Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

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 operates.

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 deadline.

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 soon begin.

Spring forward

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.


n Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish 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 Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.

n Willoughby Hills Councilman David M. Fiebig’s 5th annual Spring Fever fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 20 at Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Joyce Hribar Fiebig or Cindy Quinn-Hopkins.

n Re-election kickoff for Eastlake Mayor Ted Andrzejewski, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at Patrician Party, Eastlake. See Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski.

n 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.

John Arthur Hutchison

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home