Kasich likes to compare himself to the great Ohio governor Jim Rhodes. Jim Rhodes knew the importance of Ohio’s rural communities and the southeast and Southern Appalachian region.
Kasich is no Jim Rhodes. As a Congressman, John Kasich actively tried to eliminate funding for the Appalachian Regional Committee (ARC), which provides critical funding for improved highways, municipal water supply and other infrastructure improvements essential for rural small businesses.
Less than three years ago, we started Snowville Creamery with a goal of contributing to our local community and the southeastern Appalachian economy. We have succeeded in building a business that employs 20 full-time people with a $500,000 per year payroll from one of Ohio’s poorest counties. We provide business for distribution companies which ship our products all over the state. We can only do this because of the rural roads, municipal water, and related infrastructure, which John Kasich actively stood against.
Unlike Ted Strickland, Kasich fails to recognize the benefit of growing companies in our state’s Appalachian region and instead perpetuates policies than benefit the very wealthy to the detriment of the middle class.
I’ve experienced firsthand how these policies can hurt families. In 1986, when Wall Street buyout kings took over the world’s largest grocery store chain, Safeway, in a hostile buyout, I was told my fully vested retirement had a total value less than six weeks pay. While Safeway’s president was awarded with enough to buy the San Francisco Giants, the middle-class employees learned that their retirement money didn’t belong to them. It belonged to the bankers and company stock shareholders instead. This was the Wall Street Revolution – the revolution that Kasich wants to replicate again in Ohio.
Kasich once again wants to take the lessons learned during his eight years at Lehman Brothers to funnel Ohio’s wealth upward into the hands of the few who have enjoyed the political access necessary to ensure their business success. He proposes privatizing Ohio’s Department of Development by hiring corporate cronies to manage the state’s economic development efforts, and gleefully announce that he would award those friends with undisclosed taxpayer bonuses.
The contrast between Kasich and Ted could not be more pronounced. Ted is an educator who refused to accept the federal government’s handout to Congressman of free medical care and instead purchased his own medical insurance to understand the life and demands of his middleclass, urban, and family farmer rural constituency.
Open discussion, transparency, honesty and a shared sense of purpose should unite Ohioans in our day to day commerce and our politics. This year’s governor’s race is a clear choice in returning to the politics of the past or the possibility of change to a nation where the middle class has a fighting chance. For me, as a small businessman committed at least as much to my community and employees as I am to a desire for my own prosperity, it’s easy to choose between Ted and Congressman Kasich.
Warren and Victoria Taylor