partisanship to help Ohio
2011, governor calls for collaboration
February 11, 2012
Ohio -- Gov. John Kasich called Tuesday for an end to the partisan
characterized 2011 and urged Democrats and fellow Republicans to work
to get as close as possible to creating “a prosperous Ohio, a richer
Ohio free of unemployment.”
“I think we
have to steer clear of mindless partisanship,” he told members of the
Assembly, Cabinet members, students, and others gathered in the
the Steubenville City School District’s Wells Academy elementary school.
to tell you something,” Mr. Kasich said. “Being a good Republican or
good Democrat, you’ve lost it. They don’t give you awards for being
If you look at what’s happening in Washington, do we want to be them?
can’t get out of their own way. ... Leave it on the fields, ladies and
delivered his second State of the State address some 150 miles
northeast of the
Statehouse in what is believed to be the first time that an annual
State of the
State speech to lawmakers took place outside of Columbus.
struggling steel city of Steubenville, he said, reminded him of his old
which is McKees Rocks, Pa., about 35 miles up the Ohio River just
wasn’t for bipartisanship, I wouldn’t be standing in Steubenville
Kasich said, referring to the heavily Democratic town.
Wells Academy, a K-4 elementary school built within the walls of
High School, because it is the highest-performing elementary school on
tests, flying in the face of arguments that poorer, central-city
Academy has] set a standard for the entire rest of the state,” he said.
“They’re the No. 1-performing school in Ohio. If you guess where that
school would be located, you may not get to Steubenville. But here it
was heavier on looking back at 2011 than it was on proposals looking
He did unveil a plan for a statewide broadband system that would be as
10 times faster and looked ahead at what he hopes will be a burgeoning
of exploration for natural gas and oil in eastern Ohio shale.
the state’s dropping unemployment rate and studies showing Ohio leading
Midwest in job creation after losing some 600,000 jobs over the last
alive today,” he said. “We’re out of the ditch. We’re growing. We’re
in this state. It’s not me.”
criticized the nearly hour-and-a-half speech, delivered without a
for lacking specifics on the few new proposals he unveiled and for the
cuts that Steubenville and other schools and local governments across
have experienced under Mr. Kasich’s first budget.
governor is in fantasy land,” House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D.,
Beachwood) said. “He took credit for everything under the sun and,
given a few
more minutes, would have taken credit for the sun. … He asks us to put
partisanship and yet he rams through the most extreme radical agenda
seen in quite a long time.”
that the governor made no mention of Senate Bill 5, the law restricting
public-employee collective bargaining power that voters ultimately
conversation turned to what he is holding out as part of the economic
struggling eastern Ohio -- the new breed of natural gas and oil
the governor’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by a handful of
selling out Ohio,” one shouted as she was led from the school
Many of the
more than 150 protesters who were penned into a street across from the
as well as the few who got inside the auditorium, were primarily
about the use of hydraulic “fracking” to get at the oil and gas.
uses fluids and chemicals at high pressure to fracture underground
release the fossil fuels trapped within.
doubt in the mind of protester Darlene O’Neil of Youngstown that recent
earthquakes that shook her home are related to a local injection well
takes mine waste, including that from fracking operations.
10 or more earthquakes in this exact vicinity since these injection
gone in,” she said. “I think that’s pretty cause-and-effect. I’m
them to stop until they can find regulation that will keep our air
water safe, and our children safe, and keep my house from crumbling.”
promised the industry would be appropriately regulated and that Ohio
trade the environment for the billions it is expected to generate.
real new policy he unveiled was a $10 million investment to improve and
on a fiber-optic, high-speed broadband system that the state claims
increase Internet download speeds as much as tenfold.
$8.1 million phase of an agreement with Cisco Systems Inc. and Juniper
will fund hardware connections among Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati,
Cleveland by June, with other parts of the state following by October.
particularly emotional point, Mr. Kasich urged lawmakers to declare war
human trafficking in Ohio.
1,000 Ohio children -- the average age 13 years of age. They’re in the
trade business in our state,” he said. “[Rep.] Teresa Fedor [D.,
know, she’s on fire about this. … My girls are 12. Can you imagine
snatching your daughter and forcing them into prostitution at 13 and 14
to stop this,” he said. “We’ve got to stamp this out of our state. It’s
she applauded Mr. Kasich’s support for her bill to strengthen Ohio
victims of human trafficking, Ms. Fedor criticized the governor for
an excellent public school and making a pitch for expansion of vouchers
charter schools that would allow more children to leave more
was not lost on Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Jerome Pecko, who
vouchers and charter schools drain public schools of students and
disappointed that he puts so much weight on choice, and in particular
charter schools and the EdChoice [voucher] program that we have,
don’t think they necessarily are productive for the students who take
of them, with some exceptions,” he said.
Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township) said the lack of new proposals
governor was a reflection of past success. “If he hadn’t done so many
in the budget itself, I think you would have seen a lot of new things
out,” she said. “What I think you saw was a bit of a reflection on
we’ve accomplished and a bit of confirmation of what we’re going to
on, take a look at, and prioritize.”
to “fracking,” protesters challenged the governor on his potential
lease of the
Ohio Turnpike. A few employees of Findlay’s Cooper Tire &
Rubber Inc., who
have been locked out in a labor dispute, protested what they
of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs said he agreed with Mr. Kasich’s
on the link between manufacturing and education. “It used to be thought
manufacturing was dumb, and dirty, and dangerous, and disappearing, and
no longer true,” he said. “Today, manufacturing is smart, safe,
and surging forward. It now needs to be connected to higher education.
to create university-driven manufacturing. Education needs to be
Community College also liked what it heard from Mr. Kasich on the
between higher education and jobs.
President and Provost Renay Scott said industry wants short-term
programs and professional certification programs, such as welding,
about education is it needs to be on demand, it needs to be flexible,
needs to terminate in a job,” she said.
writer Nolan Rosenkrans contributed to this report.
and other articles at the Toledo Blade