The primary theme of the Governor’s final State of the State speech in January was “Accelerating Ohio’s Advanced Energy Economy to Create Jobs”.
On the Governor’s website, it’s front and center as the #1 highlight…
In the speech, Strickland specifically stated his Administration was “not just sitting back and letting other states pass us by” in regards to “advanced energy”, or as it’s more commonly known, “green” jobs.
While I’ve posted previously about how forcing Ohio to focus on green jobs will in no way come close to solving Ohio’s massive jobs crisis, it at least came across as a halfway decent campaign theme. The Governor was attempting to communicate that he was addressing the jobs crisis and trying to be innovative in doing so. It was b.s., but the media was at least buying into it.
With one investigation by the Toledo Blade, the Governor’s entire theme for his re-election campaign has been totally and completely undermined.
Remember what Strickland said? “We are not just sitting back and letting other states pass us by.”
Yes, we are.
From the Blade:
Toledo and its northwest Ohio neighbors have missed out on coveted manufacturing jobs in the solar industry because of a failure by state officials to attract companies with tax incentives or create a viable market for solar panels in Ohio, a Blade investigation shows.
Since 2007, thousands of those jobs have gone to states where companies were enticed by a mixture of tax credits, grants, and additional incentives to make solar products there.
Toledo’s ABC affiliate reported on the investigation, stating “despite having successful solar research companies in our area, the state’s tax structure has prevented companies from creating manufacturing jobs in Ohio.”
3BP’s favorite video contributor put together this gem to highlight the difference between the rhetoric and reality:
It cannot be understated just how much this undermines Strickland’s primary message.
He claims his Administration has been working harder than any other state to promote advanced energy jobs. Remember his quote, “we are not sitting back and letting other states pass us by.”
The Toledo Blade very clearly states that isn’t the case.
His only rebuttal is to say they weren’t working as hard as the other states, but are now ramping up efforts. Unfortunately for Strickland, that only reinforces the label he’s earned during the past three years as a kick-the-can-down-the-road governor.
Strickland likes to say Ohio’s situation can only be blamed on the “international recession”. And yet, this story clearly and directly contradicts that claim. If the Governor not only fails to make the necessary efforts to properly execute his pet issue, and then misrepresents those efforts in the State of the State, what possible reason do the people of Ohio have to see him fit for re-election?
There is none.