Last week, it was reported by Cleveland’s Channel 5 that Ted Strickland is considering a run against Governor Kasich in 2014 to get his old job back. We welcome the news, and so do our friends over at GOHP Blog. They explain why.
We’ve previously been critical of Strickland, stating that his record really speaks for itself:
■Slashed state funding to Ohio schools.
■A stagnant population.
■400,000 Ohioans unemployed.
■An $8 billion structural budget deficit.
And this guy wants to run again? On that record?
Talk about Christmas come early for Ohio’s ever-increasing conservative population. Governor Kasich–just 9 months in office and having created 48,000 jobs to date–can only hope he’s that lucky.
And Democrat primary voters are that dumb.
Indeed, Ted Strickland left Ohio with a huge budget mess, and plenty of other messes for Kasich to fix, as we shared yesterday.
Today comes an editorial from the Warren Tribune that hits the nail on the head, and echoes what we have been saying about the budget for months. Had Ted Strickland not kept kicking the can down the road and pretending that the state budget was fine, the cuts that were necessary this year might not have had to be so severe.
We were among those who warned, early in Strickland’s one-term administration, that Ohio state government was drowning in a sea of red ink. But the Democrat governor insisted voices of caution were wrong. He and many legislators – both Republicans and Democrats, it should be noted – said the state’s budget was fine.
It was not. For four years, Strickland and the General Assembly relied on over-optimistic predictions, shifting expenses into the future, one-time federal ”stimulus” money and other fiscal smoke and mirrors to insist state government did not have to worry about major belt tightening.
When Kasich came into office earlier this year, he and legislators had to deal with a two-year budget in which there was an $8 billion gap between expected revenue and planned spending. It required severe cutbacks in spending, including some affecting schools and local governments, to close the hole.
Strickland was told over and over again something had to be done to get Ohio’s budget back in balance. He took virtually no substantial action to do so.
Again, that made it even tougher for the new governor and legislators to deal with the crisis.
Now, I’m sure somebody is going to come around and tout in the comments about Kasich’s poll numbers right now. Making cuts to programs is never popular. And even though had he won, Strickland would’ve had to make cuts too, that hasn’t prevented Ohio Democrats from demonizing and attacking those same budget cuts.
And therein lies another difference between Kasich and Strickland that we’ve also been telling you about for months. Strickland was afraid to do what needed to be done to fix Ohio, because he feared the effect it would have on his reelection bid. Kasich thinks about what is good for Ohio first, not his own reelection or poll numbers.
Strickland had his chance. We all now know the terrible results, and he ended up losing reelection anyway. Kasich will have his record to run on in 2014. That record has only just begun. I’m guessing that in 3 years, when voters look at the four year records of both men, they too will again decide, that they’ve had enough of Ted Strickland.