Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Case Against Kasich

By all accounts, Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich should be losing by double digits to Democrat Ed FitzGerald.  Kasich has refused to participate in any debates, signed one of the nation's worst abortion laws that may soon close all abortion clinics in southwest Ohio for starters, passed a restrictive voter ID laws into effect disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of minority voters and worked to cut back early voting, fracked the state into an environmental mess, attacked Ohio's unions, and basically ran uncontested as a Tea Party nutjob.

But somehow, he's going to win re-election.  And this may be part of the reason why.

The editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, hosted a meeting recently with the state’s gubernatorial candidates: incumbent Republican Gov. John Kasich, Democrat Ed FitzGerald, and Green Party Candidate Anita Rios. The discussion got a little … odd. 
FitzGerald, behind in the polls, not surprisingly stayed on the offensive, and noted the Kasich approved a law that restricts what rape-crisis counselors can tell victims. “Why was it important to have a piece of legislation that literally imposed a gag rule on rape crisis counselors?” the challenger asked. 
The governor, slumped in his chair and visibly annoyed, decided to pretend that FitzGerald wasn’t in the room.

This isn't hyperbole, this is literally what happened.

One of the editors prompts him: “Would you like to answer that, governor?” 
“Do you have a question?” Kasich responds. The editor then tries to explain the question FitzGerald just asked. As much as the editor understands the question, anyway. 
“I assume that it had to do with, uh, there were limits on what they could say about having abortions,” the editor says. 
Kasich still says nothing, possibly because the reporter made the mistake of mentioning FitzGerald’s name while summarizing the question. Once more, Kasich spreads his hands and asks, “I mean, did you have a…?”   At which point FitzGerald jumps in and explains to the clueless reporter, “He’s trying to pretend he didn’t hear me say it, so you need to repeat it.

Kasich apparently so does not care that he dismissed his opponent while in the room, while talking to the editorial board of the largest paper in the state.

The paper's response?

Keep in mind, Kasich refused to participate in any debates this year, so this editorial-board meeting was literally the only opportunity for Ohio voters to see their gubernatorial candidates talk about their ideas. It made the discussion, hosted by the Plain Dealer’s editors, arguably one of the more important political events in Ohio this campaign season. 
And initially, the newspaper did publish the video of the gathering online. But then the paper pulled the clip, posted an audio-only version, and threatened legal action against an Ohio-based news site that offered readers a YouTube version of the discussion

That site being our friends at Plunderbund, who apparently were the only people to realize the import of this chain of idiocy.  Kasich, by the way, still hasn't answered the question about why he signed into law a rule that literally forbids rape crisis counselors from mentioning abortion.  His answer, that he's "pro-life", makes it self-evident in Kasich's eyes.

Oh, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed Kasich despite that exchange.

So apparently, you don't need to do any debates if your Governor in Ohio anymore, and you don't have to answer questions from newspaper editorial boards either.  You get endorsed because the corporate masters at the news tell the paper to endorse the Republican and that's that.  Kasich could not give a damn about this, you're just wasting time until his corporate funded reelection is in place.

That's Ohio for you.  And four more years of red state lunacy may finally finish the state off.

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