Friday, November 5, 2010

Kasich already barking orders to his detractors

AS WE MIGHT have suspected, John Kasich didn't waste a moment in the wake of his narrow victory (49-47) that will wedge him into the governor's office. Never bashful about his image as a fast-talking hustler, he sounded more like a top sergeant than Ohio's next chief executive, barking warnings to any and all who would deny him his preeminent role from whom all blessings may now be expected to flow over the next four years. He first tore into the state teachers union for opposing him in the campaign with language that infuriated him. He demanded that it apologize to him by running full-age ads to admit its sins. That bit of grandstanding, of course, never works, whether it is sought by Kasich or any other politician once the campaign camp fires burn out. Besides, full page ads are expensive, and he knows it.

More interesting as he burst emerged into the center ring was his combative, well staged attack on lobbyists at a big meeting in Columbus that was reportedly mostly attended by...Statehouse lobbyists, who, I would assure him, will still be around long after he is somewhere off in retirement. Observing that a looming budget deficit could reach $8 billion in the next millennium, he allowed that it would not be wise for them to be hanging around for their pet projects when he starts slashing programs to make ends meet.

Among the pols closest to him at the meeting was Summit County Republican Alex Arshinkoff, a lobbyist himself, who is enjoying a rare moment in the winner's circle these days. Also on board was Don Thibaut, who, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, is a founding partner of The Credo Company, a newly created government relations consultant and lobbyist. Thibaut had been Kasich's chief of staff when the governor-elect was in congress and was later paid by a non-profit outfit associated with Kasich when he left Capitol Hill. The Ohio Democratic Party has asked IRS to inquire about the financial track, but that 's not likely to go anywhere, either.

It may never be clear where Kasich can go to support his truculence, but you can be sure that a year or two from now he will still be barking to convince us that he knows exactly how to do it, whatever it is that he says he can do. And lobbyists will still be making phone calls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get ready for Bob Taft 2.0.