FOUR THEORIES ON THE RUSH TO SHIELD JOBSOHIO FROM SCRUTINY

COLUMBUS – This week, John Kasich’s allies in the Ohio Legislature rushed through a bill that contained an amendment inserted at the last minute that effectively blocks the State Auditor from being able to investigate how the controversial JobsOhio program collects and spends its money. Why might Governor Kasich want to keep JobsOhio away from scrutiny? Here are four theories:

1)  By its own admission, JobsOhio is failing to meet its goals.

2)  Across Ohio, companies that pledged to create or retain Ohio jobs to much fanfare – often at press conferences attended by Governor Kasich himself – are laying people off by the thousands.

3)  In the exceptionally rare instance an internal JobsOhio document is made public, a massive conflict-of-interest is inadvertently exposed.

4)  Despite all the rhetoric about the ‘Ohio Miracle,’ the reality is plain: during the JobsOhio era, job creation has stagnated and that state is falling behind.

Theory #1: JobsOhio Is Failing To Meet Its Goals

JobsOhio President: “Not Only Is The Number Of Projects Down, But The Number Of Jobs Per Project Is Lower”  According to The Columbus Dispatch “‘Business confidence remains soft,’ John Minor, JobsOhio’s president and CIO, said at the agency’s quarterly meeting yesterday… ‘Companies are pulling back on some of their growth,’ Minor said, citing weak business investment nationally and worries about European and Asian economies. Not only is the number of projects down, but the number of jobs per project is lower, too, he said.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/13]

  • Jobsohio’s First Quarter 2013 Report: “The Overall Projects Trend Is Down Compared With The First Three Quarters Of 2012” According to The Columbus Dispatch “Business investment in projects that would bring new jobs to the state and retain others has slowed in recent months, says the top executive of the state’s private economic-development agency. ‘Business confidence remains soft,’ John Minor, JobsOhio’s president and CIO, said at the agency’s quarterly meeting yesterday… While the numbers are up from the fourth quarter, the overall projects trend is down compared with the first three quarters of 2012, according to JobsOhio’s first-quarter report.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/13]

Theory #2: Companies Like Diebold And American Greetings, Which Pledged To Create Or Retain Ohio Jobs To Great Fanfare, Are Laying Off Workers By The Thousands

American Greetings Incentives

2012: American Greetings Was Set To Receive Over $90 Million In State Tax Credits, Low-Interest Loans And Other Incentives Over 15 Years. According to The Plain Dealer “American Greetings is set to receive more than $90 million in state tax credits, low-interest loans and other incentives over 15 years, to offset the cost of its move. The 700,000-square-foot building, at the southern end of Crocker Park, will replace the company’s 1.7 million-square-foot complex in Brooklyn.” [The Plain Dealer, 11/28/12]

April 2011: The Ohio Tax Credit Authority Approved A 75 Percent Job Retention Tax Credit For 15 Years Towards A Corporate Headquarters; Incentive Was Worth $75 Million. According to The Plain Dealer “The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved Job Creation and Retention Tax Credits for these projects:   American Greetings Corp., Brooklyn, 75 percent Job Retention Tax Credit for 15 years toward a corporate headquarters. Credit is worth $75 million over the term. Company is required to maintain operations at the site for at least 18 years. The $50 million project is expected to retain 1,750 positions.” [The Plain Dealer, 4/2/11]

  • 5/9/13: Ohio’s 75 Million Refundable Job Retention Tax Credit For American Greetings Remained In The Tax Incentive Reporting Database. [Tax Incentive Reporting Database, accessed 5/9/13]
Job Losses

American Greetings cut 2,100 between 2012 and 2013. According to The Plain Dealer “American Greetings Corp. has quietly been cutting jobs. Tucked inside a 218-page annual report filed on Thursday was the news that the greeting card maker had eliminated about 2,100 workers between its 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. ” [The Plain Dealer, 5/24/13]

Diebold Incentives

2011: The Kasich Administration Offered Diebold A $56 Million Package Of Tax Credits, Loans And Grants. According to The Canton Repository ” Gov. John Kasich appeared at Diebold’s headquarters here Tuesday afternoon to announce that the company had accepted his administration’s offer of a $56 million package of tax credits, loans and grants to induce the company to stay. ‘For the folks that are located in Akron, Canton (and) Green, this is a big save,’ said Kasich.” [The Canton Repository, 4/12/11]

Job Losses

2012: Diebold Announced Plans To Move About 200 Information Technology And Other ‘Back Office’ Jobs To India According to The Beacon Journal, ” Diebold Inc. said Thursday it expects to move about 200 information technology and other ‘back office’ jobs to India over the next two years. … The move is not seen as a money- or labor-saving move, Jacobsen said. Instead, Diebold seeks to make better use of specialized software-type expertise in Hyderabad, India, and to put Diebold in a position where its information technology and business services systems can accommodate major acquisitions.” [The Beacon Journal, 4/12/12]

2013: Diebold Announced Plans To Cut 700 Jobs. According to The Plain Dealer “Diebold Inc. is cutting 700 jobs as part of a multiyear global restructuring to cut up to $150 million in costs. The Fortune 1000 technology company, which had about 2,000 employees in Summit and Stark counties in 2012, said the job cuts would come primarily from North America and corporate operations. It added that ‘a majority of these job reductions have already taken place,’ but did not provide any details. ” [The Plain Dealer, 4/30/13]

Theory #3: JobsOhio Officials Once Mistakenly Released A Single Internal Record; It Showed A Massive Conflict Of Interest

KPMG Conducted An Audit Of JobsOhio — At The Same Time Another KPMG Division Was Soliciting Grants From The Organization. According to The Columbus Dispatch “KPMG was chosen by JobsOhio to conduct an audit required by law. On Nov. 5, about the time the audit was being conducted, KPMG also was listed on a sheet of eight pending grant commitments from the state for fiscal year 2013, according to a document obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/1/13]

  • The Document Was Released By Mistake; JobsOhio Called It Confidential. According to The Columbus Dispatch “JobsOhio officials said the record is confidential and the state released it by mistake.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/1/13]

Theory #4: Despite All The Rhetoric About The ‘Ohio Miracle,’ The Reality Is Plain: During The JobsOhio Era, Job Creation Has Stagnated And The State Is Falling Behind.

2012-13: Ohio Ranked 47th In Job Creation

2013: Nonpartisan Study Ranked Ohio 47th In Job Creation. According to a nonpartisan study by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, Ohio ranked 47th in job creation for total nonfarm payroll between March 2012 and April 2013. [Job Growth Update, W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University, 2013]

  • Study Ranked Ohio 44th In Private Sector Job Growth.  [Job Growth Update, W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University, 2013]
  • The Same Study Ranked Ohio 24th In Job Creation in 2011.  [Job Growth Update, W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University 2011]

March 2013: Ohio Led The Nation In Job Losses

March 2013: Ohio Lost 20,400 Jobs; Losses Were Larger Than Any Other State. According to The Plain Dealer “Ohio lost 20,400 jobs in March, more than any other state, theU.S. Labor Department reported Friday. The decrease comes a month after Ohio reported a healthy 16,100 gain in jobs in February. The last time Ohio lost more jobs in a month was April 2009, when the state’s employment fell by 44,000. That was during the recession, a time of peak job loss in the state and nationally. ” [The Plain Dealer, 4/19/13]

  • Economic Research Analyst: ‘This Is Not Only A Bad Number — This Is Disastrous.’ According to The Plain Dealer “George Zeller of Cleveland, an economic research analyst, said posting such a large job loss now is alarming. ‘This is not only a bad number — this is disastrous,’ he said. ” [The Plain Dealer, 4/19/13]
  • Leisure And Hospitality Lost 6,000 Jobs, Business Services Lost 4,300 Jobs, and Construction Lost 3,300 Jobs. According to The Plain Dealer “Industries posting big losses in March included leisure and hospitality, which lost 6,000 jobs; professional and business services, down 4,300 jobs; and construction, with a 3,300 decrease. Even the category including health services posted a 2,500 decline.” [The Plain Dealer, 4/19/13]

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Ohio Democratic Chairman Redfern Releases Statement on Passing of Ruth Ann Bennett

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to the passing of Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett’s wife Ruth Ann Bennett, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern offered the following condolences:

 “Democrats everywhere offer Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett our condolences and thoughts at the passing of his wife Ruth Ann Bennett. It’s tremendously painful to lose a loved one, and I personally wish Bob, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren nothing but the best in this difficult time.”

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Ohio Democratic Chairman Redfern Congratulates Newly Selected Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard

Democrats thankful for new leadership team, service of former Leader Armond Budish, Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Szollosi

 COLUMBUS, OHIO – Tonight, the Ohio House Democratic Caucus selected a new leadership team to replace outgoing former House Speaker and Democratic Leader Armond Budish and Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Szollosi.

 Members of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus put together a team for success, placing their trust behind Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard of Columbus to serve as House Democratic Leader, Rep. Debbie Phillips of Athens to serve as Assistant Leader, Rep. Michael Ashford of Toledo to serve as Democratic Whip, and Rep. Dan Ramos of Lorain to serve as Assistant Whip.

In response to these leadership changes, Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“The Democratic Caucus put together an accomplished, hard-working team representing many different regions of Ohio that has the experience needed to be successful. I’m confident that this team will continue to hold Governor John Kasich and Ohio House Republicans accountable for their repeated overreaching attacks against working families, women’s health, voting rights, and the middle-class.

“There’s not a doubt in my mind that newly selected Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard will wake up every day and fight to make sure that all Ohioans, not just the Governor’s friends, will be represented in Columbus. And thankfully, the inclusion of Representatives Debbie Phillips, Michael Ashford, and Dan Ramos on leadership guarantees that Ohioans can call upon strong, diverse voices from all across the state to stand up to the most radical Republican schemes, like so-called right to work legislation.

“Former House Speaker and Democratic Leader Armond Bush is to be commended for his tremendous leadership in the Ohio House. Accomplishing a historic feat, Minority Leader Budish marshaled Democrats’ 2008 gains that resulted in the first ever non-redistricting year power transition in the Ohio House of Representatives. Former Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Szollosi was also well known for his thoughtful, steady guidance to Democrats throughout the Statehouse. Armond and Matt’s sound wisdom in caucus will certainly be missed.”

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Did Kasich Not Get the Message the First Time? ODP Chair Responds to Movement of So-Called “Right to Work” Bill

Just as SB-5 was Defeated, Governor Will Be Held Accountable for GOP Attack On Working Families

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to Governor Kasich’s statehouse allies preparing to introduce a so-called “Right to Work” bill that would eliminate freedoms for working families, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Here we go again. Apparently Governor Kasich has forgotten what happened the last time he and his Republican allies launched a broadside against the rights of Ohio workers. Ohio was paralyzed and our hard-earned economic recovery, which began a year before Kasich took office, stalled.

Just as SB 5 was soundly rejected by Ohio voters, we expect this unnecessary sideshow – which will do nothing to create more good-paying jobs – to fail, and we intend to hold Governor Kasich accountable for choosing to focus on distractions over Ohio’s middle class. If Kasich doesn’t want this attack on working families to move, he should say so immediately.”

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Governor Kasich’s Hand-Picked Tax Cheat with Pay-to-Play Background Elected Ohio GOP Chairman

COLUMBUS, OHIO –Today, Ohio Republicans elected Governor John Kasich’s personal choice and friend Matt Borges as the next Chairman of their Party. Governor Kasich was the new Chairman’s strongest supporter in the race despite Borges’ 2004 criminal plea in a pay-to-play scandal involving the State Treasurer’s office, and recent revelations that he owed more than $500,000 in delinquent taxes dating back to 2005.

In response to the election, Matt McGrath, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, released the following statement:

“The promotion of Kasich-loyalist Matt Borges to the post of Republican chairman means the Governor’s political machine will be run by a tax-cheat and admitted influence peddler.

“Of course, it’s little surprise that a Governor who has a habit of rewarding the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the middle class would see no issue in elevating someone whose shady background so clearly represents the corruption and insider dealing at the heart of his administration.

“You would hope Governor Kasich would be at least a little embarrassed about this process, which lays bare his real values and priorities: to win at all costs and reward your friends rather than fighting for the economic well-being of the middle class. Ohioans deserve better.”

 

BACKGROUND

 KASICH’S HAND-PICKED CHAIRMAN

 Dispatch: Borges “Has Essentially Been Installed As The Next Party Boss By Gov. John Kasich.“ According to The Columbus Dispatch ” Borges, who has essentially been installed as the next party boss by Gov. John Kasich, almost surely has the votes on the state’s 66-member central committee. Many of its members were helped to election last year by Kasich.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 4/24/13]

Cincinnati Enquirer: Borges And Preisse Are Kasich Insiders; They Helped Raise Money For And Run His Inauguration. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Borges has partnered with Preisse to help lobby for the county, according to Borges. Both Borges and Preisse are Kasich insiders; they helped raise money for and run his inauguration. ” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/7/11]

Borges Helped Fund A ‘One Year Later’ Celebration For Kasich’s Administration At The Ohio Theatre; The Event Headlined By Kasich. According to The Repository “Gov. John Kasich headlined an Ohio Theatre event last week funded by lobbyists with deep ties to his administration, raising questions about the governor’s oft-stated commitment not to favor special interests. The Tuesday evening ‘One Year Later’ celebration was sponsored in part by lobbyists Douglas J. Preisse, Robert F.  Klaffky and Matt Borges, all of whom were ground-floor advisers to Kasich’s 2010 campaign or inaugural committee.  ” [The Repository, 1/22/12]

  • The Private Party Was Attended By Members Of Kasich’s Executive Staff, Cabinet Members, Many State Lawmakers And Some Clients Of The Three Sponsoring Lobbyists, Among Others. According to The Repository “The private party was attended by members of Kasich’s executive staff, cabinet members, many state lawmakers and some clients of the three sponsoring lobbyists, among others. “

Borges Called Himself A Member Of The ‘Kasich Gang.’ According to The Columbus Dispatch “As the executive director for Gov. John Kasich’s inauguration committee, Borges said he’s a member of the ‘Kasich gang’ and is aware of Kasich’s repeated, public denunciations of the influence lobbyists have on state government.  ” [The Columbus Dispatch, 5/23/12]

May 2012: Borges Was Named Executive Director Of The Ohio Republican Party After Allies Of Kasich Successfully Worked To Oust Chairman DeWine.  According to The Plain Dealer “The Ohio Republican Party has named Matt Borges, a veteran GOP operative in Ohio, as its new executive director.  The shakeup at the Ohio GOP stems from a bitter campaign to oust former party Chairman Kevin DeWine, who resigned last month after allies of Republican Gov. John Kasich worked for weeks to rally support for a new chairman. [The Plain Dealer, 5/14/12]

 

PAY-TO-PLAY SCANDAL AND RECORD OF CORRUPTION

2004: Borges Pled Guilty To One Count Of Improper Use Of Public Office, A Misdemeanor; He Gave Preferential Treatment To Certain Brokers Who Made Contributions To His Boss. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Two top associates of state Treasurer Joseph Deters pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges involving campaign fund raising. The guilty pleas of former Deters chief-of-staff Matthew Borges and former fund-raiser Eric Sagun conclude a year-long investigation by a grand jury in Cuyahoga County that threatened Deters’ ambitions to run for attorney general in 2006… Borges, 32, of Columbus pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office, a misdemeanor, and was fined $1,000 by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher. Court documents said he gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign.” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]

  • Prosecutors Said Borges Instructed The State Investments Director To Dole Out State Securities Business To A ‘Short List’ Of Politically Generous Brokers. According to The Plain Dealer “Borges, 32, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to the unau thorized use of a public office for securing preferential treatment for brokers who made campaign contributions. Prosecutors said Borges instructed the state investments director to dole out state securities business to a ‘short list’ of politically generous brokers.” [The Plain Dealer, 6/28/04]
  • Prosecutor: ‘He Pled Guilty And Is Admitting To The Charges… How Is He Now Saying He Only Did This For Convenience Sake?’ According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “Sammon, who worked out the plea agreements, said if Borges is so convinced of his innocence, he should vacate his plea and go to trial. ‘He pled guilty and is admitting to the charges,’ he said. ‘How is he now saying he only did this for convenience sake?’” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]
  • Prosecutor: “‘If One Reads What (Borges) Admitted Doing, He Used The Power Of His Office To Gain Favorable Treatment For Vendors That Did Business With The Office… To Me, That’s A Very Serious Offense. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer “‘If one reads what (Borges) admitted doing, he used the power of his office to gain favorable treatment for vendors that did business with the office,’ Sammon said. ‘To me, that’s a very serious offense.’ An attorney for Sagun did not return messages seeking comment. ” [The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/28/04]

 

INAUGURAL COMMITTEE SOLICTATIONS

2010: Borges Was Hired As Executive Director Of Kasich’s Inaugural Committee Around The Same Time He Was Hired By Roetzel & Andress As Government Relations Director. According to The Plain Dealer  “Matt Borges… was hired last month as [Roetzel & Andress] government-relations director, about the same time he was picked by Kasich as executive director of the inaugural committee.” [The Plain Dealer, 1/5/11]

Roetzel & Andress Solicited Contributions For Up To $10,000 For To Attend An Event For Kasich’s Inaugural Committee; Tickets Were Available For $150 At The Official Website.  According to The Plain Dealer “An Ohio law firm solicited contributions of up to $10,000 for John Kasich’s inaugural committee for access to tickets for the incoming Republican governor’s black-tie inaugural bash next week. But tickets to the event have been available at NewDayOhio.com, Kasich’s official inaugural website, for about a month for $150 a person or $250 per couple with no additional fee or contributions required. Roetzel & Andress had a full page dated Dec. 2, 2010, on its website Tuesday that said those who had not contributed at least $1,000 to Kasich’s gubernatorial run would have to cough up between $1,000 and $10,000 to become an official sponsor of the gala for the privilege to purchase tickets. It made no mention of the official website.  ” [The Plain Dealer, 1/5/11]

RECORD ACCUMULATING MORE THAN $500,000 IN DEBT AS A HABITUAL TAX CHEAT

April 2014: Borges Owed $493,624.14 In Federal Taxes; Had Federal Tax Lien Filed Against His Property. [Franklin County Recorder’s Office, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

 

April 2014: Borges Owed $98,397.50 In Ohio Taxes; Had Three Tax Liens Filed Against His Property. [Franklin County Clerk of Courts, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

 

Date filed: Document Type Lien Released? (y/n) Amount Status Date released For tax period(s) ending on:
3/28/2011 Notice of Federal Tax Lien N $493,624.14 Active as of 4/20/13 12/31/2005 through 12/31/2009
3/18/2003 Notice of Federal Tax Lien Y $19,767.30 Lien Released 9/15/2004 12/31/2001
4/10/2008 Notice of Federal Tax Lien Y $13,049.31 Lien Released 6/24/2009 12/31/1999 & 12/21/2004
2/29/2012 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $9,041.61 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement
4/9/2012 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $76,282.67 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement
10/6/2010 Judgement; Ohio Department Of Taxation vs Borges, Matthew N $13,073.22 Active as of 4/20/13 not specified in judgement

[Franklin County Recorder’s Office, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13; Franklin County Clerk of Courts, “Borges, Matt” Accessed 4/4/13]

April 2012: Matt Borges Owed $493,624 In Federal Taxes And $98,397 In State Taxes. According to The Dayton Daily News “Ohio GOP Executive Director Matt Borges, who is in line to become state party chairman later this month, owes $493,624 in federal taxes and $98,397 in state taxes, according to public documents filed in Franklin County.” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

 

Kasich’s Spokesman On Borges’ Tax Problems: ‘We’re Aware Of It And Understand That He Disputes The Accuracy Of It. It’s In The Process Of Being Resolved And We Don’t Think It’s An Issue.’  According to The Dayton Daily News ” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said, ‘We’re aware of it and understand that he disputes the accuracy of it. It’s in the process of being resolved and we don’t think it’s an issue.’ ” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

April 2013: Borges’ Attorney Claimed His State Tax Liens Had Been Paid; Still Owed $124,000 In Federal Taxes. According to The Associated Press “A lawyer for an Ohio Republican leader says his client has paid off his state tax liens. Attorney Robert Onda told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Matthew Borges has paid off the more than $24,300 that he owed in state taxes after adjustments. Borges is running to be the next chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. Elected officials who have endorsed Borges’ bid have asked him to resolve and explain the tax liens he’s accrued before the GOP State Central Committee votes for chairman on Friday. Onda said his client still owes at least $124,200 in federal taxes, which he said Borges plans to pay in full on Thursday. Onda said the amount of a 2006 lien is still in dispute.” [The Associated Press, 4/24/13]

Borges Claimed To Be On A Payment Plan For Some Of The Back Taxes; Was Disputing The Bulk Of The Liens. According to The Dayton Daily News “Borges said he is on a payment plan for some of the back taxes but is disputing the bulk of the liens. ‘I’ve been working with counsel on this issue for years and I’m going to get it taken care of. Hopefully, it’s going to get resolved soon,’ Borges said. ‘There is a large portion of that that I don’t owe.’” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/12/13]

TAX BILL REDUCTION

4/13/13: Borges Announced That His Tax Bill Had Been Reduced To $168,161, Down From $493,624. According to The Dayton Daily News “Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Matt Borges learned Friday that his federal tax bill was reduced to $168,161, down from $493,624. Bob Onda, Borges’ newly retained tax attorney, said the IRS adjusted the bill in October but Borges’ old attorney did not deliver the news to him. Onda said he will meet with state Department of Taxation officials next week to resolve a $98,397 state tax lien against Borges that is related to the dispute he had with the IRS. The state tax bill will likely be reduced to about $8,500, Onda said.” [The Dayton Daily News, 4/13/13]

 

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Matt McGrath Joins the Ohio Democratic Party To Help Hold Governor Kasich Accountable for Handouts to Friends, Middle Class Tax Raises

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Building on its remarkable success in 2012 in support of the reelection of President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democratic Party today announced the addition of Matt McGrath to serve in the role of strategic communications advisor. McGrath, who served as the Michigan communications director for Obama for America last year, will be tasked with helping to shape and sharpen the party’s messaging in advance of the 2014 elections.

“We’re thrilled to have someone with Matt’s talent and experience in rough-and-tumble campaigns aboard,” said Kyle McDermott, Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director. “Ohio Democrats have momentum and, unlike Governor Kasich, a vision that rewards hard work, not just the wealthy and well-connected. We’re going to fight for every vote over the next 18 months, and we’re going to win in November, 2014.”

McGrath is making a return to the Buckeye State, having previously served as Ohio trip director for the 2008 Obama campaign. Prior to his tenure on the President’s reelection campaign, McGrath served as the communications director for the Kentucky Democratic Party in 2011, where he orchestrated a coordinated communications effort that resulted in a historic reelection victory for Governor Steve Beshear, as well as Democratic victories in five of six statewide races. McGrath, a Chicago native, has worked on campaigns from coast-to-coast, at the federal, state, and local levels.

“It’s no secret that Ohio campaigns are a little bit different and a little more intense than campaigns elsewhere, and I’m excited to join this incredibly talented team as we hold Governor Kasich and his Republican allies accountable for their extreme, out-of-touch positions that are hindering Ohio’s recovery,” McGrath said. “Ohioans deserve better than Governor Kasich’s plan to finance giveaways to corporations and the super-wealthy on the backs of middle-class families by hiking sales and property taxes. Last year, Ohioans rejected Mitt Romney’s top-down economic vision of lavishing rewards on the wealthy while asking working people to pay more, and so it will be interesting to see Governor Kasich defend his identical vision – only with less charm.”

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Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern’s Statement on Passing of Congressman Charlie Wilson

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to the death of former Congressman Charlie Wilson, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“It is with much sadness that the people of Ohio mourn the loss of Congressman Charlie Wilson. I served with Charlie in the State Legislature for six years and he was a loyal friend in good times and bad. An outspoken advocate for working people, Charlie never wavered in his service to his constituents or his lifelong pursuit to help improve the lives of others. Congressman Wilson will be missed by all those that had the pleasure to meet him and know his kindness. My thoughts and prayers are with Angela Hatfield and the entire Wilson family.”

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Gov. Kasich Claims Ignorance, Dodges Opportunity to Speak Out Against AG’s Attempt to Limit Birth Control, Health Care Access

Despite Administration’s earlier claim Governor would not weigh in, Kasich claims he will comment and “does not always agree” with spokesman


COLLUMBUS, OHIO –
Today, during a speech at the City Club of Cleveland, Governor John Kasich was asked whether he agrees with Attorney General Mike DeWine’s recent letter to Health and Human Services pushing to allow employers to drop critical health care coverage. DeWine’s efforts would put women’s health care decisions in the hands of their employers, threatening access to birth control, cancer screenings, and vaccines that save lives.

Claiming ignorance, Kasich dodged an opportunity to stand up for women’s health care access, but promised to clarify his position later. Governor Kasich only has five days, until 11:59 PM on April 8, to send his own letter to Health and Human Services to defend against DeWine’s attack on women’s health care. Earlier in the day, Governor Kasich’s spokesman Rob Nichols had declined to take a position on DeWine’s effort to limit health care access.

Click here to watch footage of the City Club exchange: [VIDEO]

Questioner: Last week AG Mike Dewine sent a letter to the Federal government asking for an exemption to the ACA for employers to limit health care coverage for women due to the employers personal beliefs. This would jeopardize essential health care services such as cancer screenings, vaccines and contraception for women. Do you agree with the requested exemption?

 Gov. Kasich: I’ve never heard of this before so … I don’t… I don’t know… Do you know what it is John?

 Off screen: Yeah I do. The requirement under the ACA to cover those services.

 Gov. Kasich: Well you know ma’am. I don’t know what this I don’t want to get into answering something until I have full knowledge of what’s being talked about, so … One thing I have learned in this job is when I make a comment …. See … It used to be an entire speech they criticized. Then it got down to a story. Then it got down to a Paragraph. Then it got down to a sentence. Now it is a word. So can I get back to you on that? 

 Questioner: I would appreciate it, but I think your spokesman commented on it so you could ask Rob Nichols.

 John Kasich: OK. Well you know he’s not here right now and you know what I don’t always agree with my spokes people too so. In fact I find out I seldom agree them. No. No Scott  Milburn is here I have to be kind to him.

 “The clock is ticking for Governor Kasich to stand up against Attorney General Mike DeWine’s attempt to limit women’s access to birth control and other critical health care like HPV screenings,” said Liz Brown, Deputy Executive Director of the Ohio Democratic Party. “In 2012, women sent a clear message nationally and in Ohio that they won’t allow people to chip away at potentially live saving health care. If Governor Kasich heard that message, he needs to stand up for women now and immediately contact the federal government to let them know Ohioans passionately disagree with AG DeWine’s attempt to limit women’s health care. Should Governor Kasich refuse to speak out against DeWine, or wait until after April 8th, Ohio women will remember he failed to stand up.”

 

Due to Gov. Kasich’s State Budget Cuts, Cincinnati Debates Firing Hundreds of Police and Fire Fighters

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to news that the City of Cincinnati has been forced to consider the layoff of hundreds of police officers and firefighters due to Governor John Kasich’s state budget cuts, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

 “Make no mistake, the only reason Cincinnati has been forced to debate firing hundreds of police and fire fighters is because Gov. Kasich cut tens of millions of dollars to the city in his last state budget. As communities like Cincinnati struggle to deal with the last round of cuts, Kasich’s at it again, proposing to steal another $200 million from local communities to help pay for tax giveaways to the rich. If Kasich gets his way and passes his proposed handout to his friends, more communities across the state will see layoffs, skyrocketing local tax levies, and deep cuts to schools.”

BACKGROUND

Kasich’s 2012-13 Budget Caused Cincinnati To Lose $40.7 Million In State Funding.  According to Policy Matters “The state cut the Local Government Fund to the county, forcing Hamilton County to make cuts to jurisdictions within the county. The state also cut direct funding to municipalities, and slashed reimbursements for taxes it had eliminated, taxes that businesses and utilities had paid to local governments. School districts and the public library fund were also cut. Losses in calendar years 2012 and 2013, compared to 2010 and 2011, include, among others: Cincinnati … -$40.7 million” [Policy Matters, 11/2/12]

State Representative John Patrick Carney’s Statement on Agency Leadership Changes Amid Governor Kasich’s JobsOhio Scandal

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Late tonight, Governor Kasich’s office confirmed that in the near future Director Christiane Schmenk will leave her leadership role overseeing the Development Services Agency (DSA).

Schmenk’s departure comes amid a growing scandal concerning Governor Kasich’s use of funds for JobsOhio, his private economic development agency that is not subject to the same type of transparency requirements as many state agencies. Recent reports revealed that DSA may have illegally transferred millions of taxpayer dollars for JobsOhio’s use, and most questions about the transfer have gone unanswered. The Kasich Administration has yet to respond to Republican Auditor David Yost’s subpoena for financial information for JobsOhio so he can conduct a full audit of the organization’s finances.

In response to the news of Schmenk’s departure from DSA, State Representative John Patrick Carney issued the following statement:

“After seemingly misappropriating millions in taxpayer dollars for Governor Kasich’s slush fund JobsOhio, it appears the Administration is lining up Director Schmenk to take the blame. Kasich has stonewalled repeated requests from the State Auditor for financial information, so it’s no surprise he’s had months to plan a shuffle in leadership at the Development of Services Agency to cover-up any potential wrongdoing with JobsOhio.

There are still more questions than answers surrounding JobsOhio, Mark Kvamme, and the Governor’s use of taxpayer dollars. It’s time the Governor came clean, complied with the subpoena, and opened JobsOhio’s financial books up to the public.”

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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.