Such revealing history will not deter Kasich, 57, a former Ohio congressman who left Capitol Hill nearly a decade ago and has since served as an executive for Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street investment firm that declared bankruptcy in September 2008. He's also been a commentator on Fox News and an occasional fill-in for Bill O'Reilly as well as a welcome guest on Sean Hannity's version of Hellzapoppin'. That should fairly complete his ideological profile. But not since the glory days of Donald "Buz" Lukens has there been a more ubiquitous Republican politician on the stump to sell his version of what ails Ohio. He's already piled up scores of appearances at party dinners across the state in 2009 and may be expected to quadruple that awesome appetite for the rubber-chicken circuit in the months ahead. It's an Olympic marathon for his sole Republican opponent, Kevin Coughlin, to match. Besides, Coughlin must also deal with fallout from the flaming publicity alleging indiscretions in his personal life.
Some history: The income tax that Kasich says he will phase out has been around since 1972 during Democratic Gov. John Gilligan's administration. That it was enacted at the time didn't come as much of a surprise because candidate Gilligan bluntly told the voters that if he were elected he would call for the tax. Such dire warnings rarely spill from lips of candidates (Walter Mondale is another exception). When Jim Rhodes materialized out of retirement to challenge Gilligan in 1974, he never let an opportunity pass that he didn't accuse Gilligan of taxing everything in Ohio that "walks, crawls or flies." Ahhhh, Rhodes had a way with colorful hyperbole!
Satisfied that he had made his point with the Buckeye voters, "no new taxes" Rhodes went on to raise taxes several times as governor. As for the income tax, the joke around the Statehouse was that although Jim slammed the tax during the campaign, he never lifted a finger to get rid of it as governor. The state, after all, needed the dough.
Just thought I'd restore historical accuracy before Kasich - as he will - gets too annoyed by the personal income tax in one of the state's greatest hours of need.