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Did you hear John Kasich worked for Lehman Brothers?

Who knew, right?

Yesterday, the Dispatch wrote an article that made Lis Smith’s heart go all aflutter.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich tried to persuade two state pension funds in 2002 to invest with Lehman Brothers while he was the managing director of the investment banking house’s Columbus office.

You can picture Strickland’s campaign reading that and fainting in ecstasy.

But then we get to the details.

The meetings took place on the same day more than six years before Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall of 2008.

In 2002, Kasich was one of nine Lehman Brothers executives who spoke to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund about the company absorbing the pension’s bond portfolio, which had been managed by another firm, according to the pension fund. Documents don’t detail Kasich’s role in the discussions, but a pension fund spokesman confirmed that Lehman did not get any business as a result.

Kasich’s campaign said his efforts then did not lead to state pension funds investing with Lehman Brothers in later years, which ended in multimillion losses. There is no evidence to contradict Kasich’s assertion.

Nor is there evidence that Kasich continued to ply the pensions for business.

So John Kasich set-up meetings in 2002. Nothing came of them.

Then several years later, five state pension funds saw their portfolio massively decrease. Just like they did with every firm. In fact, find the firm that didn’t see their assets drop. That would be a news story.

Ultimately, the fact is this: Kasich was in no way responsible for any of the decisions that led to Lehman’s downfall.

That comes from a court-appointed examiner’s report released earlier this year that details over 2,200 pages the wrongdoing within Lehman Brothers.

Kasich isn’t mentioned once.

Now despite Kasich’s absolution of wrongdoing, we’re still going to see Strickland’s campaign firing away at his experience at the firm.

But honestly, what else do you expect? They can’t run on Strickland’s record. They can’t run on any plan Strickland has for Ohio. They can’t run against Kasich’s successes in Congress.

All that’s left is Lehman.

Unfortunately for Ted, the negative attacks will also damage his own good-guy image in the minds of voters. Additionally, they won’t change the voters perceptions that Ohio is headed in the wrong direction.

And ultimately, in a referendum election, that’s what matters.

Keep pounding away, Dems. It won’t make a difference in November.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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