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Ohio Governor John Kasich is suspected of giving Dayton and Ohio a black eye by pulling the plug on the presidential debate.

And once again, the “poodles” in the Ohio press corps could not bring themselves to hold Kasich accountable. The “reporters,” who have let Kasich skate on spending Ohio tax dollars on his failed presidential campaign, merely recited the story line given to them by officials at Wright State University instead of holding the governor accountable.

The September 26 debate was to be the first of three featuring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The smackdown was likely to set audience records, not just in the United States but around the world, and have great impact on the election outcome.

But no more. It was moved to Hofstra University in New York in a surprise announcement by WSU President David Hopkins on July 19.

The university's public relations organ-grinders offered "reasons" for the cancellation. Costs had gone way up. Security was a problem. The university had a big overall budget problem. The grass needed mowed. (I made the last one up, but it is as lame as the first three.)

The publicity was all designed to divert the public and the press away from the apparent truth that you read for the first time in the Columbus Free Press: Kasich and his minions pulled the plug by refusing financial support.

Dayton and Ohio went from hosting a signal political event that would be the talk of the country and the world to getting a black eye for canceling the event on allegedly false pretenses with no warning.

According to Dayton Daily News, all was well in June 2016 when President Hopkins was quoted as follows: “Obviously we are hoping to get more support from the state because we have some significant security issues. Our hope is to continue to build the case that the state should support more of what we are doing.”

There was no more public discussion and no public appeal for funds until the plug was pulled a month later.

The Dayton newspaper subsequently reported that the Kasich administration had only contributed $220,000 toward an event that was to cost upwards of $10 million. Yet, and this is a big Yet, the Kasich-appointed JobsOhio, the black box operation that funds economic development activities, put up a whopping $10 million to bring the Republican National Convention to Cleveland last month.

JobsOhio, operating in secrecy and outside of public scrutiny, reportedly turned down putting big money into the presidential debate.

Let's summarize. Kasich's black box entity put $10 million into the Republican Convention – a partisan undertaking of Kasich's political party– and refused to support a non-partisan debate.

At the time JobsOhio was funding the GOP convention, Kasich had hopes of being the nominee (instead of the sorehead loser who boycotted the convention).

By decision day July 19, Kasich was not going to be the nominee and his bitter rival Donald Trump was about to receive the crown. Trump's aide was calling Kasich an “embarrassment” and Kasich was vowing never to endorse or lift a finger on behalf  of Trump.

You can be sure that if Kasich were the nominee, the needed money would have been put up by JobsOhio.

Kasich had motive to kick the debate out of Ohio, the battleground state that Trump threatens to carry over Kasich's political carcass.

One could easily deduce that Kasich winked and nodded at JobsOhio to deny funding to Wright State and force the already underfunded university to scrap the debate.

Expect WSU's president to be rewarded in a few months for being a good soldier by a supplemental appropriation from the Kasich-loving GOP-controlled Ohio legislature.

It appears that Kasich is willing to sully the reputation of Dayton and the State of Ohio in pursuit of political revenge against Trump.

Governor Hothead indeed.

Kasich Snubs Glenn Airport Dedication

It was a great day for Ohio last month when Port Columbus was renamed John Glenn Columbus International Airport in honor of the legendary astronaut and former Ohio Senator. Governor John Kasich was not there.

But two days later Kasich was present and spoke at the memorial service for the late Columbus Dispatch publisher John Wolfe, Kasich's political patron and big donor.

Governor Misguided Value System indeed.

Security Costs Remain Black Box Operation

Despite two editorials by the Dispatch telling Kasich to disclose his presidential campaign's travel and security costs paid for by Ohio Taxpayers, Kasich has refused and is keeping it a black box operation like JobsOhio.

Reports are that Kasich already is campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination in 2020 and that he will have a full schedule of campaigning this year for Republicans running for U.S. Senate and House seats.

In other words, Ohio's supposedly frugal governor is perfectly willing to keep spending Ohio taxpayers money to support his political habits while keeping it super secret.

My guess is that the cost to the taxpayers by the end of 2016 will exceed $2 million.

Governor Secret Spendthrift indeed.

We Still Want To Know From the Governor

How much did Ohio taxpayers pay for security and travel during your presidential campaign?

Will you pay it back?

Why did you fail to visit the folks near Piketon whose eight family members and friends were massacred? (Finally, a reward has been offered thanks to a column by the Dispatch's Theodore Decker.)

Why did you renege on your oft-stated pledge to support the nominee, Trump?



This marks the first anniversary of my Columbus Media Insider column. The headline on our maiden voyage in the August 2015 edition of the Columbus Free Press was “Dispatch Labor Day Bloodbath.” It dealt with the cutbacks at the daily newspaper initiated by its new owners, New Media Investments, a New York hedge fund. Please be in touch with tips and story ideas at the email address below.



Dayton's Wrights

taught world to fly

Kasich blasted

debate from sky


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(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2016, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)

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