Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Benevolent governor and lawmakers on a roll

SPECIAL PERKS - often carefully disguised as phantom earmarks - have never had it so good as the ones that have taken over the Republican political class in Columbus.

First, there were the notorious Brennan amendments in the Ohio House version of the state budget that handed over autonomous control of charter schools to the company that would most profit by them.

Then we learn that Gov. Kasich's sweetheart deal on casinos was a goody bag for the big casino owners that will be less profitable for the state than that of his predecessor, Ted Strickland. (Not that anyone in the Kasich fold will concede as much.)

It never stops. Today we see in the Plain Dealer that a couple of Republican lawmakers from Springfield slipped in an amendment to the state transportation bill that would limit the auctions of state construction equipment to one company - based in Springfield, of course. All of Ohio's other auctioneers are outraged. But what can you do? Kasich has already signed it into law.

But maybe we're being too churlish toward the governor. He did say he didn't know the auction stuff was in the bill that bears his signature. The way things have started out in his administration leads me to wonder whether his team wouldn't get the first pick in any sports draft.

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