Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) campaigned on the promise of “a new way and a new day” for all Ohioans. Within 177 of those “new days,” Kasich has demolished worker’s rights, slashed children’s health, kneecapped the middle class, insulted African-Americans, and even eliminated jobs he promised to create — all while expanding tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Such a hefty agenda certainly requires a “new way” of governing. Namely, a complete dismissal of his consistuents. In 177 days, Kasich’s approval ratings have plummeted, and it’s not difficult to see why. After all, Kasich signed Ohio’s last four major bills into law despite the decided objection of Ohio voters, starting with limits on public workers:
— Senate Bill 5: Over the protests and tears of over 70,000 of Ohio teachers, nurses, police, and firefighters, Kasich signed Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 into law in March. The bill eviscerates public workers’ right to collectively bargain and fully bans their right to strike. According to a poll taken before he signed the law, 65 percent of voters thought employees should maintain the same rights, and 54 percent said they’d repeal the bill in an election. Because of this bill, 55 percent said they’d now vote for former Gov. Ted Strickland (D), who lost to Kasich in 2010 by just over 5 percent of the vote.
On June 30, Kasich finalized his complete dismissal of his constituents by signing three major bills Ohioans overwhelmingly detest into law in one day.
— Fracking State Parks: Ohio Republicans pushed opening any state park for oil and gas drilling to the highest bidder this year. The method of drilling for gas, known as “fracking,” contaminates water supplies with radioactive material and even caused one Cleveland, Ohio home to blow up. According to a recent poll, more than 70 percent of Ohioans opposed drilling on public lands. Kasich, however, is only concerned for the “stream of revenue” and signed the bill into law.
— Guns In Bars: The Republican-led legislature also decided to allow guns in bars, restaurants, and sports stadiums this year. An idea that’s even unpopular with the NRA, the bill earned sweeping disapproval from bar owners, the Ohio Restaurant Association, the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and 80 percent of Ohio voters. Ignoring his constituents and basic common sense, Kasich signed the bill into law.
— Ohio Budget: Ohio’s $56 billion budget plan levels comprehensive blows to Ohio’s middle class and vulnerable populations. While eliminating the estate tax and cutting income taxes to help Ohio’s wealthy, the budget slashes funding for schools, higher education, nursing homes, children’s hospitals, and work-support programs for the poor. The think tank Innovation Ohio estimates that the budget will cause a loss of 51,000 state jobs. Unsurprisingly, 53 percent “disapprove of Kasich’s handling of the state budget” and believe the budget is “unfair to people like them.” It’s more than fair to the wealthy and corporations though, so Kasich signed it into law.
On CBS’s Face The Nation this Sunday, Kasich again refused to consider his disapproval among Ohioans, dimissing it as “too much posturing” and “too much thinking about yourself.” “At the end of the day, you look at yourself in the mirror, and you say to yourself, ‘Did I do what was right for families and for children?’,” he said. “And if I paid a political price, so what?”