On October 2nd, John Kasich’s Public Utilities Commission announced it would not provide aluminum smelting company Ormet a break on electricity rates.
The following week the company announced it would be closing its doors, laying off the last 700 of the over 1000 workers Ormet employed at its peak.
Kasich Spokesman Rob Nichols quickly tried to shift the blame to someone other than the Governor of Ohio.
First up: West Virginia!
The press and public weren’t buying it. And neither was State Senator Lou Gentile from Steubenville who countered: “I was not aware that it is the responsibility of neighboring states to keep jobs in Ohio… What might happen when a business that employs Ohioans in a neighboring state threatens to close? Will Ohio tax dollars be sent to Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana to keep businesses open there?”
We’re pretty sure we already know the answer to Gentile’s question given that Kasich has publicly dissed Pennsylvania, trash talked Indiana, and attacked those “foreigners” from West Virginia and Michigan during his State of the State Speech.
Realizing the state-based xenophobia approach was not really working, Nichols came back with a new scapegoat: the “state of the aluminum market”.
And another miss.
In August 2009, Kasich criticized Governor Strickland for letting NCR leave Ohio for Georgia, saying that “he would have gone to the CEO’s house and ‘that guy couldn’t get out of his driveway because [he'd] be sitting on the hood of his car.’”
Four years later, and three years into his term, Kasich is now trying to blame West Virginia and that always-sneaky industrial metals “free market” for the latest loss of Ohio jobs.
Kasich ran – and continues to run – on a platform of job creation and personal responsibility. But as Ohio continues to hover near the bottom of the country in job growth, Kasich continues to search for someone else to blame for the crappy job numbers in our state.
If you want to claim responsibility for the good stuff, Mr. Kasich, then you need to take responsibility for the bad stuff as well.
And right now, bad stuff is pretty much all we’re seeing.