John Kasich recently announced Diebold would be receiving over $100 million in State and local economic development dollars including tax credits and loans to help move its headquarters. Kasich says we had to give them the money or else they were certainly going to leave the state.

Diebold, however, never seriously considered leaving Ohio and the company even told the Strickland administration they weren’t seriously considering it. But Diebold still wanted the money so they hired a company to get them an offer letter from North Carolina just so they could use it to extort cash out of Ohio using, in part, the rules included in the recently-passed House Bill 58.

American Greetings also received a generous incentive package of $93.5 million in State taxpayer money to help move its headquarters. Like Diebold, AG went to Illinois to get an offer letter as proof of its intent to leave the state. And like Diebold, AG never seriously considered moving out of state. Instead, they are using their new-found state money to help move their HQ across town, closer to their owners’ homes and into a development which is partially owned by the AG’s founding family.

Both out-of-state offer letters (which I’ve included below) were heavily redacted so it’s unclear exactly how much Illinois and North Carolina offered these companies in incentives, but I think it’s safe to assume that neither of these companies ever intended on leaving the state and the offer letters were really just for show.

And while it’s certainly not honorable or honest to pretend to be moving out of state to milk Ohio for extra cash, it’s certainly not an original business tactic. These letters have at least given the companies and John Kasich enough cover and ‘proof’ that people have generally stopped questioning the claims that AG and Diebold were seriously considering moving out of state.

We requested these offer letters from the Ohio Department of Development, along with the out-of-state offer letter for Bob Evans. The DOD was quick to respond and provided the two letters included below. But they also informed us:

“we have no record of any offer letters provided to us by Bob Evans.”

Which leaves us wondering: where’s the proof that Bob Evans was planning to leave the state?

Back in March Kasich announced the state was giving Bob Evans $8 Million in incentives to move its headquarters 20 miles from Columbus to New Albany. And Kasich used the same reason to justify the deal: Bob Evans was planning to move to Texas even though they have no restaurants in Texas and a representative from Bob Evans told Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman that they “had no intention of leaving the state of Ohio.”

Bob Evans was the first big incentive deal Kasich announced and he talks about it every chance he gets. While I don’t think the evidence supports American Greetings and Diebold’s claims that they intended to leave the state, at least they went the extra step and provided some evidence that other states were interested.

So I’ll ask the question again: where’s the proof that Bob Evans was planning to leave the state?

American Greetings Information

Diebold Information

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  • Annekarima

    Hmm…well…how about this?  “Every gambler knows that the seret to survivin is knowin what to throw away  and knowing what to keep…cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep…
    You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know to run…you never count your money when you’re sittin at the table, they’ll be time enough for countin when the dealing’s done.”

  • Guest

    Thinly disquised corporate welfare.

  • PalliYour Name

    Any creative possibility of citizen class action suit or legal action?   Depositions from the signers of the letters?   It’s theft in office even if you are stealing for a friend donor.  Dirty hands washing each other.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Is there truly nothing that can be done about this stuff?
    About any of them– Boehner was in Middletown today talking about job creation and it was announced today that West Chester ( where he lives) is loosing jobs!
    Lets see — BWC has been privatized not many state people left in there — the dept of taxation has all but disappeared and the dept of real estate ( called Regions) has been out sourced. 
    So where are the jobs being created? all we see are loses.
    Is there not a way we can that recall bill on the ballot for a vote?
    Have any of you read HB  153?  its full of references to sb5 — they act like its a done deal. the parts that effect the teachers is pages and pages long. seems it wont matter if we win in nov. they have other legislation to cover the stuff they want out.
    I hope everyone will look at it….. or sometime you will be surprised in a change to something .
    We better write about this one to before its to late. 

  • bridgeportteacher

    I’m with you. I keep forwarding posts like this one and trying to get the word out, but that isn’t enough. We have got to get people to stop parroting Fox News and listen for a change. – AND – We need our own agenda. This is our state. The things that our governor and his minions are doing are not… well, they’re not American. If you think that America (and Ohio) are places where you can go plunder the uneducated masses until you have taken all you can, you need to be forced to go try your plundering elsewhere. The principles of freedom and opportunity for everyone are not ideas to be scoffed at. These people have belittled us for long enough. We are not a rag-clad rabble bearing torches and pitchforks. We are educated, professional, hard-working citizens – whether we wear a hard hat or heels to work.

    OK – Sorry about that… A bit of a rant. To reiterate in a calmer voice… It is exhausting to work and carry on our daily lives and wage a campaign to do something about this madness. And they know that… I’m all for supporting some legal action or something, but we need some info and direction.

  • Guest

    And what legal right do they have to redact the information telling us what these offers were? 

  • Joseph

    It’s a good question.  It turns out the information was redacted by the companies prior to submitting the information to the ODOD.

    I guess they only need to prove they had SOME offer – not that it was a good offer.

  • Leeseh

    This is what I have been told also.  We don’t have to worry about SB 5; it’s all the little SB 5’s that are hidden in the budget or other bills in the works.  Again, I think it’s too early to say that SB 5 is down to defeat, but what do we do about the little ways that they get around it?

  • Leeseh

    This is what I have been told also.  We don’t have to worry about SB 5; it’s all the little SB 5’s that are hidden in the budget or other bills in the works.  Again, I think it’s too early to say that SB 5 is down to defeat, but what do we do about the little ways that they get around it?

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