Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Steele and Kasich: A lucrative sideline

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL Committee chairman Michael Steele and Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich have found that their political roles can pay off in more ways than one. In less polite society it's known as gaming the system. The word has now gotten out, like those 22 million missing e-mails, that they are frequently invited to share their beliefs in lofty Republican values with audiences across the land. In return, they are personally being paid thousands of dollars by their hosts. And their money-making sideline appears to be more than crass with former RNC chairmen.

Hissed the conservative Washington Times: "Michael S. Steele, Republican National Committee chairman , is using his title to market himself for paid appearances nationwide, personally profiting from speeches with fees of up to $20,000 at colleges, trade associations and other groups - an unusual practice criticized by a string of previous chairmen."

I should say so. However, if you're one to keep score, it does seem that the University of Akron snared a bargain when it paid Steele only $12,000 for his public speech in E.J. Thomas Hall on Oct. 15. Having sat through his schtick at the time, I would have have moved his fee four or five decimal points to the left.

If Kasich was paying attention to the Steele System of rhetorical punishment and rewards, he must have been a quick study. Indeed, he prefers the Cadillac version of fees, doubling what Steele feels is an honorable charge for a service call to corporate business groups and friendly associations, regardless of the oddity of speaking in states like Nevada, Illinois and Minnesota where there aren't likely to be any Buckeye voters. But a Wall Streeter to the core, he's finding it's not that difficult to charge whatever the traffic will bear.

Meantime, Columbus Dispatch columnist Joe Hallett pointed out, Kasich "hid in the weeds" during the attempts to resolve the state's budget crises, except to "deplore the tax increase." Way back in June, Kasich bobbed at the Cleveland City Club when asked for his views on fixing the budget, insisting: "I'm not messing with that...It isn't my job now to be micromanaging the process." He's lucky. Gov. Strickland, with help from legislative Republicans, fixed it without him.

Is Kasich serious about being a governor? Or are all of those out-of-state fees too generous for him to change his mind?


Anonymous said...

Ok, here is an entry for someone. Is Kasich the best the party has to offer us? If Columbus thinks we are just going to roll over and vote for this nit-wit it really needs to have its faculties assessed by a professional. You guys had better take a look inward if you are going to have us drink YOUR kool-aid. Is he going to run the state like he did Lieghman Brothers?(sp) The Conservative movement is tired of how you RINO guys and gals are running the show and we want our cut finally, but our way not yours.
Now Abe I do disagree with a few things you believe in, but that is your belief and I respect you for it. I am not going to belittle you because of it. I will debate you but not hate you.
Have a good new year.

Grumpy Abe said...

Thanks. Rational debate is healthy for both sides. But I don't see much of that these days. I don't claim to be warm-milk neutral. But you already know that.