At an event in Cleveland today, Governor Kasich was asked about the arrest of a suspect in the killing of three women whose bodies were found wrapped in tarps over the weekend.
“This is what happens when you have poverty,” replied Kasich.
“And that’s why I feel so strongly that no neighborhood can be left behind,” continued the governor. “[And] no one in Ohio shouldn’t be in a position of being lifted at times when they’re not hitting on all cylinders to a point to where they can have a secure job and a great family and a great neighborhood.”
So how has Mr. Kasich done on helping lifting East Cleveland residents while they are “not hitting on all cylinders”?
Sadly, not so well.
The cuts in Kasich’s first budget had a devastating impact on local communities, like East Cleveland. According to Policy Matters Ohio, the 2012/2013 budget resulted in losses of $11.2 million for mental health services and $22.7 million for county health services in Cuyahoga County, where East Cleveland is located.
The city of East Cleveland lost $2.8 million in funding from the state and in January of this year, they were forced to layoff 10 police officers and 10 dispatchers as a result of budget shortfalls.
Those massive state cuts to local governments are maintained in the 2014/2015 budget Kasich recently signed.
I’ll give Kasich the benefit of the doubt and assume he WASN’T claiming that being poor somehow makes you more likely to turn out a psychopathic, copy-cat serial killer.
But his comments were still highly insensitive coming from a guy whose budget cuts have directly resulted in decreased access to mental health and healthcare services and reduced police protection for the people who he claims he wants to help lift out of poverty.