A dispute has emerged between Gov. John Kasich
and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost
just after a recent poll showed the governor
with his highest approval rating to date.
The Columbus Dispatch initially reported Thursday that
Yost had issued a subpoena for the financial records of JobsOhio, a privatized
economic development agency championed by Kasich.
Yost stated that JobsOhio was not cooperating with
attempts to audit the private entity.
Responding to the initial report, Kasich told The Plain
Dealer that the disagreement was an misunderstanding about how much authority
Yost has to audit JobsOhio and that he and Yost would “get this worked out.”
Since JobsOhio was created, Ohio Democrats have continued
to question it and say there is a lack of transparency in how the agency
The group ProgressOhio also has a pending lawsuit challenging
the constitutionality of JobsOhio.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald
, who is
viewed as a possible Democratic challenger in 2014 to Kasich, also responded to
the reports and issued a statement on the matter.
FitzGerald, who was elected in 2010 as the first Cuyahoga
County executive after corruption tore apart the county government, said
transparency is the “best disinfectant for corruption” and urged Kasich to open
JobsOhio’s books for full inspection.
Kasich said the auditor should study all public money, but
pointed out that JobsOhio is a private company.
Yost apparently thinks he has the right to audit JobsOhio
or he wouldn’t have issued a subpoena on the matter.
It makes me wonder what JobsOhio has to hide? After all,
doesn’t the entity exist to help attract and retain business in Ohio and to
further economic development?
I would guess that there is some confidential or sensitive
information involving the operations of businesses potentially looking to move
to Ohio or in-state businesses that may be reaching out for assistance. I could
see that it may be harmful if that information is made public.
But despite the best of intentions, when public money is
involved don’t people generally have a right to find out exactly how it is
spent? If they are denied that access, then suspicions can surface even if
there truly is nothing wrong.
It’s also interesting to note that Kasich and Yost are
both Republicans and it is generally rare for two of the state’s top elected
officials to disagree to the point where a subpoena is filed. Democrats are
enjoying the ride, and the dispute prompted Ohio Party Chairman Chris Redfern
to conduct a news conference on the subject on Friday, past this column’s
Regardless of how the dispute unfolds, with both Yost and
Kasich up for re-election in 2014, it’s not likely the best way for the two GOP
elected officials to proceed, as their potential re-election campaigns will
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
’s office urges Ohio voters
to plan ahead when they “spring forward” today to Daylight Saving Time. He
would like registered voters to take five minutes to check their registrations
and make sure their registered address is correct by visiting
Husted said the most common reason Ohio voters are
required to vote a provisional ballot rather than a regular ballot is because
they have moved and not updated their address for voting purposes.
The weekly deadline to submit information for this column
is prior to 5 p.m. each Wednesday. Email or fax is preferred.
Lake County Commissioner Robert E.
hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
March 12 at LaMalfa Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites. See Kathie
or Ernie Koenig
Willoughby Hills Councilman David M. Fiebig
5th annual Spring Fever fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 20 at
Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Joyce Hribar Fiebig
Re-election kickoff for Eastlake
, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at Patrician Party,
Eastlake. See Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski
Concord Township Trustees Paul Malchesky
and Christopher Galloway
re-election fundraiser 5 to 7 p.m. April 1
at Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township. See Malchesky, Galloway or Connie Luhta
n Dennis Morley
will host a kickoff
fundraiser for his Eastlake mayor campaign, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 17 at
Trader Jack’s Riverside Grille in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn or Barb Morley.
Labels: Chris Redfern, Dave Yost, Ed FitzGerald, JobsOhio, John Husted, John Kasich