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?