Josh Mandel and John Kasich appear to have spent upwards of $5 million of taxpayers' money on their vain pursuits of a U.S. Senate seat.

Ohio Treasurer Mandel spent nearly $2 million on TV ads pushing him off as a nice guy who supports charity.

Governor Kasich is nearing the $3 million mark in secret spending of taxpayer money on security, travel and lodging while he runs for president, peddles his book and maybe runs for the Senate.

Do the math. Kasich has spent 300 days of the last 2 years out of state and not doing his job at an estimated $10,000 a day. That adds up to $3 million down the drain.

Imagine what the combined $5 million could do to fight the opioid epidemic that Kasich purports to care about.

Speaking of Kasich's latest "book," Two Paths, it limped into the 13th spot on the New York Times best-seller list three weeks ago only to drop out of the list the following week.

Likely, the book only made it onto the list because Kasich is selling copies through his political website at $50 a pop and $150 if you want it autographed and his avid followers bought copies the first week as a novelty. Hopefully, campaign funds were not used to "prime the pump," as previous political authors have done.

Meanwhile, a real, meaningful book, J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy, has cracked the best-seller list for 41 straight weeks. That is why Vance tops our list of Republicans seeking to replace Kasich as governor (see below).

It is not surprising that Kasich's approval rating is falling. A Gravis poll last month had Kasich's approval rating at 42 percent. It used to be 20 percent higher. Disapproval was 35 percent.

Meanwhile, Channel 10 in Columbus did a call-in poll on Scott Light's Face The State program May 7 and found that two-thirds of 800 respondents believed Kasich was not spending enough time governing Ohio.

Ohio Political Ranker: Volume 4


Welcome to Volume 4 of the ColumbusMediaInsider Ohio Political Ranker. Each month I will rank the candidates for Ohio governor in 2018. My criteria include: wealth/fund-raising capability (it will take $50 million to win the governorship), integrity, charisma, name recognition, key issues and appeal to small town/rural voters.               


                1. (tie). Dennis Kucinich. Takes ownership of the education issue.

                2. (tie) Bill O'Neill. Says taxing legal pot key to fighting opioid epidemic.

                3. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Roll-out gets traction.

                4. Betty Sutton. Cranks up fund-raising.

                5. Connie Pillich. Attempt to pick fight with Trump falls flat.

                100. Jerry Springer. No longer fashionable to be controversial TV celebrity.



                1. J.D. Vance. On the ground fighting opioid epidemic.

                2. Jon Husted. Finally announced.

                3. Mary Taylor. Kasich shows no signs of quitting.

                4. Jim Renacci. Fades as his role model Trump craters.

                5. Mike DeWine. No Piketon arrests. No hat in the ring.


Hot For Bad-Mouthing Teachers And Public Schools

Governor Kasich cannot say enough derogatory things about public educators.

First, he suggested they should to spend a week job-shadowing business leaders before they could get their licenses renewed.

Second, he sniped that "education is getting in the way of learning."

Third, he continues to look away while charter schools siphon off $1 billion a year and while ECOT, the online charter, apparently got $60 million for education services it did not provide.


Plunderbund, its ace commentator John Michael Spinelli, and a Tea Party affiliate filed a suit in federal court to overturn a recently passed state law that would curb free speech and freedom of the press under the guise that it is "online harassment." The Columbus Dispatch and The Cleveland Plain Dealer and other mainstream Ohio news media should have joined this suit. Their silence speaks volumes.

U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate. He'll use his $6.3 million war chest to hold onto his job and help endangered Republicans. Tiberi took Kasich's old Congressional seat. It is speculated that Tiberi was a stalking horse for Kasich and that the governor may take on his Vanity Twin, Mandel, in the primary for the right to challenge U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

Two Delaware County Republican officeholders are hiding behind their small children in an attempt to seek political cover. Recorder Melissa Jordan filed for divorce from State Sen. Kris Jordan a year ago, but in an apparent violation of a state law, all records have been sealed so far. Both Jordans could be on the ballot in 2018 and neither wants any bad publicity that could turn off voters.

The last vestige of the Dispatch's hard-right editorial page is cartoonist Nate Beeler. If the paper ever wants to be perceived as fair-minded, Beeler will follow editorial page editor Glenn Sheller out the door.

The Dispatch's editorials have gotten even-handed under new editorial page editor Barbara Carmen though they read more like the well-done columns she used to write. However, the use of euphemisms is painful. Slipping relief for ECOT into proposed legislation is not a "goof." It should be termed "contemptible." "Open the shades" on charter school spending? No, better to "shut them down."


Josh and John
John and Josh
Mirror images

Please send your thoughts and suggestions for future columns to
(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2017, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)


Appears in Issue: