, which is well worth a read, can be viewed HERE.


Three years ago, newly elected governors in several states, most notably Wisconsin and Ohio, decided that the best way to create jobs was to transfer economic development business-recruitment functions to “public-private partnerships.” These experiments in privatization have, by and large, become costly failures. Privatized development corporations have issued grossly exaggerated job creation claims. They have created “pay to play” appearances of insider dealing and conflicts of interest. They have paid executives larger salaries than governors. They have resisted basic oversight. [Executive Summary]

JobsOhio, created in 2011 at the urging of newly elected Gov. John Kasich, has been plagued by accountability and transparency problems since the start. There have also been numerous political controversies, which is not surprising given that it is often difficult to distinguish between the agency and the governor’s office. JobsOhio’s first annual report featured Gov. Kasich prominently, and statements regarding the agency are as likely to be issued from his office as they are from JobsOhio itself. [JobsOhio, p5]

While JobsOhio was ramping up, the state continued to award large subsidy packages to some major Ohio employers that threatened to leave the state. The headquarters of American Greetings Corporation, Inc., Diebold, Inc., and Bob Evans were awarded over $200 million in combined subsidies in the spring of 2011 in controversial deals that were criticized for fueling suburban sprawl and succumbing to job blackmail. (Some of these deals ultimately failed to go through.) During his 2011 State of the State speech, Gov. Kasich announced that the state had already “clawed back” $900,000 from subsidized companies that failed to meet job commitments. The statement was called misleading by Politifact Ohio, which determined that while notices of intent to recapture funds had been distributed, no funds had actually yet been recovered by the state. [JobsOhio, p6]

In an analysis of public funds contributed to the young agency, the Columbus Dispatch identified a number discrepancies between what JobsOhio reported it had received in start-up funding from the state, and what was reported in a federal tax filing by a subsidiary of JobsOhio. Multi-million dollar discrepancies were also identified between documents supplied pursuant to a public records request by the Dispatch and the agency’s annual report. [JobsOhio, p8]

Privatization favors big business when small business deserves more help. The privatization structures we describe here, including the increasing use of corporate seats for sale on governing or advisory boards, absolutely favor large businesses that have the money and executive staff time to pay and play at such levels. But small businesses already get short shrift in economic development resource allocation, and they are still suffering the most in the Great Recession’s aftermath. [Policy Conclusions, p33]

There is no evidence that public agencies are not “nimble”… Amidst lingering high unemployment, painful budget cuts and struggling small business prospects, taxpayers deserve job-creation agencies that are transparent, ethical and effective. Privatization delivers none of these qualities. Amidst lingering high unemployment, painful budget cuts and struggling small business prospects, taxpayers deserve job-creation agencies that are transparent, ethical and effective. Privatization delivers none of these qualities. [Policy Conclusions, p33]

The full report can be viewed HERE.


#KasichEconomy: The Collapse of Lehman Brothers, 5 Years Later

Mourning the 5-year Anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ Collapse, and Reflecting on John Kasich’s Economic Outlook that Crashed the Economy

Gov. Kasich’s business model literally crashed the American economy, cost countless jobs, and evicted millions from their homes – the same economic model he’s brought to Ohio.

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Democratic Party today is mourning the five-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse, which occurred on September 15, 2008, and was – at the time – the largest bankruptcy in American history. Between January 2001 and September 15, 2008, Kasich worked for Lehman Brothers, earning a lavish salary in his role as managing director. His job was to maximize profits.

Now as Governor, John Kasich seems to believe that while his job title has changed, his job hasn’t: maximizing profits for the richest Americans. Just as it was with Lehman, his core constituency is still the richest Americans.

On today’s anniversary, it’s critical to reflect on lessons we’ve learned about the economy over the past 12 years. What do we need to do differently to prevent another crash? How do we close the inequality gap that grew to historic proportions between 2001 and 2008 and threatened to hollow out the middle class? What’s the best, most transparent path forward for Ohio?

Unfortunately, these are not the questions John Kasich is asking. Instead, he’s modeled his role as Governor from his role at Lehman. And it’s not working for Ohio.

Look no further than Governor Kasich’s most recent tax plan. It gives the wealthiest Ohioans on average a $6,000 tax handout while middle-class Ohioans will pay higher sales and property taxes. Someone making $25,618, the median Ohio income, will see about a $5 break. The median household, earning $48.071, gets $9 back. Meanwhile, the top one percent of Ohio income earners will see, on average, a $6,000 tax cut. Full analysis here.

Or take JobsOhio. Kasich created JobsOhio under a veil of secrecy, appointed his rich friends to the board, handed out massive windfall kickbacks to corporate interests and well-connected friends, and eschewed any attempt at transparency. And now there’s evidence those kickbacks have trickled all the way up to Kasich’s bank and campaign accounts through his role with Worthington Industries, a company on whose board he served for a decade after leaving Congress and before being elected governor.

Between JobsOhio’s cozy deals, his opaque, “above-the-law…or change-the-law” approach to transparency and accountability, and his trickle-down economic priorities that serve the rich above everyone else, the Kasich Economy looks an awful lot like the Lehman Economy.

During last year’s election, the country exhaustively debated our shared economic future, and voters widely rejected the Romney/Kasich Economy and its 47% philosophy.

Ohio voters looking toward 2014 are no different. The Kasich Economy that benefits only the rich is not the right future for our state.

That’s the lesson we reflect on during the Lehman anniversary. We have all the confidence that Ohio voters have reached the same conclusion.

Obituary for Governor John J. Gilligan

Aug 28, 2013

John Joyce (“Jack”) Gilligan, died on August 26, 2013, at his home in Cincinnati, surrounded by his wife and family. He was 92 years old. After graduating from St. Xavier High School and University of Notre Dame, in WWII he was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action having served in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters for the U.S. Navy. He spent much of the rest of his life promoting peace, as a Democratic anti-war candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1968, as the Director for the Agency of International Development, and as the Co-Founder and initial Director of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

He served the people of Ohio in many elected offices: as Governor (1971-1975), as a Member of Congress (1965 – 1967), and as a Member of the Cincinnati City Council for 7 terms starting in 1953 and ending in 1967. He was an educator, an English Professor at Xavier University, served as the director of the Civic Forum at the University of Cincinnati Law School, and twice was elected Member of the Cincinnati School Board, until his retirement at age 86.

As a member of the 89th Congress, he helped pass the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid, the Freedom of Information Act to insure open government, and appropriated more money for education, primary through university, than all of the previous Congresses combined.

As Governor, he rescued Ohio from fiscal turmoil. He enacted the corporate and personal income tax to properly fund State services, started the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, cleaned up the mental health institutions and prisons, and enacted campaign finance reform to take big money out of politics. As an elected Member of the Cincinnati Board of Education, he spearheaded the effort to build community learning centers to allow the new public schools in Cincinnati to be neighborhood centers for learning, health and social services that provide a real opportunity for even the poorest children to succeed with their education.

Jack Gilligan believed that politics was the noblest of professions. He believed that citizens, properly informed, could work together to solve their most difficult problems. He often reminded us never to underestimate the intelligence of the voters or to overestimate the quality of information they have to make decisions vital to their lives.

His children and grandchildren have followed him into public service, from the cabinet of the President, to governor, to community development and foundations, to school boards and legislative staff work, and many other efforts to build better communities. Jack learned through his Catholic upbringing, and passed along to his children and to their children through his teachings and actions that those who have the benefit of abundance owe an obligation to their neighbors to lift them up, to make sure that each has a chance to fully develop their talents and dreams.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Susan Fremont, who enriched and prolonged his life, and his four children, Donald (Gina Maniscalco), Kathleen (K. Gary Sebelius), John (Megan Mountain), and Ellen (Charlie DeSando); his grandchildren, Hannah (K.C. Commoss), Dan (Dana), James (Becky), Ned Sebelius (Lisa Rockefeller), Joseph (Stephanie), John Sebelius (Allie Hoeme), Luke DeSando, Carlo DeSando; great-grandchildren, Kathryn and Ames Commoss, George Sebelius, Allie Lu Gilligan and Miles Gilligan; his brother, Harry, Jr. (Mike), and his sisters-in-law, Lucille Dixon, Nancy Gilligan and caregiver, Frank Kennedy.

Predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years and the mother of his children, Mary Kathryn, his father, Harry Sr. and mother, Blanche, his older twin sister, Jeanne Derrick, his brother, Frank, his brother-in-law, Dr. J. Gordon Dixon, and his son, Brian, who died at birth.

He was such a vital force in our lives for so long we thought we might have him forever. But we were wrong. We will miss him so much. May the Angels escort him into Paradise … and may he enjoy life everlasting.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be offered to: The John J. Gilligan Scholarship, Center for the American Dream, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-1221; or Hospice of Cincinnati, 4360 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242. His body has been donated to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Church, 1600 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45206 on September 4, 2013, at 10:30 AM. Then there will be visitation open to all with the family at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2:30 to 4:30 P.M.

A program open to all celebrating his life and career will be held at the Ohio State Capital Building, 1 Capital Square, Columbus, Ohio 43215, on September 5, 2013, from 10:30 to 12:30 PM.

What Is He Hiding? Josh Mandel And The case Of The Missing Check

Mandel In Hot Water Once More As Car Crash Controversy Thickens

COLUMBUS, OHIO – First the Associated Press revealed that Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel attempted to hide a March traffic accident from the public, “one involving a potential federal campaign finance violation.”

Now the Associated Press has uncovered that despite five months passing, there is no sign of an insurance settlement having been paid to any of Josh Mandel’s various campaign committees:

The absence of a reported payment months after the accident involving the Ohio state treasurer and failed U.S. Senate candidate adds to questions surrounding the crash.”

Mounting evidence surrounding Mandel’s car crash controversy suggests that once again Ohio’s Treasurer may be willfully engaging in a cover-up and now it’s time for Josh Mandel to answer the following questions:

1)      Why did you inform no one of the car accident you were in that resulted in your Senate campaign vehicle being totaled?

2)      Why did your Senate campaign even still own the vehiclegiven that you had been defeated almost five months prior?  And why, if there truly were plans for your state campaign to “rent” the car from the Senate campaign was payment not paid until June 30th, four months AFTER the car in question was totaled?

3)      Who was the campaign vehicle in question used by and where was it housed between Election Day 2012 and January 1, 2013?  Since it was illegal for the car to be used for either personal or professional use during that time period and no rental payment has been made by your state campaign, was the car used by anyone?

4)      Why has no insurance settlement been reported to either of your committee’s given that the accident occurred five months ago?  Was there a claim actually filed?

If not, what were you attempting to cover up?

If so, where was the payment deposited?  If it was deposited to either your state or federal committees, why has that failed to be reported as required by law?  If deposited to an individual’s account, who’s?

“The fact that Josh Mandel may’ve attempted to cover up a car accident because it could have revealed he’d been violating campaign finance law is more proof that there’s literally nothing he won’t attempt to hide from Ohio voters. Revelations that no insurance settlement exists five months after the car was totaled raises questions of fraud, more campaign finance violations, and a growing cover up by Josh Mandel,”  said Ohio Democratic Spokesman Jerid Kurtz.

“After earning the Politifact ‘pants on fire crown’ for political dishonesty in 2012, Ohioans are left wondering why exactly Josh Mandel didn’t come clean about the car accidents, why he thought it was OK to violate campaign finance law, and what else this politician who can’t be trusted is hiding?”

Recent polling shows Mandel trailing Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich by 5 points.


Ohio Democratic Chairman Redfern’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream speech,” Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Fifty years ago today, men and women from all corners of America converged on our nation’s capital to demand payment on the promise of a more equal, more just society. Today, we are further along that road toward racial and social justice, but there are far too many miles left to travel.

“In our small corner of the world in Ohio, we are constantly reminded of the fragility of our victories for freedom and equality. Our jails are still disproportionately filled with people of color, women face unprecedented restrictions against their health care, and equality under the law, despite who you love, is at risk. And exactly a year ago today, voting rights came under attack, as so often happens, when two officials were fired for expanding access to the polls.

“It’s clear we have further to go.

“Honoring Dr. King’s legacy requires more than just words, but rather a steadfast commitment to marching ahead. Despite the adversity in store for tomorrow or the day after, we will not turn back.”

Ohioans Commemorate Passing, Legacy of Governor John J. Gilligan

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Earlier this afternoon, Governor John Gilligan passed at his Cincinnati home following a prolonged illness. A statement from the family noted, “Contributions may be made to Hospice of Cincinnati, 4360 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, or the John J. Gilligan Scholarship, Center for the American Dream, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-1221.”


In response to the news, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Former Governor Gilligan dedicated his entire life to the service of promoting our state, and all its citizens, until the very end of his days. Because of John Gilligan, the mentally and physically disabled, the poor, and the disadvantaged obtained a new quality of life in our state. But Gilligan’s courageous commitment to advancing Ohioans of all walks of life came at a tremendous professional cost.

“Gilligan and the men and women he inspired gave life to the modern Ohio Democratic Party. Even as recent as last year, he remained a constant force in our Party, working to support Senator Sherrod Brown and others that shared his ideals. He will be deeply missed, and Ohio is a better place because of John Gilligan’s selfless commitment to our state. We all owe him a debt of gratitude and thanks.”



Senator Sherrod Brown (via twitter):

‘Ohioans are lucky that John #Gilligan was born within our borders.’ Gov ‘fundamentally changed our state’ for better



Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (via twitter):

#Gilligan ‘never stopped giving back to the state he loved.’


Democratic State Senate Leader Erik Kearney (via twitter)


Governor John Kasich (via twitter):

Saddened by the news of Gov. Gilligan’s passing. My family’s thoughts & prayers go out to his right now.


Democratic State House Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (via email):

“It is with a heavy heart but much gratitude that we say farewell to one of the greatest Ohioans of the 20th century. Former Gov. Gilligan exemplified what it means to be an Ohioan. He had the political courage to stand for what is right, even in the face insurmountable political pressure. His legacy and spirit  continue to guide our great state whenever an elected official stands for better government and a stronger Ohio.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gilligan family during this difficult time, especially with his grandson, Joe– who we are privileged to serve with in the Ohio House.”


Statement from House Speaker John Boehner:

“Governor Gilligan served our state with passion and was a committed public servant.  Ohioans of all political stripes are saddened by the news of his passing.  I offer my deepest condolences to Secretary Sebelius and all of the members of the former governor’s family.”


Associated Press: John J. Gilligan, former Ohio congressman and governor who created state income tax, dies

Cincinnati Enquirer: Twitter reacts to death of former Governor John Gilligan


Cincinnati Enquirer: John Gilligan profile from 2007 Former Ohio Governor John Gilligan dies


Dayton Daily News: Former Ohio Gov. Gilligan has Died


Dispatch: Former Ohio Gov. John J. Gilligan Dies



Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215




Democrats Respond to Mike DeWine’s Failure To Notify the Public of His Secret Facial Recognition Program

Today, in response to a breaking story by the Cincinnati Enquirer exposing the fact that the Ohio Attorney General began using facial recognition technology in June in secret, Ohio Democratic spokesman Jerid Kurtz released the following statement:

“Attorney General Mike DeWine has been too busy chasing television cameras and working to deny women access to birth control to actually do his job. It’s no surprise DeWine apparently couldn’t be bothered to respond to his own staff’s emails to address serious privacy concerns with this latest facial recognition technology before his office began to secretly use it.

“It was a dereliction of duty for DeWine to fail to put in place the proper protocols to protect Ohioans’ privacy and notify the public before this program went live. Next year, Ohioans will remember that Attorney General DeWine is more interested in press coverage than doing his job as they vote for change and support David Pepper.”

Well This Won’t Help JobsOhio’s Reputation

Time to update this video.

Company moves jobs out of state after getting help from JobsOhio

Columbus Dispatch // Joe Vardon

A company JobsOhio helped get a tax credit to create jobs in this state announced today it is moving its headquarters from Ohio to suburban Chicago.

Rittal Corp., a German company making cabinets for IT equipment, will move its headquarters from Urbana, Ohio, near Springfield, to Schaumberg, Ill.

In July of 2011, the state of Ohio approved a 7-year, 55-percent tax credit for Rittal to create 118 new jobs in Urbana and retain $21.7 million in existing payroll there.

It was among the first companies to receive state credits after JobsOhio, Gov. John Kasich’s privatized economic development agency, opened for business earlier that month. At the time, the tax credit was valued at $6.6 million.


Rittal Corp. moving headquarters staff to Chicago area

Dayton Daily News // Staff report

URBANA — Rittal Corp., a maker of metal enclosures and racks, said Thursday it is moving its headquarters staff from Urbana to suburban Chicago. The company said it is moving its headquarters to better serve its U.S. customers.

Rittal Corp. received a state tax credit effective January 2012 in exchange for a commitment to create 118 full-time jobs, generating $4.4 million in additional payroll and retain 531 jobs. The 7-year, 55 percent tax credit was approved by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority in July 2011 as recommended by JobsOhio, Gov. John Kasich’s nonprofit economic development organization. At the time, the credit was valued at $6.6 million.

It was unclear Thursday whether Rittal would be able to keep the Ohio benefit. The Dayton Daily News has contacted JobsOhio and the governor’s office for further comment.

JobsOhio came under fire last month when TimberTech announced it was closing its Columbus plant in order to create jobs in Wilmington under a tax credit awarded by JobsOhio.



VIDEO: “More Questions” About JobsOhio

As Governor Kasich’s approval dips, Ohioans wonder what’s really going on at his embattled economic development agency 

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Democratic Party today released the following video, “More Questions,” which explores the ongoing JobsOhio scandal roiling John Kasich’s administration. The video relies on Ohio news reports to explain the developing controversy surrounding Governor Kasich’s signature program JobsOhio, which has been mired in controversy since its inception, and whose culture of secrecy – and record of underperformance – continues to plague the governor.

On Tuesday, the first public poll released since the latest JobsOhio scandal came to light revealed Governor Kasich’s standing among Ohioans has taken a major hit, showing his approval rating underwater, and that he now trails Democrat Ed FitzGerald in a head-to-head matchup.

The video can be viewed by clicking below, or online HERE.



Dayton Daily News: Six Of Nine Members Of The JobsOhio Board Of Directors Had Direct Financial Ties To Companies That Have Received Tax Credits From The State & JobsOhio According to the Dayton Daily News “Six of nine members of the JobsOhio board of directors have direct financial ties to companies that have received tax credits and other assistance from state government or JobsOhio since Gov. John Kasich took office in 2011, public records show.” [The Dayton Daily News, 7/31/13]

JobsOhio Never Took Steps To Initiate Its Conflicts Of Interest Policy. According to the Dayton Daily News “State ethics law and JobsOhio policy require JobsOhio directors to disclose potential conflicts of interest and then the disinterested directors determine whether a conflict exists. No such conflicts have been raised, Jones said.” [The Dayton Daily News, 7/31/13]

Worthington Industries

JobsOhio Provided Tax Breaks To Worthington Industries, A Company With Financial Ties To Kasich. According to the Associated Press “Subsidiaries of a company that’s helped sustain Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s political career and contribute to his personal bank account have received tax breaks worth more than $619,000, brokered by the new job creation board he appoints.” [The Associated Press, 8/15/13]

Kasich Was Paid More Than $611,000 By Worthington Between 2007 And 2011; Continued To Receive Deferred Compensation While Serving As Governor. According to the Associated Press “Kasich served a decade on the board while working in the private sector and was paid more than $611,000 as a board member between 2007 and 2011, the company’s federal business filings show. Kasich quit the board a day after winning the 2010 gubernatorial election but continued to receive deferred payouts for three years, according to his financial disclosure forms. The fiscal year 2011 payment of just under $103,000 came, like an unspecified portion of his deferred compensation, after he’d taken office. That was the year JobsOhio was created.” [The Associated Press, 8/15/13]

No Oversight Of JobsOhio

No Member Of Authority That Approves JobsOhio’s Tax Credits Has Never Cast A Single Vote Against A JobsOhio Recommendation. According to the Columbus Dispatch “The state agency that’s supposed to keep Gov. John Kasich and JobsOhio honest on tax credits has never said no to them, a Dispatch analysis shows. It’s a trend that predates the Republican governor and JobsOhio. Since at least January 2009, according to the earliest records available from the state, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved more than 700 tax credits without a single member of the five-person panel casting a ‘no’ vote, including requests that came from Democrat Ted Strickland’s administration.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 8/21/13]



Did no one tell him? Gosh, this is awkward.


“The deals that have been agreed to are right now approved by an independent tax authority and not connected to JobsOhio…” – Governor John Kasich [Fox 19 WXIX News, 8/9/13]



“According to a June 2012 powerpoint presentation published by JobsOhio West, JobsOhio is negotiating all state incentives on behalf of DSA.” [JobsOhio Powerpoint Presentation, 6/29/12]

John Minor And James Boland: “One Of Our Main Economic Development Programs Is The Job Creation Tax Credit“[JobsOhio 2012 Annual Report, 2012]



Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.