Despite concerns from OSU’s chief investment officer and others, Former OSU President E. Gordon Gee forced through a $50 Million investment with former head of JobsOhio Mark Kvamme on behalf of the university. Gee and Kvamme are friends and have worked together on multiple projects in the Kasich administration.
ProgressOhio released documents on Monday revealing that Kvamme and his partner at Drive Capital could make “approximately $4.5 million a year in management fees, plus 20% to 30% of any profits their investments make” for the Ohio State University.
The Dispatch’s original story on the topic was titled:
“Kvamme Could [...]Full Story... →
Back in September, shortly after it was reported that six of the nine JobsOhio board members have serious conflict of interest issues, Board Chairman James Boland admitted to the Dispatch that JobsOhio is seen as a “self-dealing, secretive and unaccountable” organization by the public. (Note: Boland was one of the six with potential conflicts )
Boland denied there was any problem at JobsOhio (“We have nothing to hide here”, he said) and said he didn’t have any plans to provide more transparency or public oversight of his organization to help change the image.
Instead, he planned to hire some new public relations experts.
Today [...]Full Story... →
Release bad news when no one is looking. That’s one of the tricks of political communicators. And that’s exactly what Kasich’s JobsOhio did today.
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, two days after Black Friday, and the day after the OSU-Michigan game, most Ohioans are not following politics or job numbers. They are likely still hung over, possibly still wearing the same scarlet and gray clothes they went to bed in the night before, and most certainly are wondering what they can do with all those scraps of turkey they still have in their fridge.
Or, like me, they spent [...]Full Story... →
The State Auditor’s Office released much-anticipated audit reports for JobsOhio and for Ohio’s Development Services Agency yesterday. We already discussed the conflict of interest issues uncovered in the first report. Today I’d like to discuss the over one million dollars in undocumented spending uncovered by the audits. And then briefly wonder out loud why Auditor Yost has no interest in asking where all of that money went.
First up: JobsOhio employees and their corporate credit cards.
The JobsOhio audit found that JobsOhio employees were issued business charge cards for personal expenses and, in a large number of [...]Full Story... →
And the award for worst headline of the day goes to… The Columbus Dispatch for this misleading BS about the state auditor’s report on JobsOhio:
“JobsOhio: Audit finds no conflicts of interest; some safeguards lacking”
Let’s talk about that conflict of interest thing first, since the Dispatch brought it up.
Back in July, the Dayton Daily News revealed that six of nine JobsOhio board members had financial ties to companies receiving money from JobsOhio.
JobsOhio Spokesperson Laura Jones told the paper that “We have a conflict of interest policy that we have in place that we utilize here at JobsOhio. If [...]Full Story... →
Ohio Representative Andy Thompson is the primary sponsor of House Bill 237, better known as the anti-Common Core legislation. Thompson is a Tea Party Republican whose efforts to repeal the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) should not be trusted by Ohio progressives who have more recently expressed concerns about the new educational standards.
In Ohio and nationwide, concerns about the CCSS have brought together people from both sides of the aisle. Likewise, support for the new standards is widely bipartisan. So, who is right? Are the CCSS transforming education in a positive way or were they delivered out [...]Full Story... →
Jobs Ohio Update: Ohio Supreme Court
by Victoria E. Ullmann
The JobsOhio litigation, which has been going on since 2011, reached an important stage when the Supreme Court allowed oral arguments this week. The litigation is not yet near completion however since this stage of the case concerns only whether or not the plaintiffs have standing to sue over this issue at all.
One thing that lawyers try to do is to view things from the perspective of the Court to be a better position to convince them to decide favorably. The Supreme Court’s view of the argument Wednesday [...]Full Story... →
Reacting sharply to growing criticism that he heads the most secretive administration in Ohio history, Gov Kasich called a press conference at the Statehouse to denounce the critics as “stupid”.
Citing JobsOhio as an example, he said he saw no advantage in revealing to West Virginia the details of how his buddy Mark Kvamme, the venture capitalist, and former head of the private public agency, worked out a neat $50 million deal with Ohio State University that could eventually lead to the hiring of six and possibly seven more assistant coaches for the Buckeyes’ football team.
The governor then left [...]Full Story... →
Let us begin the week in Beautiful Ohio with a squinty look at the academic/political complex that is the pride of Gov. Kasich. While public universities genuflect to the governor and legislature in hopes of squeezing out a few more public dollars for their campuses, Ohio State University and a private venture capital fund have worked out an investment scheme – private! – that has been exposed by a couple of Plain Dealer reporters.
But only partly exposed because the major players in the deal aren’t talking – enforced silence that Kasich honed from his days with the defunct Lehman [...]Full Story... →
When Michigan’s semi-private, economic development organization (Michigan Economic Development Corp) faced criticism this week over some incorrect job creation numbers, defenders of the group came up with a great response: hey, at least we’re not JobsOhio.
The mistakes in Michigan were caught during a public audit of the organization, something GOP lawmakers in Ohio have specifically outlawed with JobsOhio.
As the week progressed, JobsOhio suffered even more bad press.
Just yesterday it was revealed that Kasich’s pal Mark Kvamme, the mastermind behind JobsOhio who left government work to start his own Ohio-based venture capital company, received a 50 Million dollar investment from [...]Full Story... →
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 [...]Full Story... →