It’s been 853 days since Governor Kasich signed legislation into law creating his secretive economic development corporation. It’s been 507 days since the Ohio Controlling Board approved the contract between JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agencies giving JobsOhio legal authority to offer loans and grants as incentives for economic development. At the same time, it also approved the contract covering the securitization of the State’s liquor profits to JobsOhio giving it a massive income stream to provide funds to make those loans and grants.
It’s been 139 days since JobsOhio said it completed the liquor profits transfer so it could make loans and grants for economic development. In the nearly five months since then, how much of that money has JobsOhio said it has spent?
“We have not used any of those funds yet. … We are not going to put these funds to work until we have all our systems, processes, procedures and everything done. We’ve got to get all of that in place. It would be foolish to go out and make a loan if you didn’t have the ability to service it.” – JobsOhio President (and major campaign donor) John Minor (Columbus Business First (June 19, 2013)).
853 days since Gov. Kasich signed JobsOhio into law, and it says it still cannot do the very thing it was designed to do. 507 days since the Kasich Administration got the Controlling Board to give JobsOhio the legal authority to make loans and grants, and it still lacks the ability to physically service those loans. It’s been five months since JobsOhio completed a deal it admits is giving it $120 million a year in revenue to make loans and grants… and it reportedly hasn’t tapped into a penny of it because it hasn’t made arrangements to service loans. Did JobsOhio not see this coming? What the hell has JobsOhio been doing all this time?
Or is it possible that JobsOhio consciously made the decision not to “spend” the money from the liquor transfer as a legal strategy to further frustrate the State Auditor’s audit of JobsOhio? Or is this an attempt to create a cover story to explain away what could be another disappointing quarterly report (2013 2Q) that should come out next month? Any of these would seem to be obviously lines of inquiry the media should make of John Minor, who, frankly, should be fired if JobsOhio truly wasn’t prepared to handle this money by now.
But, well, at least JobsOhio is on the case, right? I mean they know when they’re going to have the staffing necessary to service loans, right?
Minor said there is no time line for filling all the staff positions.
And keep in mind, this is the corporation that is getting BILLIONS in revenues from the State over the next twenty-five years, and it is substantially more than the $120 million a year figure that has been widely cited by JobsOhio. Like $3.7 billion more over 25 years more, which means JobsOhio is getting more than twice the reported $120 million. And thanks to the Republican legislature’s recent efforts, all that money will be exempt from public audit as it is spent by a corporation that has already proven to be grossly incompetent.
Ohio is 47th in private job creation over the past twelve months and John Kasich’s flagship program, which was signed into law nearly three years ago, still cannot do its most basic functions yet.
Is this what Governor Kasich meant by “moving at the speed of business”?